Heavy Legs at first, now also cramping in legs and very stiff (somewhat) painful neck

by Eileen
(Hudson, FL)

A few months ago I had a severe sciatic episode. I am a massage therapist who, although I have worked for a few chiropractors, I had never let one treat me. I had all my LMT friends stick various parts of their body in my butt (it started on my right side), even the woman who was my teacher in massage school, but I think that it made it worse.

I finally called my insurance company to see if I was covered for chiropractic care and I was. I went to my chiropractor, first two times a week for about three weeks, then once a week, for two weeks. Now I only see him as needed.

When I first went to see him, I could hardly walk. What I don't understand is, once he started working on me,the pain in my butt kept moving all over. It went from my right side, to my left side, then around front to my hips, then back around again. And, ever since then, my lower back is JUST NOT RIGHT!

The last time I went to see him, about two weeks ago, I told him that I am having a lot of trouble with "really heavy legs". Not only when I work out, or run, but even going up stairs, or walking. The sciatic thing started after I had been running on my treadmill for a about two months. My Dr. told me that, the running may have triggered it, but whatever was going on, had been going on, maybe for years. I was a house painter for about twenty years. I gained A LOT of weight from medication (that my Dr. told me would NOT make me gain) and I need to get it off.

I need to work out to my Taebo dvd, and run. I have to lose about 30 or 40 lbs, and It will be impossible if I can't exercise. I have always exercised and lifted weights, especially when I started gaining weight and didn't know why. I was busting my butt and just kept getting bigger and bigger. I need to know what someone else thinks is wrong with my back and neck. Then, I can run it past my Dr. I do know that, the first time i saw my Dr. he did measure my legs. He told me that my right leg was shorter than my left. My right side was the painful side. After I was seeing him for a while, my legs matched.

Also, this past week My neck has been really bothering me and I am getting cramps in my legs. I drink plenty of water and started drinking more since the cramps started. I live in Florida, so I know all about staying hydrated.

Thanks Eileen

Hello Eileen,
What I've distilled out of your interesting story is that you are significantly overweight, and really haven't responded well to any treatment. You haven't mentioned medication, but reading between the lines, you've been on that too.

Secondly, that you have a short leg.

I have no magic formula, Eileen. There isn't one. One thing strikes me head on: you think that you can lose weight by exercising. That's a fallacy. Exercising is good, but it turns fat into muscle, and you have to do a HUGE amount of exercise to lose weight. Don't let me discourage you from exercising, but it won't take the pounds off.

The way to lose weight is to seriously cut out the carbs in your diet. The bread, the potatoes and rice, the pasta and pizza, less cake, cookies and cola. At Chiropractic-Help.com you'll find a weight loss program that works: less carbohydrate. Much less. It works. Avoid the shakes: an UNhealthy way to become healthier.

My second strong suggestion is to begin some lower back exercises EVERY morning, BEFORE getting out of bed. And every night before going to sleep. They take LESS THAN TWO MINUTES. At Chiropractic Help go to "lower back exercises". They're easy, I do them myself, they work.

And the third: if you have an anatomical short leg, get an insert to go in your shoe, if it's more than 7mm under your shoe. Type "leg length inequality" into the search function at C-H.

If all that fails, try a different chiropractor. We all have different techniques, and sometimes a colleague might have more success.

Good luck, let me know how you get on.

Dr B

Comments for Heavy Legs at first, now also cramping in legs and very stiff (somewhat) painful neck

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Nov 27, 2014
Agree with the Dr
by: Anonymous

Hi, I am not a medical practitioner, can speak from experience only and 100% agree with the practitioner.
I am a slim 57 years old female and never had much problem with my weight. The reason is that I very few times eat pasta or bakery products; one or two slice of dark rye bread per day only. Lots of good oil and some, natural fat, lots of veggies and moderation is the key. And homemade food! Very important to cut out all preservatives and additives.

And yes, fat does convert to muscle. It is common sense really, sometimes wondering how people complicate their diet so much when it's basic, just eat like our grandmothers did in old times.

Also, did you think of that the cramps are caused by the lack of magnesium and potassium? Have a bath with Epsom-salt in it to see if it improves. And don't feel offended, rather be open minded. Cheers.

Thanks Anon,
You said it better than I! And less offensively too.

Dr B

Mar 29, 2013
heavy legs
by: golferk

Think it is hormone problems.....probably need estrogen.
Estrogen dilates blood vessels. It helped my legs. Also helps keep weight stable. Good book to read is .....Listen to your Hormones.
Golfer k

Thanks K for your contribution.

Dr B

Oct 12, 2011

You are right, I am very over weight, but you said that I did not mention any medication. I did mention that the reason I GAINED the weight, was from MEDICATION. Also, I wrote that my leg was "shorter" BEFORE my chiropractor worked on me for a couple of weeks. Then, my legs did matched in length. Also, WHO told you that "fat turns to muscle"?? Fat DOES NOT turn into muscle. You also told me to do lower back exercises, BEFORE I GET OUT OF BED? How do you do that? I have been doing lower back exercises for at least 7 years. And yes, I have stopped killing myself exercising. But, even if I'm on a low carb diet, I still need to burn calories. I did go on the Atkins diet about 11 years ago,, when I only had a few pounds to lose and it worked great. Then I tried it again 2 years ago and I GAINED weight. So, I went to the "Diet Doctor". He gave me diet pills and I lost 19 lbs in a month. Then do you know what happened? I stopped losing. The reason I stopped losing, was that my metabolism SHUT DOWN. I am 5'6" and until a couple of years ago, I've always weighed between 120 lbs and 140 lbs and the 140 lbs was when I was pregnant. I was never over weight in my life. When I wrote to you asking for advice about my "heavy legs", I did not need you to tell me how to lose weight. I wanted your opinion, so I could relay it to my chiropractor. All you told me is that my heavy legs, neck pain and lower back pain was caused by my weight, AND that exercise would not help me lose weight? The two things that bother me most about your answer to my post are; you obviously did not read my post. You said that I didn't mention any medication,(which I did), then you told me some nonsense about getting a lift for my "short leg". Secondly, you never told me anything that I could bring with me to my chiropractor. I do like your website, but PLEASE do not go around telling people that "FAT TURNS INTO MUSCLE"! I have been a gym rat for years and that is just not true. I know you will probably not even post this, but I thought you should know these things. Also, if you care to re-read my first post and you have any advice for me, it will be more than welcome. Thanks, Eileen

Hello Eileen,
Sorry if I hit a nerve root, and you're right I did miss the bit about medication. So that was part of the cause.
But, you also say: "I have always exercised and lifted weights, especially when I started gaining weight and didn't know why. I was busting my butt and just kept getting bigger and bigger."
You have to do an awful lot of exercise to lose weight. You've tried, and it didn't work. Exercise is great, but it won't get the pounds off. You've told me that yourself. Nor did Adkins for any length of time.
Get consistently onto a low carb diet, do moderate exercise and it will gradually come off. See "lower back exercises" at C-H for how to do them on your bed, first thing in the morning.
Sorry, Eileen, but you're angry and in denial. Get it off or suffer.
Dr B (max3000)

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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He's doing well.

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6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your lower back is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her hip, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Hypermobility is more difficult that too stiff in my opinion. Chiropractic is for kids too.

8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88 year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done.  

10. Mr X is a 71 year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a year ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38 old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he couldn't sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.

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