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Thread: tight contracted leg muscles, what causes it?

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    Veteran Member sollyb's Avatar
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    Default tight contracted leg muscles, what causes it?

    All I can find online refers to "muscle cramps" which this isn't, at least not in the sudden extreme charley horse sense. Internet searches give info that "muscle cramps" can be caused by hypo or hyper thyroid, and low potassium.

    Aspirin, relieves the immediate knee pain the muscle contraction is causing, but it also seems to make it worse as the days go by. (have experimented and this seems comfirmed)

    I guess I'm looking for nutritional/hormonal deficiencies or excesses, as this is something I haven't suffered for at least a year, but here it is back again these past few weeks.

    thanks for any ideas,
    sollyb

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    Veteran Member Aaltrude's Avatar
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    Default Re: tight contracted leg muscles, what causes it?

    The muscle cramps I was getting in my toes disappeared when I found a magnesium supplement I could tolerate. I found the dosage I needed by dowsing, which was higher than that stated on the container, and it took a while before I noticed the effect presumably because it took time for my body to correct a deficiency.
    I am using Magnesium Malate which I get here: http://iherb.com/p/1444?rcode=wij464

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    Default Re: tight contracted leg muscles, what causes it?

    Solly b, have you been to a chiropractor? Last year I had terrible pains in my legs and my knees were so bad I was walking up the stairs and even up street curbs like a toddler, one step up at a time, as it hurt to much to bend that knee. Several visits to a chiropractor had my leg feeling brand new! (And I had let the pain go on for a very long time before making a chiro appointment.) It was my first chiropractic experience, and I was thrilled. Today was my first visit since before Christmas, as my knee had started hurting again going upstairs, plus I had the beginnings of soreness in an area of my calf. Again, I'm much better, and the chiro doesn't even think I'll need another appointment. Neither do I.

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    Moderator Reesacat's Avatar
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    Default Re: tight contracted leg muscles, what causes it?

    Sollyb, my first thoughts were making sure you had enough potassium, magnesium, and also chiropractic evaluation.
    Also, right before this started did you have any changes in:
    Diet
    Supplements
    Medications
    Shoes
    Problems with feet such as bunions or heel spurs that would change the way you walk
    Exercise/Activity
    Any falls/accidents/traumas (they can knock back out of alignment and put stress on knees and legs)

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    Veteran Member sollyb's Avatar
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    Default Re: tight contracted leg muscles, what causes it?

    Reesacat:
    I had started taking a daily aspirin. I forget what else I may have changed. I really haven't made any changes significant enought to stand out, but I will check my journal again. I've checked it before and not found anything notable except the aspirin.

    Pattypans:
    I used to have this long term, and I have had physical therapy, massage work, myofascial work. I don't have heel spurs now (plantar fasciitis) though I had it years ago. I DID injure my left knee recently........it snapped back (as if the knee were trying to bend backwards, and something gave way). Them after approx 10 days of it feeling fine once it healed, I did the same thing again, and that took longer to get back to feeling ok.

    This may have started with that injury, but both knees hurt now, and both legs have the contracted muscles. Haven't seen a chiro. Wouldn't know how to find or choose one, so probably will not pursue it right now, but if something doesn't start helping soon, I may look into it. How does one go about finding a good chiro?

    I took an opiate pain reliever and cyclobenzaprine, which has taken the edge off the pain, but to my surprise the muscle tightness has remained unchanged.........I had to dig out the hiking poles that I use instead of canes (the poles have wrist straps that take the strain off my hands). It has been so long since I needed help to walk that I didn't even remember where the darn poles were. My knees have been so good this past year that this is a shock. Not only had they been good for a year, but I hadn't needed my "canes" for a very long time before that.

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    Default Re: tight contracted leg muscles, what causes it?

    Solly, re: How does one go about finding a good chiro?

    What I did was ask friends. The father of one of my students likes to surf, and he told me many of his surfer friends use a certain chiropractor and seem very happy with him. He is very near to where I live, which was a huge plus. So I tried him, and am very happy with the results. He understands all about how this muscle affects that one, etc., etc. Many times something seemingly unrelated can be causing a pain in another spot. As I said, I went yesterday and he didn't do any adjustments at all, just muscle work. I've heard people talk about physical therapy and the level of results they've gottne from that and similar things, but I've never heard anyone talk about results like the ones I've felt with a chiropractor. As you can tell, I'm sold on chiropractic. Of course, it can't help with everything that's wrong with somebody, but it can help with a lot more than we normally think.

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    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: tight contracted leg muscles, what causes it?

    Different chiropractors have different "styles" or methods. Sometimes it takes a bit of trial & error before you find one that suits you or seems to be a good match for your needs.
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

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    Default Re: tight contracted leg muscles, what causes it?

    Quite true, Islander. I'm grateful my first try was a good fit. He was telling me yesterday about how there are different styles among chiropractors.

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    Veteran Member Julieanne's Avatar
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    Default Re: tight contracted leg muscles, what causes it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Islander View Post
    Different chiropractors have different "styles" or methods. .
    The first chiro I saw was the best - as well as manipulation, he gave me a series of exercises I could do myself. He and I saw a vast improvement quite quickly.

    The second one I saw seemed to think I should go three times a week, and never made any helpful suggestions.

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    Veteran Member highlander's Avatar
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    Default Re: tight contracted leg muscles, what causes it?

    My left bicep has been trembling off and on for the last couple of months. I can't figure that one out either. It's really annoying.

    Re: contracted muscles...I tried the HCG diet a couple of times last year and my jaws were contracted the entire time. I would walk around rubbing my jaws. It felt like I was clenching my teeth as hard as possible 24/7 (which I wasn't). I lost weight for a week or so each time but I was miserable.

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    Moderator Reesacat's Avatar
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    Default Re: tight contracted leg muscles, what causes it?

    @highlander: are you getting enough magnesium? Been craving chocolate (sign you need magnesium)?

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    Veteran Member highlander's Avatar
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    Default Re: tight contracted leg muscles, what causes it?

    Reesacat, I went through a container of magnesium citrate then found out the absorption is not good with citrate. (I credit someone on HH but I'm not sure who. I think it was Maurya.) I recently bought magnesium malate (Source Naturals) and have taken some but not as regularly as I should.
    Maybe I haven't been getting enough. I probably crave salt most, fat second (which is why I have a hard time resisting potato chips). I usually don't crave chocolate unless it's in front of me. I'm thinking the salt cravings are related to adrenals. Too bad chips stick to my butt.
    Last edited by highlander; 05-12-12 at 04:46 PM.

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    Veteran Member Maurya's Avatar
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    Default Re: tight contracted leg muscles, what causes it?

    I have read or heard that 1 to 1.2 grams of Mg per day is recommended for most women, and about 2 g per day for most men. And that would be if a really good source of Mg supplement is being consumed. Mostly, these muscle cramps seem to take place later on in the day or at night, just exactly the times of day that intake of Mg is recommended.

    In addition to Mg, other electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and phosphorus can be useful. For myself, it does seem to require a lot of these supplemental minerals to do the trick.

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    Veteran Member sollyb's Avatar
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    Default Re: tight contracted leg muscles, what causes it?

    Pattypans:
    I don't actually know anyone who uses a chiropractor.

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    Veteran Member sollyb's Avatar
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    Default Re: tight contracted leg muscles, what causes it?

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    My left bicep has been trembling off and on for the last couple of months. I can't figure that one out either. It's really annoying.

    Re: contracted muscles...I tried the HCG diet a couple of times last year and my jaws were contracted the entire time. I would walk around rubbing my jaws. It felt like I was clenching my teeth as hard as possible 24/7 (which I wasn't). I lost weight for a week or so each time but I was miserable.
    Interesting. I'm noticing I'm clenching and grinding my teeth again, so have had to start using my NTI appliance at night again. Even when not grinding, my jaw muscles feel contracted. I hadn't thought of it being connected to my contracted leg muscles........but I am also having some pain/discomfort again between my shoulder blades in the high upper back. I bet it IS all connected.........
    I'm glad you posted your experience, it has made me more aware.

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