View Full Version : Symptom Question

08-15-2013, 07:35 AM
Hi Everyone,
I was diagnosed with probable Lupus about a month ago. My ANA was normal, but my DSDNA was borderline. I have been searching for answers to my strange symptoms for months. My rheumy says she is 98% sure it's Lupus. I have been taking Plaquenil and she gave me a steroid shot about a week ago. I have seen improvement in some stiffness and joint pain. Except, I have had one thing that has been bothering me now since January. My calf muscle is incredibly stiff/tight. The more I walk, the tighter it gets. This happens on a daily basis and has not shown any improvement or change over 7 months. My hamstring on the same leg is now starting to do the same thing. It's not really painful, just stiff and I have no stamina in that leg. Does this sound familiar to anyone? If so, is there anything I can do to relieve the stiffness? I can't find this symptom anywhere. It's definitely not the joint, but the muscles. Thanks for your help!

08-18-2013, 07:49 PM
Anyone have any thoughts?

08-19-2013, 04:15 AM
Hi Mel,

Did you ever try muscle relaxers? They don't help with painful muscles, but they make stiff muscles relax a little.
I take Flexeril, maybe you can ask your rheumy for a prescription. Its worth a try.


08-22-2013, 12:27 PM
Hi Mel7,

I've never written here before, but I've been lurking for over a year now. I also have not been diagnosed yet with anything but arthritis :( But I just finally got a referral to a different Rheumy yesterday (long story like most people here). Although I have had many symptoms since my early/mid 20's (I'm 39 now) the worst came a little over 2yrs ago. It was April 2011 the Thursday of the third week. I woke up in the morning with a left calf muscle charlie horse -- man it hurt, and it never stopped, it continued to hurt all day long, I lightly stretched, iced, and then applied heat. The next morning the same thing happened in my right calf! And they have never stopped hurting since. If I walk to much they get tighter, and tighter, and then start to swell, and cramp -- It's a terrible mess and has effected me to the point that I can't walk far (I made it six houses down day before yesterday and havn't hardly been able to walk for 2 days now).

I tried everything, at the time I worked in billing in an orthopedics office so I saw an ortho doctor, did PT, saw a vein doctor, saw a rheumy (at same office/company I worked), I had some chest pains so saw a cardiologist who did extensive blood work and didn't find anything with my heart, thyroid, or diabetes, I then had a nerve conduction test, it was fine. The last thing I did was have a compartmental pressure test done -- seriously NOT fun -- Yet that came up to.

I hate to say I have no answer for you except this -- Since having this I have learned a lot about my legs, and having worked in a multi practice doctor office I learned a lot to. I believe in my heart that the tightness and pain is coming from achilles tendonitis which is also setting off plantar fasciitis problems in my heels. Due to the continuous tightness and pain the rest of my legs are having symptoms to -- knees hurting, back of thighs getting tight and jumping muscles.

I combat this by stretching at least 6 times a day, when it's bad I do not add heat but ice (I don't want anymore blood brought to the area by heating it up, I want the swelling to go away). I literally warm up my legs with a heating pad before going out walking, just a minute or two each leg, you will know by how it feels, and I elevate a lot. I take my exercise ball and lay on the bed and put my legs up on it, it gives good leg support while keeping them above my heart, gently stretches/lengthens my lower back and I just sit and read for 10-20 minutes while I do it. My family also massages them, especially my husband around my achilles tendon, if it is tendonitis I don't scar tissue building up so he massages every few days and really works it back an forth.

If you go to google and type in "Lupus leg pain" or "Lupus leg cramps" you will see a lot of stuff come up on it.

I hope you get some relief soon, and I'm sorry this got so long. I sure hope I don't have Lupus but it would be nice to know "something" right about now! I hope my next rheumy is good because he's almost 3hrs away! :)


08-22-2013, 05:51 PM
Hi Mel and Ladykist,

I can relate to both of you. Mel, mine started a year ago with feet pain and calf tightness. It started in the left foot and wasn't long before it had moved to the right foot. I also went to all the doctors, ortho, nerve, and Rheumy. All say they find no reason to explain the symptoms. By October 2012, it had moved to my hands and wrist. That's when they started to do blood work. I am having the same problem as LadyKist with not getting a diagnosis. I am waiting to go to my 3rd Rheumy in October. I have had 2 positive ANA test and have all the symptoms. I went into a horrible flare in the beginning of July and I can not get out of it. The inflammation has started to affect my heart and lungs. I have constant chest pain. X-rays and cardiogram show minimum fluid in heart and nothing of concern to doctor in the lungs. Yet, I suffer daily. I am frustrated with the process we have to go through. I have been experimenting with Yoga a few times a week. Some days it's impossible for me to do because of pain. I searched for different stretches for the calf muscle. I find stretching helps the muscle loosen, but within a little while the pain is back.
I can also relate to not being able to walk far. I have been telling my docs for months about the difficulty I have walking. I asked my Rheumy for a handicap tag to be able to take my kids to places like Walmart and such. She said she thought it was best for me to walk, even if it hurt. I can understand needing to walk, but when you are laid up for days after going to Walmart, is not acceptable to me. I went to see my family doc last week for more heart and lung problems, he finally did grant me the tag. I don't need it EVERY day, but most days, it's a struggle to get the grocery shopping done.
Ladykist, I hope you have good luck with the next rheumy! I am hoping the 3rd one is the charm for me. I am sure I have Lupus, I just haven't been able to get to a doctor that will look and hear all my symptoms without dismissing them completely.
I do wish both of you luck and relief from the symptoms you are dealing with. Please keep us posted!

08-26-2013, 02:06 PM
Thanks everyone for your posts! I really appreciate it. It's always a little comforting to hear that others are feeling the same thing. Not that I want anyone else to feel the pain, just that I'm not the only with constant muscle tightness. I am currently sitting on my porch watching people walk by and wish that could be me. It used to be me running by, now I'd just like to walk by. I have been on Plaquenil now for a month and half and I'm really hoping that it will kick in soon. I had a steroid injection that helped some shoulder pain for about two weeks, but that is starting to return with a vengeance. It didn't do a thing for my leg. I am also very one-sided with most of my symptoms, which I also feel is quite strange. Creekbank, LadyKist, Debbie, thanks for your thoughts. I will get back in touch with my rheumy and see if there is anything that can be done in the meantime. I coach collegiate field hockey and have resorted to a knee brace on my leg to help give it support. Hopefully there is a better answer!

08-26-2013, 03:39 PM
You are always welcome. I have found much support from this site. I also have to watch people do things and think "That used to be me doing that." I live on a farm and love to garden. I preserve my harvest by canning. I did plant a garden this year with the help of my wonderful husband. He really did most of the work, but he knows how much I love the garden. He has also helped me do canning. I guess I am stuck in between the old me and the new me. I cry myself to sleep at night some times wondering if I will ever be able to do those things myself again. I do hope the Plaquenil will help you. The 1st Rheumy I seen had me on 200mg for 3 months. I was transferred to a 2nd Rheumy and they said I should have been on 400mg from the start. Since upping the dose, my ANA titer has come down. My body seems to accumulate inflammation so quickly. It's hard to keep it under control.

I hope you find peace of mind and relief from symptoms.