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Twitching, Weakness, Pain in Leg, Anxiety

whyland720

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Hi all, I've been around this forum looking for a couple months now and finally feel compelled to post something related to my current anxiety. Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated and I thank you immensely for taking the time in advance.

So, about two months ago I initially had a twitch in my left thigh that was nonstop that lasted about a day, then slowly but surely spread to pretty much everywhere in my body, from both sides of my neck to my arms to my legs to my hands and feet. They often show up in recurring "hotspots", as I think they call them in BFS. I've been dealing with anxiety issues for a while and didn't want to entertain the notion of ALS, but it quickly took hold and has been occupying much of my thoughts. I went to see my GP and he referred me to a neurologist about a month ago. He gave me a brief clinical exam and said the twitches were most likely due to anxiety, also noting that he couldn't particularly see them. The twitches had tapered off for about a week at the time and I came out of that appointment feeling pretty good. He told me to come back if they persisted after a month or two for an EMG.

However, in the last week or so I've developed a new thing. My right leg feels somewhat awkward when walking, almost like it's longer than my left and the anterior tibialis muscle in the front of my shin feels somewhat stiff. It's also somewhat noticeable when running, as though my foot is threatening to drop whenever I reach the point where it's time to bring the foot forward. Additionally, if I run on it for a lengthy period or walk up a hill, the anterior tibialis muscle, along with the ankle and sometimes the foot, quickly begins to ache, eventually lessening with rest but often only increasing the awkward feeling of my gait. I've also noticed that the muscle around that right achilles tendon in that same right leg is either much larger than the one on the left side or is inflamed in some way.

I intend to set up another appointment with my neurologist for the EMG as soon as possible, but in the meantime I'm struggling mightily with anxiety. I simply wanted to know what the people on this board thought, and if they had any other suggestions of things to consider. As noted above, it's been only two months and I've spent the better part of those months waiting for the other shoe to drop in regards to more symptoms. Thanks so much for any comments you have again.
 

whyland720

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Also for clarity's sake, I've already been tested for various vitamin deficiencies and those all came back negative. I've also been experiencing some slight aches and pains at the locations of some of the twitches. Also, I'm 26 years old and part of the reason the awkward leg/pain has stood out to me so much is that I've been having trouble walking/running distances that I've gotten quite used to walking/running for months, especially if it involves a hill. I have no foot drop at the moment, can do the heel-toe walk/walk on heels/walk on tiptoes.
 

lgelb

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Nothing you have said resembles ALS, but it sounds like a visit to an orthopedist, perhaps with a sports medicine specialty, wouldn't hurt. Runners can develop all sort of gait issues, whether related to injury or not, one leg affects the other, etc.

Best,
Laurie
 

whyland720

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Thank you for replying so quickly! So a slight feeling of "offness" in the leg when walking that intensifies when walking uphill (along with strain) doesn't point to ALS? I've looked at my gait in the mirror and it LOOKS normal from what I can tell, it's merely a feeling that it's not right.
 

KarenNWendyn

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ALS wouldn’t even occur to me as a possibility in a 26 y.o. with the symptoms you’ve noted. Most likely there’s a mechanical imbalance affecting your gait. Some degree of asymmetry is common in most all of us. Over time, especially with repetitive movements such as walking or running, some muscles can tighten up or strain in response to asymmetry, leading to imbalances. That can cause the “offness” you’ve noticed.

I agree with Laurie— an orthopedist or sports medicine doctor can help, and physical therapy will probably benefit you greatly.
 

whyland720

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Thank you so much for the feedback. I really do appreciate it. One last thing I forgot to mention is that I also feel strain when dorsiflexing my foot, and the dorsiflexion feels weaker when I've been walking on it. If none of you think that's worrisome aside from the symptoms I've already stated, I'll look into finding an orthopedist and try to put this out of my mind for now. Thanks again.
 

lgelb

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I don't. My advice is to start looking for an orthopedist.
 

KarenNWendyn

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You might also benefit from orthotics. The orthopedist can advise.
 

whyland720

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Hi,

Sorry to dredge this up once again, but what's going on with my leg currently is continuing to freak me out.

A lot of the stiff feeling I've had in my shin has subsided over the past 3 days, but the stiffness has now sort of migrated to the side of my calf muscle. Additionally, I've found that if I run or exercise on my right foot in basically any capacity, the foot starts to feel incredibly weak. Again, I do not have foot drop, can walk on heels/toes/etc, but the foot constantly feels like it's THREATENING to drop. My foot feels heavy and awkward in the shoe. I watch my gait in a mirror and it LOOKS normal, but the anxiety I'm feeling over the constant threat of weakness is overwhelming. I actually feel uncomfortable standing because of the feelings that come along with it. I figure another visit to the neuro is in order, but damn am I a wreck right now mentally from this.
 

whyland720

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And I know the "feeling/failing" is antithetical to ALS, but this combined with the bodywide twitching (which feels hyper-concentrated in my thighs currently) has me in a complete twist.
 

KarenNWendyn

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I understand you’re scared. But our opinion hasn’t changed.
See a neurologist if you must, but we feel strongly this is not ALS, so please don’t lose sleep worrying that it is.

I still think an orthopedist and/ or sports medicine person will be of help.

Body wide twitching is totally meaningless. Seriously.
 

whyland720

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Thank you. I probably wouldn't be worried at all if the twitching hadn't started just two months ago and then this followed, and just in the one leg. I'll probably try the neuro first since he suggested checking in with him again if the twitching didn't go away, and then follow up with an orthopedist pending that result.
 
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