What could be causing morning leg soreness?
January 18, 2008 7:17 AM   Subscribe

What could be causing morning leg soreness?

For the last few months, perhaps last year and a half or so, I've been waking up with leg soreness, like I ran a couple miles before bed and didn't stretch. It usually disappears by the afternoon, but when its bad it may last longer. Sometimes its bad enough that I'm visibly walking a little funny. I'll bring this up next time I see a doctor but it happens infrequently enough that I keep forgeting.

Im in my 30s and have gained perhaps 10-15lbs in the last couple of years. I dont have restless leg syndrome. I'm not really doing any exercise other than walking around. Is this just a part of aging or is there another explanation?
posted by damn dirty ape to Health & Fitness (18 answers total)
If it feels crampy the first likely culprit is potassium deficiency. Try eating a banana and seeing if it goes away. Has your diet changed much?
posted by jessamyn at 7:30 AM on January 18, 2008

I get this sort of pain and have all of my life (i'm 24) For me it is due to my arches that can't support themselves (high arches, flat when I stand). Apparently when your walking turns into lummoxing and the whole your foot is smashing down against the ground with each step you take, that shock shoots up your leg and turns on the suck. Wearing an insert with arch support really seems to remedy this. Mine are custom made by my podiatrist, but you could probably pick up some Dr. Scholls inserts with arch support for less than $10.
posted by JRGould at 7:30 AM on January 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

This happens to me when I am dehydrated. Up your water intake during the day and see if that helps - it does for me.
posted by sutel at 7:34 AM on January 18, 2008

2nd dehydration. I notice this especially if I've consumed even a small amount of alcohol the night before. A glass or 2 of water and a multi-vitamin take care of it every time.
posted by jtfowl0 at 7:42 AM on January 18, 2008

Is your mattress old? Sagging matresses can have an effect on how horizonally level you are all night, obviously, and can cause leg and back cramps and other aggravations.
posted by Melismata at 7:50 AM on January 18, 2008

3rd dehydration. Maybe try a glass of water before bed - though not too much, unless you want bladder wackiness in the middle of the night. :)
posted by waxbanks at 7:51 AM on January 18, 2008

You need to be more specific about the location. Do you take any meds?

In the absence of any actual stressor or activity, morning soreness is more than likely some sort of by-product of your sleeping situation, i.e. mattress, or deconditioning to a point that mild activity outside the norm triggers it. Dehydration and electrolyte deficiencys aren't going to cause this on anything but the most unusual of times, and certainly not after 8 hours of rest.

Which isn't to say that a banana or more fluids would be a bad thing.

Beyond that, hard to say. Your physician could tell you more about whether your feet are part of the problem, i.e. pes planus, and run necessary testing to rule out a more serious issue.
posted by docpops at 7:57 AM on January 18, 2008

Coincidentally, Ive been eating lots of bananas lately. This happens on different mattresses. I'll try drinking more water in the evening and seeing if that helps.
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:59 AM on January 18, 2008

I'll make sure to talk to my doctor about my feet too. Nope, no meds.
posted by damn dirty ape at 8:04 AM on January 18, 2008

Yes, where is it? For instance, I get tight calves and Achilles tendon if I sleep on my stomach without my feet hanging off the end of my bed.
posted by OmieWise at 8:08 AM on January 18, 2008

Its the entire leg, with the occasional back pain or back stiffness.
posted by damn dirty ape at 8:14 AM on January 18, 2008

Knock off wheat gluten for a couple of weeks and see if that helps.
posted by zadcat at 8:18 AM on January 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

If you sleep on your back, put a pillow under your thighs; if you sleep on your side, put a pillow between your knees. I've gotten that leg-and-back pain too, and strategically placed pillows have helped a lot.
posted by macadamiaranch at 9:01 AM on January 18, 2008

I see from your previous questions you have had a series of 'colds' with fatigue as the only symptom, and random instances of anxiety after eating.

Leg pain is a common symptom of chronic strep, and that could explain the fatigue-only colds as well, particularly since you still have your tonsils. Celiac disease (the underlying issue of zadcat's answer) could explain the anxiety after eating, and is also associated with fatigue in many people.
And if I were you, I would also want to be evaluated for Lyme disease, which has inherited from fellow spirochete-induced syphilis (ulcers are usually due to yet another) the mantle of 'great imitator'-- but be careful with that, because it may make your physician view you as a hypochondriac or a hysteric.
posted by jamjam at 9:41 AM on January 18, 2008

Are you stiff and cramped? This started happening to me when I was about 30 and I took up yoga, which solved the problem. I just need to stretch regularly. If I ever go too long without yoga I can feel my body starting to contract again.
posted by jenfu at 9:43 AM on January 18, 2008

What posture are you sleeping in? If you're restricting circulation to your legs, that could explain it.
posted by Coventry at 9:43 AM on January 18, 2008

Oh, that? It's because you've been running through my mind all night.*

*Sorry, had to.
posted by whitewall at 10:13 AM on January 18, 2008

You said 'leg soreness' - can you be more specific? Does it involve pain, weakness, numbness, tingling, etc??
posted by sero_venientibus_ossa at 11:51 AM on January 18, 2008

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