Waking up is easy, but getting up hurts soooo bad.
July 29, 2010 5:36 AM   Subscribe

My legs murder me in the morning. Feet too, but that's been ongoing. What gives? More info inside.

Details that may matter:
--I'm a little overweight. Not especially significantly, but somewhat.
--I thought perhaps it was dehydration related, but upon increasing intake, it has not helped.
--We got a tempur-pedic style bed about...6 months ago, and it's been worse since then, but I'm also fatter since then.
--I have been battling tendonitis in one foot and a sprained ankle in the other.
--It's worse after soccer games, but it's every morning. I limp and groan into the bedroom.
--I am 30 years old. Not old enough to hurt like this, lol.
--A good brisk walk limbers me up. I probably need to walk around more while at work too---only challenging because of this dumb foot.

Anybody familiar w/ any conditions or anything I should be aware of? I am on no prescriptions, I take nothing except occasionally ibuprofen after a game.
posted by TomMelee to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You don't say specifically what the difficulty is or what the pain is like (joints/muscles? thighs/calves? sharp/achey/crampy?). If it's a sore muscle/cramp issue then you might want to increase the amount of magnesium in your diet (green leafies, almonds, black beans, tuna).
posted by headnsouth at 5:44 AM on July 29, 2010

I'm not a doctor or physical therapist...Have you tried using a foam roller? I find it really helps to loosen my legs up, though using it hurts (hurts so good though).
posted by ghharr at 5:55 AM on July 29, 2010

I had a problem like this - ridiculous pain in my lower legs and feet in the morning as soon as my feet touched the floor. Never went to the doctor but a friend told me it was tendonitis and that I needed to stretch my Achilles tendon regularly. I did this and amazingly enough it went away after a few weeks. (Of course, you already mentioned tendonitis, so maybe you're doing this already.)
posted by XMLicious at 5:57 AM on July 29, 2010

Response by poster: Oops! It's mostly soreness. Quads, not hamstrings so much. Knees. It kinda feels like I've been walking on asphalt wearing tap shoes all day.

And, after fighting this tendonitis in my foot for months, I just recently discovered that rolling a piece of shop-vac extension under my foot makes everything all better, for at least 8 hours or so.

When I was a kid I used to hyper-extend this knee a little bit often enough, it kind of feels like that. Mostly just sore, like I did a long hike carrying a backpack. It's so weird because it doesn't hurt when I go to bed.
posted by TomMelee at 6:00 AM on July 29, 2010

Best answer: The tendonitis is probably the culprit, but you may want to up your potassium as well. Being hydrated can't hurt either, keep up with the water.

Have you tried massage therapy for your feet? When I was dealing with the worst of my tendonitis, I told my massage therapist (I go once a month) and he concentrated on my feet. It really helped.
posted by lootie777 at 6:46 AM on July 29, 2010

Best answer: Check your chair and any restriction on your circulation above your knees.
posted by Brian B. at 6:50 AM on July 29, 2010

I'd check this out with your doctor. Probably not some sort of thrombophlebitis, but if it is, it's pretty easily fixable and if you don't it can kill you. You don't mention swelling, but if you are overweight it could conceivably mask that.

Not a doctor.

posted by sully75 at 6:56 AM on July 29, 2010

Response by poster: I suppose it is googlable, but what is the appropriate height for my desk chair, relative to my height? Do I want my feet firmly on the floor? I also got a new work desk around the time I got the mattress...and a new chair. I just raised it up, and it already feels a little better (I was actually just below my knees, I now realize), but my keyboard is pretty well in my lap now.
posted by TomMelee at 6:58 AM on July 29, 2010

A friend of mine was suffering a lot of leg and back pain and after many trips to the doctor she discovered that she has Celiac disease. Having since radically adjusted her diet, the pain has subsided.
posted by hermitosis at 7:02 AM on July 29, 2010

Best answer: what is the appropriate height for my desk chair

Ideally, feet flat on the floor, upper legs parallel to the floor (though I find this restricts circulation in the back of my legs, so I have mine a little lower), but whatever is most comfortable. Is your keyboard in a tray under your desk? You should raise it; there should be a few inches clearance between your upper thighs and the keyboard tray. You also might want a footrest.
posted by Koko at 7:16 AM on July 29, 2010

so I have mine a little lower

My chair, I mean.
posted by Koko at 7:17 AM on July 29, 2010

omigod! I have this too! I wake up with stiff legs and it feels like my feet have 1,000,000 pins which were soaked in pain serum brought by aliens from the planet Tormentia. It gradually gets better through the day with use, but I sit at a computer all day so it really only gets a little better. If I go for a long walk, the pain either disappears or at least does not register unless I focus on it. I can play sand volleyball without a problem, but as soon as I step onto a hard surface with my bare feet I am in agony again.

Interestingly, I also bought a tempur-pedic around the time it got worse, but the pain definitely predated the mattress so I would rule out causation. I went to my doctor and so far she has ruled out poor circulation or anything neurological. I was ordered to set up a third, more invasive battery of tests but have not followed up yet. If it really is as simple as stretching an achilles tendon I would be ecstatic.

So I guess I don't have an answer for you but I will be watching this question with great interest.
posted by JJtheJetPlane at 7:17 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I had horrible pains in my feet for months but after 2-3 weeks on a treadmill (C25K) it was gone. For me, I believe becoming a bit more active, which in turned helped me lose some weight, is the reason the pain went away.
posted by doorsfan at 7:21 AM on July 29, 2010

Plantar fasciitis is usually pretty bad in the morning, then improves once you start walking down. Could be responsible for your foot issues.
posted by backwards guitar at 9:55 AM on July 29, 2010

Start with Sleep Apnea and Restless Leg Syndrome. I'd get a sleep test if I were you. Overweight plus quad soreness as if you had been walking alot....pretty decent sign.
posted by spicynuts at 11:44 AM on July 29, 2010

Best answer: There are so many possibilities that could cause this its kind of hard to narrow them down. But its entirely possible that it could be one of these;
Plantar Fasciitis
Tight Achilles tendons
Nerve impingement due to back troubles (cervical subluxation, etc)
Tight Psoaz muscles, which almost everyone who sits for extended periods of time have to some degree can often lead to leg and lower back pain.

During my 10 foot tall and bullet proof era (perhaps the late 80's to the early 00's) I subjected my body to many insults and injuries, including shattering an ankle and breaking a tailbone. All was well and good until I moved back to the states a few years ago to a very car centric area, let myself get out of shape and get hit head on in an accident. All of this happened within a year. Since then, I have experienced your exact symptoms, plus quite a few others. Chiropractic has helped quite a bit, but honestly the best thing I've done is head back to the gym. I've only been going for the past month perhaps, but the core strengthening exercises I do (I focus a lot on my back, abdomen and obliques as I know that these areas have become rather weak on me) have pretty much eliminated the burning, pain and numbness in my quads, lower back and left foot. I have always tended toward stiff achilles tendons, so I do stretching exercises that are outlined here. This definitely isn't a "OMG you must lose weight" soapbox moment, as frankly I think the beliefs held by many here in the states concerning BMI are pretty much rubbish. Rather, I think that as long as you're exercising and eating sensibly everything else pretty much falls into place. Good luck!
posted by chosemerveilleux at 12:15 PM on July 29, 2010

Response by poster: So, I raised my chair significantly yesterday like I said, and will spend some of today researching other ideas here. But, the big news is that this AM when I woke up, my legs didn't hurt AT ALL.

Probably more happenstance than providence, but awesome just the same. Thanks folks.
posted by TomMelee at 5:10 AM on July 30, 2010

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