Mystery knee pain + tenderness everywhere. Lymphedema or what?
February 17, 2014 12:04 PM Subscribe
My knees began to hurt suddenly two months ago and aren't much better regardless of my attempts to fix them. Also, my knees and thighs are tender to the touch almost everywhere. Make it stop?
posted by ceiba to Health & Fitness (10 answers total)
It's both knees, better in the morning and worse as the day goes on. The pain is both achey and creaky, focused on the back and sides of the knees, and symptoms include some cracking noises and sometimes feeling like a knee is unstable and hyperextending. There's little pain if I don't move the knees. The pain is worst during the first few steps I take after having sat for awhile.
My thighs also have a mild burning pain in the backs or sides and they feel as if they're swollen, though they don't look swollen. Almost everything below my waist is tender to the touch, but especially the sides (inside and outside) of my thighs and knees.
I've had total-body tenderness most of my life and suspect my lymph system is unenthusiastic. If I lie down and lightly rub my knees and thighs in one-way strokes going toward my heart, the surface tenderness goes away for awhile. But it always comes back, and the knee pain is severely limiting my life, since it's painful to walk more than a few blocks.
The knee pain started when I got home after a lot of traveling. I had ocean-crossing flights, but I was in business class with a comfy flat bed and exercised my legs. When the knee pain started the day after I returned from my trip, I also had pain in the joints of my hands, and I attributed both to having eaten a lot of wheat during the trip, which seems to mess with my system.
What I've done since then: lymphatic massage (inexpert), alternating standing and sitting at my desk, trying to walk just enough but not too much, drinking a lot of water, bouncing gently on my mini-trampoline, doing careful and very restricted quadricep and hamstring exercises (made it worse), and avoiding all wheat and dairy. Ibuprofen helps.
Possibly relevant: 52 years old, tall, about 30 pounds overweight, formerly muscular and in good shape but working at a desk a lot in recent months, ovaries removed and not on hormone replacement, and taking thyroid meds and Valdoxa, which can mess with the liver, or so I'm told. History of endometriosis and costochondritis (inflammation of the cartilage in the rib cage). I travel a lot. Unhappy guts in recent years due to frequent food poisoning ("third world" location) and suspected sensitivity to gluten and maybe dairy.
Finally, my question: I have an appointment with an orthopedist but I suspect this isn't orthopedic. Does this sound like something related to lymph or circulation in general to you? If so, which type of doctor should I see? Is there anything else I can try at home in the meantime? Thanks!