This question was answered on Fri 26, Dec 2008 07:22am by Dr Veena, MD

Leg pain and feet going to sleep

    
Asked by Unregistered (Female; 64; Have minor high blood pressure under control with medication.; Relevant drugs:Metropropol ) on Fri 26, Dec 2008 05:31am

My legs from the knee down feel feel like they are on fire and my feet go to sleep all the time and tingle. When I am walking around all is fine but when I sit with my feet up or lay down I am in pain. I also have a problem with leg cramps from the knee down and even having a sheet over my feet make them hurt. My doctor cant seem to diagnose the problem. Can you help?

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Answer by Dr Veena, MD  on Fri 26, Dec 2008 07:22am:

Hi, How are you? It is difficult to say with out physical examination and history what might be causing pain in your legs, but few situations can be discussed. They are claudication, nocturnal cramps, thrombophlebitis and peripheral neuropathy. Of all these thrombophlebitis and peripheral neuropathy can occur during walking and during rest. Normally, blood flow can increase up to ten-fold to meet the increased need for additional oxygen in exercising muscles. However, when the leg arteries are blocked, blood flow cannot increase in response to exercise and pain develops. Claudication typically occurs during physical activity such as walking and is promptly relieved by a brief resting period (2-5 minutes). As atherosclerosis progresses and blockage becomes more severe, a burning/aching pain in the feet and toes will occur particularly at night time while lying flat. This pain, known as rest pain, occurs because the arteries of the leg can no longer deliver adequate blood flow to the feet, even at rest. Nocturnal leg cramps usually awaken the sufferer with a spasm-like pain in the calf like a charley horse. The incident lasts a few seconds or minutes and may be repeated throughout the night. They commonly occur with strenuous exercise, when using a group of muscles repeatedly, or when circulation is cut off from sitting awkwardly or due to dehydration. I would suggest to discuss all these possibilities with your doctor and follow his advise. Best.
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