From whence this sensation of a cold drop of water dripping on my leg?
August 14, 2014 8:32 AM   Subscribe

For multiple days I keep feeling like a cold drop of water has just dripped directly onto my leg, in the same spot each time. The first time, I was 100% sure that there was a leak in my ceiling. The next few times I still found myself looking up, somewhat confusedly. It has continued to happen multiple times a day. Is this just a quirky body thing, or a known symptom of something to take slightly seriously?

You are not my doctor, etc.

It suddenly struck me yesterday that it could theoretically be a blood clot or something odd like that I truly doubt it, but I have no idea if this is the seemingly-silly little thing it seems to be, or if it could be something to look into. And to reiterate, it does feel exactly like a single cold drop of water landing on my leg.

I am generally super-healthy, mid-30s, female, etc.

Many thanks.
posted by thegreatfleecircus to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I have nerve squishing issues in my neck that cause similar sensations in my arms and hands, it really feels like someone has just touched me with the corner of an ice cube, or occasionally something very hot. Idk what part of your spine would correlate to the part of your leg where you feel this sensation, but do you have any long term back-area aches and pains?
posted by elizardbits at 8:39 AM on August 14, 2014

Check a dermatome map to determine which nerve is affected and try to notice if you feel related sensations in that nerve's area.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:04 AM on August 14, 2014

ME TOO. Only developed over the last year or so. Only my right calf, once every couple of days, I'd say. I do, in fact, have a degenerative disk that affects that dermatome, for which I started daily physical therapy/yoga about 2 years ago.

I'm really happy to find that I'm not the only one.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:21 AM on August 14, 2014

Yup, all along the L5, which also explains (maybe) the odd pain I've felt on my hip skin occasionally. My disk problems were revealed when my right foot went numb--that's been helped by physical therapy, but I still have (and will likely always have) some numbness in my three middle toes, along the bottom of my foot, and my calf on that side. Eventually, I'll need surgery, but the doc thinks we can put that off for 20 years or so.

thegreatfleecircus, do you get that? Little patches of painful skin, with no visible redness or irritation, say, right about where your pants pockets are?
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:27 AM on August 14, 2014

Hmm. I have no particular back issues or back pain, but I did recently move to a new place, and carried many heavy boxes of books in the process. My back isn't hurting in the slightest, however.

The area corresponds to the L5, S1 dermatome (in the area of the 'com. peroneal, lateral sural cutaneous' area), but no pain or problems that I know of in that area. But I could certainly have tweaked my back and not have noticed.

This definitely gives me something to go on. Thanks for the info!
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 9:55 AM on August 14, 2014

MrMoonPie: I have been known to get patches of mysteriously sensitive skin, but can't remember off-hand if it has been located in my hip area. But I do get the drop-sensation in the same place as you, it seems: right calf, L5 area. Interesting. I guess I should get things checked out, in case I have the start of a spine problem of some kind.
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 9:58 AM on August 14, 2014

I had something similar once around the time I took sleeping tablets for about a week to overcome temporary insomnia. Any recent changes in medication?
posted by penguin pie at 12:43 PM on August 14, 2014

I'm on no medication at all, but thanks for the idea. I can at least rule-out that entire set of possibilities.
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 12:58 PM on August 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have this on my leg. No idea why, no disk issues or anything. Just a little spot of skin that misfired.
posted by fshgrl at 1:45 PM on August 14, 2014

Yep, I have the exact same thing and have had a discectomy at L5-S1. I experience it as a sensation of my dog's whisker brushing against my leg, but it's the same thing. I wouldn't worry about it--you probably do have some nerve impingement but bulging discs are actually poorly correlated with back pain. When they do MRIs on random sample of people, lots of people with bulging discs have no back pain, and lots of people with back pain don't have bulging discs. But if I were you, I would just go ahead and pay an extra lot of attention to strengthening my core to prevent any future disc issues.
posted by HotToddy at 5:10 PM on August 14, 2014

I had a spot on my ankle like this. Stayed for a few months and then went away. No idea what caused it, no other back issues or such.
posted by 101cats at 8:43 AM on August 15, 2014

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