Results 1 to 37 of 37
  1. #1
    chips & bier
    Reputation: eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,511

    Permanently sore leg muscles.... (long)

    First off: in all my years of riding and racing, this is one I (and to date my doctor) can't yet firgure out:

    Basically all the muscles on the back of my legs are sore - the same nagging, irritating soreness you have the night after you've done a long race like a marathon. No big deal per sé, but this has been lasting 3 weeks, 24 h a day. Add to that general lethargy and you visit the doctor (which I did). Blood tests for all kinds of viral and bacterial infections came up negative of course.

    So you say: take a rest. I did: been sitting on the couch for almost two weeks now (apart from work, of course ). Yesterday was my first mountain ride in a while, and today I feel like utter cr@p again. Strechting. Massages. Checked my diet. Absolutely NOTHING is helping.

    Any ideas on what may be the cause of this? It all started when a singlespeed race and a new desk job coincided. Hiddeously overgeared cycling compared with sitting in a chair for hours at a time for the first time in my life. Could I just simply be very, very tired?

  2. #2
    King of vegetarians
    Reputation: yoginasser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    723
    The circulation in your legs is obviously poor so the lactic acid is not flushing out.
    Work on sitting with your legs crossed or at least level with your pelvis so that your legs would have better circulation when your working.Lots of stretching breathing and massage will help but nothing beats rest,take a relaxing vacation.
    Black Sheep Dream Bike Design
    www.blacksheepbikes.com
    The future is not retro proof.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    24
    It sounds like a probable metabolic issue. You said your doc checked for viral and bacterial infections but did he do a general screen? I have seen the same symptoms with a thyroid problem, with a diabetic problem, with an iron deficiency case and a vitamin deficiency case (can't remember which vitamin was missing, probably one in the B category). Check that a general blood screen was done. Take care!!

  4. #4
    chips & bier
    Reputation: eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,511
    yoginasser, Pegasos, thanks for the thoughts.

    I'll check back with the doc tomorrow. I'm not sure how general the blood screen was. Decided (against better judgement) to check my weight, and I'm down a couple of pounds from my regular weight during mid-season. And that while this year I'm a tad heavier from all the fall/winter weight training. Something seems to be up, so I'll keep y'all posted.

  5. #5
    King of vegetarians
    Reputation: yoginasser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    723
    Feel better man and keep us posted.
    Black Sheep Dream Bike Design
    www.blacksheepbikes.com
    The future is not retro proof.

  6. #6
    chips & bier
    Reputation: eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,511
    So, next visit to the doctor....

    Went through the blood screen and all it turned up was that I have some goofy flu-like virus. Everything else was fine / negative. Couch potato time according to the doctor. No training, no work. B12 supplement just to make sure, but it should clear if I rest.

    (still slightly dazed...confused.... etc.....)

  7. #7
    King of vegetarians
    Reputation: yoginasser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    723
    Well at least now ya know.Thank God it was simple,just be sure to take more rest time for yourself in the future so that your immunity will stay strong.
    Feel better Eric!
    Black Sheep Dream Bike Design
    www.blacksheepbikes.com
    The future is not retro proof.

  8. #8
    banned
    Reputation: 29Colossus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    4,150
    That is kick butt! The morass of unknown syndromes is a real mess to get into.

    To know what is going on, and to handle it with ease? Thank your lucky stars.


  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    24
    Hey now, nothing is wrong with a bit of time off. As 29Colossus said, if that's all you need, thank your lucky stars. Better still get out on your porch and just take the time to look at them. Eat well and rest well. Take care!!

  10. #10
    chips & bier
    Reputation: eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,511
    Cheers all.

    Underneath the pile of bicycle parts, race registrations and Rocky Mountain gear I found a bass guitar screaming for attention. It will see good use for a while! :-)

  11. #11
    chips & bier
    Reputation: eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,511
    Well, looks like we're back to sq. one.

    The last two days have been absolute hell. I've been sitting on the couch almost all day, and my legs feel like I've done an 8-hour race yesterday. Sitting, lying down, haging from the ceiling like a bat: I feel fine apart from the back of my legs - they just friggin' hurt. Much worse than the last two weeks.

    Can't contact the GP or the fysiotherapist at the moment (try again tomorrow), and I'm now pretty close to some race cancellations. AAAARGH.

  12. #12
    King of vegetarians
    Reputation: yoginasser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    723
    Did you ever try Yoga?
    Black Sheep Dream Bike Design
    www.blacksheepbikes.com
    The future is not retro proof.

  13. #13
    chips & bier
    Reputation: eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,511
    Must admit I've never tried. )

    At the moment I feel about twice my age (and then still in relatively poor shape). Hopefully the fysiotherapist can at least look at my spine tomorrow: one vertebrae hurts a bit when I push on it. Maybe I'm just having a hernia? Might explain the freakin' pain...

  14. #14
    King of vegetarians
    Reputation: yoginasser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    723
    Give gentle Yoga a try Eric,just stay away from any militant or aggressive teachers and see how you feel!
    Black Sheep Dream Bike Design
    www.blacksheepbikes.com
    The future is not retro proof.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    24
    Hey Eric, just recap: how did the soreness come about? Is there anything you can do for releif (even momentary)? How old are you and how tall are you?? Finally, lie on your back on the foor-grab the underside of your knees-relax your back muscles-draw gently the knees towards your chest with your arms only (emphasize gently) and hold for 2-3 minutes. Does any of the soreness go away?? Let me know or PM me.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: fern2legit2quit's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    34
    I also wouldn't rule out the possibility that the desk job has something to do with this. Desk jobs are horrible for a person's person. I have a friend who woke up one morning with the most excruciating back pain, and spent over a week unable to move, in constant pain, wondering what she had done. The doctor ultimately blamed the desk job, saying that they're worse on a body than moving and lifting (ex., construction) jobs. Going from being active/moving most of the day, to spending 8 hours sitting inert at a desk is a big change. Maybe try taking more frequent breaks to walk around...and if you can get away with it, eat lunch at your desk, and spend your lunch hour taking a walk. Also, your sitting posture might have something to do with it as well. You might try trading out your standard office chair with one of those big yoga balls.

  17. #17
    chips & bier
    Reputation: eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,511
    I'm 26, 6', and an expert cat racer. Or I was....

    The soreness in my calves started about 3 weeks after I made the move from studying/training/wrenching to an engineering job. I had fluid buildup in my calves, but I was working 8-9 hours a day with another 4-5 hours of travelling by train as well. Temporary housing and a huge adjustment in my desk and seating solved the fluid thing. Slight soreness remained, though.

    Almost four weeks ago now I did a marathon. Normally the endurance events are where I shine. From the second hour onwards, all the muscles on the back side of both legs were very sore. I've done some stupid things like riding with a broken hand, two inflamed knees, etc., but this was more painful than anything idiotic in the past. Being a 'middle of nowhere' race I had no choice but to finish. Took me about 30-40 min. longer than it would normally have, and I decided a rest week or two was definitely in order.

    Two weeks ago: Elite race. Legs felt okay except for a little tenderness in the calves. Didn't think much of it as I'd helped move some friends' stuff the night before. Lots of bookcases up 4 flights... ;-) Anyway, after 45 minutes behind the lead group my legs were gone & I called it quits for the first time in years. The pain in my legs has since then become much worse.

    I could probably describe it best as the soreness you feel after doing a really, really tough and long event, say 8 hours or more. Some days it also feels like there's a hot band travelling from the center of each buttock to the middle of my calf muscle.

    Originally it looked like I'd picked up some kind of bug, since I was coughing up junk and generally tired (normally I'm pretty hyper from 9 AM tot about 11 PM). Lab ran a pile of tests (full blood, most regular viral and bacterial options including Lyme, toxoplasmosis, etc.). All came up negative.

    Monday the pain in my left leg was so severe I was awake part of the night. It faded by morning, so I slept late, and went to the LBS for some wrenching. Felt fine. Next night same thing happened, but at the breakfast table my legs only felt a little tired. By the end of the day yesterday, however, I was in the hospital because I had the sensation my calves and feet were on fire.

    Sitting, standing, nothing gives relief except for deep stretching. Within 10 minutes the pain is back again. This morning it dawned on me that I've had a host of back problems (slipped discs, displaced stuff a couple of times, even pulled a rib joint apart a few weeks ago). Maybe, JUST maybe, something has gone haywire in my lumbar region, and that's putting pressure on a nerve somewhere?

    Went to the hospital again for X-rays this morning. The examining doc said my reflexes were fine, so no obvious nerve damage or outside pressure, but ya never know. At any rate this is doing my head in. Not only can I not ride (three HUGE races in the next month look like they won't be happening), but I can't work more than 4 hours a day either, and that bothers me much more than anything else.

    @Pegasos: I've tried what you suggested. Pain seems to go away for a couple of minutes.

    @All: A appreciate all the help and info. I realize physician is THE person to talk to (which I do), but getting a response from him or the various others involved takes quite long. ;-)

  18. #18
    chips & bier
    Reputation: eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,511
    double post .... AARGH

  19. #19
    "Its All Good"
    Reputation: Whafe's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    10,697
    eric - Do hope you gain som einsight into whats going on with your body, have read this post in detail. Feel for you, not knowing is the worst thing.... Do hope the pain lowers and some light at the end of the tunnel comes for you...

    Keep us posted.... Healing vibes to you bro...............
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  20. #20
    Bodhisattva
    Reputation: The Squeaky Wheel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    10,343
    Disclaimer: Take internet advice for what's its worth. Having said that....

    There are 2 categories of diseases for your doc to consider: Autoimmune & Metabolic Myopathies.

    I'm not going to get into all the details, but ask your doc to do the following if symptoms persist (he'll know what it means):

    ESR
    CRP
    ANA (with fractionation)
    CPK total
    Aldolase
    HLA-B27
    SIJ X-rays
    Electrodiagnostic studies

    If all else fails then MRI of the most painful area and potential muscle biopsy.

    Hopefully all these tests are negative, it's just a virus, and I'm only raising your anxiety. But that's what I would do based on your description.
    Last edited by The Squeaky Wheel; 07-06-2007 at 09:25 AM.
    “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

    ― Albert Einstein

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    24
    Hi Eric, I don't want to alarm or worry you, neither do I want to make a diagnosis over the net, but, if what I proposed gave you a little momentary pain relief, then mate you need an MRI "toute de suite". Reflex and other neuro type tests don't show everything. I think I know what is happening (your account explains the problem), it's not a huge problem but it won't go away on its own, or if it does it will come back. Sorry if I sound like a fortune teller but I hope you understand open forums isn't a place to openly throw about dignosis and prescriptions.
    Last edited by Pegasos; 07-06-2007 at 01:07 PM.

  22. #22
    chips & bier
    Reputation: eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,511
    Cheers. If you're pointing toward surgury on my spine: with all the trouble my back has been giving me even as a teenager, somehow it just doesn't surprise me at all. ;-)

    Will press the doc for an MRI if the x-rays show up nothing next monday.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    24
    Hopefully not surgery. Your symptoms though severe enough to disrupt your normal life don't suggest a huge problem (pain doesn't count and right now pain is your friend), but they point to two interlinked conditions. An MRI will put your mind at rest and after that I can help you with the type of treatment you'll need to follow (if I am right).

  24. #24
    chips & bier
    Reputation: eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,511
    Ow well, we'll see next week. I hope the doc can give some feedback before I drive to Austria Tuesday night (can't cancel because I'm guide and driver...).

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    24
    Ah!! that's why the quick replies, you are this side of the pond. I am in Switzerland (francophone) , make a detour on your way over to Austria, we'll melt some cheese, have some chocolate, drink some absinth and all will be good again.
    Seriously though, long drives and long hikes won't be comfortable right now and there is always the risk of further aggravating your symptoms. Since you can't cancel you have to take very frequent breaks and if you carry a back pack position it low down so it's supported by your waist mostly and by your shoulders.

  26. #26
    chips & bier
    Reputation: eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,511
    The plan was to ride the Salzkammergut next Sunday, but spending 14 hours on the bike isn't going to work. I'm going to try getting my registration moved to 2008, and spend the rest of the week just handing around, swimming and doing short rides.

    I'll be in Switserland in August for a very short period (driving from Südtirol through Switserland to Verbier...) :-D

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    24
    Wise move not to do the 14hr bike right now. The mountains will always be there. I don't know if that area has any thermal spas but if there are any, take advantage.

    I am in Neuchatel (foot of the Jura mountains). Not as good mtb country as Valais but we manage.

  28. #28
    chips & bier
    Reputation: eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,511
    Well.... finally managed to get an appointment with the neurologist.

    The x-rays of 2 weeks ago revealed some pretty weird stuff, but nothing that can be linked to general malaise of the moment. The neurologist should be able to sort out an MRI, which may give a better picture if/what something is wrong in my lower back.

  29. #29
    King of vegetarians
    Reputation: yoginasser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    723
    Weird stuff?
    Black Sheep Dream Bike Design
    www.blacksheepbikes.com
    The future is not retro proof.

  30. #30
    chips & bier
    Reputation: eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,511
    :-)

    According to the post x-ray report:

    - three vertebrae are misaligned (upper back!, not lower where I've had past issues....)
    - lower left rib is way too short (looks like something is missing?) and is pointing upwards into my left lung
    - misalignment of some discs between the vertebrae

    The GP had no comment on either of these points, so I assume he's thinking the same thing I am: it's probably been this way for a very long time, or something might have given me trouble before.

    Either way, fingers crossed the neurologist finally okays an MRI, to see if there is some kind of obstruction due to the odd things in my spinal column.

  31. #31
    Bodhisattva
    Reputation: The Squeaky Wheel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    10,343
    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    Well.... finally managed to get an appointment with the neurologist.

    The x-rays of 2 weeks ago revealed some pretty weird stuff, but nothing that can be linked to general malaise of the moment. The neurologist should be able to sort out an MRI, which may give a better picture if/what something is wrong in my lower back.
    General malaise now continuing for several weeks?

    My original recommendations stand.
    “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

    ― Albert Einstein

  32. #32
    chips & bier
    Reputation: eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,511
    Check. Will keep pushing the doctor for more tests / references to specialists... "One at a time" seems to be the working method, though.

    Happy trails,
    eric

  33. #33
    chips & bier
    Reputation: eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,511
    And yet another update....

    I finally managed to track down the neurologist. She was pretty convinced nothing in my spine is causing the problems. However, my persistent whining got me an MRI scheduled for September (earliest date they could fit me in) to be sure.

    The good doctor advised me to look into several other possibilities as well: some related to the list Squeaky gave (thanks) the other being severe overtraining or something similar. It could explain the pain (which I must say has been significantly less the past week). There's no real way to gauge the latter, though, apart from ruling out all other possibilities. Hence the MRI next month, and a pile more blood tests once my GP is back from his break.

    After weeks of taking the car/train to work, and missing the morning hours I seem to be feeling a little better. The leg pain seems to have subsided somewhat, although today I feel a little bit more. Did commute to work on the road bike for two days, though, due to the good weather / heavy traffic on the highways.

    Anyways... I'm starting to wonder whether this is simply going to clear up on its own if I'm patient enough. So far every test has been negative, and the goofy x-rays of my back (of one rib pointing upwards) may simply show anomalies I've had since birth. :-S

    Happy trails all!

  34. #34
    King of vegetarians
    Reputation: yoginasser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    723
    Did they check for lime disease Eric?
    Black Sheep Dream Bike Design
    www.blacksheepbikes.com
    The future is not retro proof.

  35. #35
    chips & bier
    Reputation: eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,511
    Yep. Negative.

    Anyway, I spent 2 weeks in Italy on the basis of riding what I could. In the end I did as much riding as the rest of the people who went along. Seems like things have improved significantly in the last 14 or so days. [INSERT HUGE SMILEY HERE]

    Some days things I was bit tired and the legs were sore again, but by no means to the degree of a month or so ago.

  36. #36
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    27
    Eric,

    Any update on your condition?

    A few months ago I started noticing a huge slide in my performance. Took a couple days off and performance still slid; more days off even more of a slide. Now I've started getting chronicly soar legs. No matter how easy I go, the next my legs are throbbing. I've pretty much taken almost a month and a half of just trying to ride easy 1-2 hrs a week and I still get soar. I even rode the recument health club bike for 15 min w/o any resistance and still was soar for two days.

    I've got a doc appt. next tuesday, but I don't know what else to do if I get no answers there.

    Any advice?

  37. #37
    chips & bier
    Reputation: eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,511

    overtraining etc.

    Well, since it's been a few months, here goes another update for anybody interested or possibly in the same boat. After all the tests, from lyme to an MRI of my lower back, hospital visits and whatnot turning up nothing, I have based most of how I look at cycling at the moment on the assumption that I am indeed severely overtrained. Unless I'm willing to put time into experimental sereach (time which I sadly don't have), there is no concluse way to diagnose this, only rule out other possibilities.

    I have since put all racing and real training on hold, and will most likely not be renewing my elite/expert license for the '08 season. Since mid September - when I spent a week on the road as a race mechanic, sleeping in a camper and riding on an off day - I was making quite some progress. By October I was riding my road bike 2 hours a day to and from work, and on warm days I would usually go home full blast. Great weather, great fun.

    Until two weeks ago things were fine, until one Friday morning the soreness was back. Coincidentally I felt like complete... well, you know..., and I felt like a cold was due to make its appearance. It didn't, but I was back to 10 hours of sleep at night.

    Anyway, up until last weekend I've been taking it VERY easy and doing practically nothing outside of work. With a riding bud's birthday on Saturday we were out in the woods and I was merrily pedalling along like days gone by. Although I'm not into drawing any conclusions at this point, there appears to be several trends:

    1) When I have to time to do short rides of varying intensity, I tend to feel better the days after - up to the point where I push it too much: one ride too far and I'm trashed for about a week. I'm sleepy, have a creaky respiratory system, and the back sides of my legs are sore. Sitting on the couch doing nothing is absolutely no help, though. It seems exacerbate the soreness.

    2) A week of different work (or no work) works like magic. Getting up pre-7:00 is NOT doing it for me. Seems my biological clock never evolved past that of a Neanderthal. Anyway, at the moment I'm on 32 hours a week by contract and try to avoid overtime. That gives me an extra day of waking late, which suits me.

    On the whole my plan is to simply sit out the autumn into winter, and hope I have the restraint not to ride unless I really, REALLY feel like it and the sun is shining. That seems to be the trick. If the current trend remains, I should be feeling much, much better by the end of the year.

    At this point I have little interest in racing, and I have enough other stuff going on in my life that will pose challenges for the months to come. So far every ride is a good, fun ride, and that's why I got into biking in the first place.

    Anyway, a big thanks and happy trails to all the people who offered insights, ideas and support on the forum or by PM.

    -
    eric
    Last edited by eric; 10-30-2007 at 02:46 PM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •