Avatar universal

2 years of leg and arm pain


I have had pain and tingling in my legs and arms for 1.5 years now. It started out only in my left leg, but appeared in my left arm shortly thereafter, and in my right leg and arm too after a few months. On any given day, only one side is painful/tingling. The pain/tingling is predominantly in my leg (and only sometimes in my arm) and varies in intensity and focal point. On average it is at a 4 or 5 out of 10 but is almost constant. When it first started, it was a sharp pain in my left femur that progressively got worse and spread. This started a day or two after starting OCP which I stopped immediately after the pain started, and had a leg ultrasound to rule out a blood clot.

The pain feels uniquely nerve- or bone-related and not muscular. It is less tingling now and more pain. NSAIDs only take the edge off and do not offer much relief. It is a deep intense ache but neither the skin nor anything else is sensitive to the touch. To give you an idea, on any given day it feels like a an ache or throbbing pain in either my left or right leg (sometimes the whole leg, sometimes mainly the thigh or calf) the entire day which is sometimes accompanied by leg tingling, and/or similar pain/tingling in the ipsilateral arm. I go through phases of a week or two where the pain is either more or less severe.

I have been incorrectly diagnosed with sciatica, piriformis syndrome, and vitamin d deficiency (I supplemented and have had a normal/high vitamin d level for a year). I have had a MRI of my cervical spine and it was normal. I have not had an xray of my spine since my symptoms began, but the xray I had 1.5 years ago was normal. Blood tests (for vitamin deficiencies, arthritis, lupus, etc) are all normal. Recent leg EMG was normal. Motor reflexes are normal. I have an MRI of my brain upcoming, not sure why but I suspect to test for MS? Never had an MRI/CT of my cervical/lumbar spine or limbs.

When the pain first started, I experienced a lot of lightheadedness, dizziness, nausea, and headaches. I experience those much less frequently now but the pain remains. I haven't noticed any variation in the pain with sleep, stress level, physical activity, anything. One thing I have noticed is the leg pain is exacerbated by the period cramps I usually get in my lower back. It feels like the pain in my thigh and the pain in my lower back when I'm on my period are connected, as if through the sciatic nerve.

I am a 23-year-old female, normal weight, with an unremarkable medical history. No issues before this except for one migraine five years ago and a cyst in my navel a couple years after that. I am heterozygous for factor V leiden. The only other health issue I have had since this started is mild acid reflux, which I haven't felt the need to take a prescription PPI for yet. I do not have any anxiety or major depressive disorders or otherwise. My cognitive functioning has not been impaired. I am a vegetarian with a fairly healthy diet. I was mildly iron deficient a few months ago but may be back to normal now with supplements. Grandparents have suffered variously from heart attack, chronic kidney disease, pancreatic cancer, arthritis, diabetes, all in old age. Parents' histories are fairly unremarkable. Father has had anal fissures and hemorrhoids. Mom has hypothyroidism, carpal tunnel in her right arm. Pretty extensive history of mental illness in my family including depression, bipolar, and developmental/behavioural disorders. I have not had any of them however.

Please help me. I'm at my wit's end trying to figure out why I am experiencing this chronic pain out of the blue. It makes no sense to me and it's keeping me from doing normal activities. I've had these symptoms for so long that I've spent hours doing research and come up with a list of illnesses I may have (which I don't have the training to refute, so they may just be shots in the dark): mononeuritis multiplex, primary progressive MS, lyme disease, spinal stenosis, some sort of allergy.

Please help. I am willing to follow up on any suggestion.
7 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi there, I really feel for you.  I know what it's like to have such intense, relentless pain - to investigate as many reasonable avenues as possible, and still turn up nothing.
My journey ended with a 5 hour operation on my neck for spinal cord compression, and I've never had the problem again.
Could I ask, why have you 'not' had an MRI of, in particular your lumbar, and possibly thoracic spine?  I think your situation may be quite complex, but I would be looking to have further MRI spine to 'exclude' this area as a cause.  All the very best to you.  Karen
Avatar universal
I read you tested your Vitamin D.
What about magnesium RBC, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6, potassium.

Do you take B Multivitamins?
Long term higher doses of B6 can be toxic.
363281 tn?1590104173

I highly recommend you see a chiropractor, all your symptoms point to mis-aligned vertebrates and pinched nerves. The chiro will take x-rays and go over the results and do some adjustments. I have a feeling this will help you a great deal.
Avatar universal
Thanks Karen. Simply because neither my doctor nor neurologist have requested it yet. I had a cervical spine (neck) MRI because since I was having both leg and arm symptoms, the neurologist thought it might be a problem there if anything. I have felt for a long time that my lumbar spine may be the source of my problem. I will push for another MRI. Can I ask, were your symptoms similar to mine?
Avatar universal
Thanks for your reply. I've had the whole gamut of blood tests. I'll check again when I'm next at the doctor.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your reply. I have, and it has not helped. I do not really believe in the principles of chiropractic.
Avatar universal
Sounds like you need iron and some vitamin e

Vit e helps blood veins stay open

Iron keeps blood strong

Try. 5 dose of iron one a day every other day fora weeek

Take the Vit e daily start with 500 MG for a week

When you take the low dose iron always eat a big salad that day also so you won't get constipated

You should feel better in a week

And no sodas that week.  I find drinking lots of sodas kill any good vitamins that are in you causing bone pain.  Drink water with fresh lemon slices cucumber slices chopped up mint and a few shavings of real ginger root.  

Keep cold and slushy and drink this instead of soda and eating white bread candy donuts pizza etc

Just a few adjustments in diet really works!!!
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