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Concerned about leg weakness and other symptoms.

Concernedpa

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I'm hesitant to post here because of the seriousness of the disease in which I'm extremely anxious over, but I need guidance:

I've been battling a bulging disc in my lower back since 2007 that gets irritated a few times a year. Flash back to middle of February and I aggravated it again, but then again went to pick up my oldest one night and it put me on my knees. It felt like I really messed it up. I couldn't sit very easily for the next day. Eventually, a few days passed and all was good.


Then a few days later, I woke up with tingling in my right leg and foot. Thought nothing of it only to have it return again the next day. It was never debilitating level tingling, just subtle tingles. Then a few nights later, it started in my arms.
That always happened when lying down and would get better after being upright.

I went to my GP who did blood work and an XRay and all was good except my Xray showed a straightening of my lumbar region. Then a few days later I started feeling cramping and tightness in my left bicep that would come and go. We were able to schedule a brain MRI but my insurance declined the back until I complete PT. My brain MRI back clean for everything (which can possibly rule out MS but still unsure).

In addition to all of this, I get off and on scratch or prick feelings randomly on my body like as if something is stuck to the inside of my clothes. It's nit daily, but comes and goes. Of course, I start panicking about nerves failing.

Now the symptom I worry about the most:

I've also noticed my right leg getting fatigued when out running around with my oldest. It never fails, but it's like it would feel after leg days when lifting and it's usually in my thigh or just above my knee cap. This symptom plus the spasms my chiropractor notes on my back worries me about ALS. My chiropractor had me do one leg dips yesterday and could tell my weak leg was weak and using more hip rotation to allow the dips. He attributed it to a weakened glute due to my back injury, but I don't. It feels tight, sometimes like there is a band around it, and is just an annoying feeling even when sitting. I definitely can tell it's weaker.

I do go in for an EMG on the 5th, but I can't take my mind off all of this. I know most here may say it's stress, but I honestly don't feel like this all started during a stressful time.

Any insight from people in my shoes would be great
 

Concernedpa

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<quoted text removed>

Thank you. The sensory symptoms don't worry me with regard to ALS as much as the leg weakness. I've never experienced this before nor do I feel like I did anything that would have caused it.
 
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lgelb

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You seem to be experiencing information overload. A chiro with a commercial incentive to find weakness, spasms, whatever is no substitute for objective testing, and you are cherry-picking his insights anyway.

It doesn't take long for stress and anxiety to feed on itself. I suspect your back is the culprit. Either way, don't see ALS in this picture.
 

Concernedpa

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Had my EMG today, but my GP ordered only bilateral upper, so they didn't do my legs. The only thing they say they saw was I have slight Cubital Tunnel Syndrome. Now have to go back in a week or so to have my lower extremeties done. Still worried since my right thigh is feeling stiff again.
 

KarenNWendyn

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Nothing in your post suggests ALS. Back spasms are common and usually related to mechanical issues. Pain in the thighs and weakness in the hip muscles very commonly stems from back problems and alignment issues. I would not be worried about ALS.

Also, if you had ALS, characteristic findings would have shown up on the EMG in the upper extremities because the denervation and reinnervation tends to be fairly widespread even before clinical weakness is apparent. I’m confident that the EMG of your lower extremities won’t show those findings either.
 

Concernedpa

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Yeah, I hope so. It's just my right leg, so who knows. No one wants to do any MRIs or Xrays, so I have no way of diagnosing this. Sometimes it actually hurts (dull ache), but most of the time it just feels "annoying" kind of like a slight burn, strain, or after your leg falls asleep and you get past the pins and needles stage. So hard to describe.

Sometimes it's the front of my thigh, sometimes it's my hamstring, sometimes it's just above the knee, and others it's from the bottom of my butt down through my calf.
 
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KarenNWendyn

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That EMG looks great and officially clears you of ALS. Fantastic news!

I’m still thinking you have mechanical issues related to your lower back. But not ALS.
 

Concernedpa

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That EMG looks great and officially clears you of ALS. Fantastic news!

I’m still thinking you have mechanical issues related to your lower back. But not ALS.
Even without a lower EMG? I'm going in on Monday for one. I have a slight twitch off and on right above my knee (the one that feels weaker and more tight).
 

KarenNWendyn

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I’m betting your lower EMG will be unremarkable.

If someone has ALS, EMG abnormalities tend to be widespread, even in seemingly asymptomatic areas.
 

Concernedpa

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I’m betting your lower EMG will be unremarkable.

If someone has ALS, EMG abnormalities tend to be widespread, even in seemingly asymptomatic areas.
Lower EMG was clean. He poked me a lot, too. He did my lower back as well to see if there were nerve issues there since this all started when I hurt my back. He couldn't find anything but did note it was inflamed and it definitely hurt when he had the needles in there where my back pain is at its worst.

He did detect some tarsal tunnel in my left ankle with the NCS, but that was it. He said definitely not ALS, but my right leg is still a bit off feeling. I was calm until I read the recent post about someone getting clean EMGs and then experiencing symptoms for years before being diagnosed.
 

Nikki J

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That person had significant clinical findings from the start. Upper motor neuron disease may have a normal emg but the exam will not be normal.
 

KarenNWendyn

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Stay calm. You’re cleared of ALS. No worries.
 

ShiftKicker

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Please make sure to actually read their original thread, as well the responses they received from members of the forum with the most recent of their posts. Their clinical exam was never normal and their symptoms were of concern to their neurologist right from the start. Your situation is completely different and you do not exhibit the same abnormal clinical findings.

Added: I have a primarily UMN disease and have never been told by a neuro that my exam is perfectly fine or normal or any of the other things people anxious about ALS have been told. UMN issues are not just hyper reflexes or stiffness. It is a whole constellation of abnormal physical responses to various stimuli. It is very clear to an examining specialist that a person's brain and their muscles have a communication/feedback issue of some sort. I will also note that I have never been told my EMG was normal, only that I did not show compelling LMN damage.
 
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