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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 35532
Experience:  20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
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My mum woke up today with some pain in her upper inner left

Customer Question

My mum woke up today with some pain in her upper inner left thigh. She thought she might have slept in a akward position and was just a pulled muscle that would go away. As the day progressed it got worse, and both her upper inner thighs are severely painful. She can hardly walk, can't lift her feet to take steps, has to hold on to someone or the wall to support, and slide one foot at a time - very small steps to be able to move. She has taken 2 paracetamols and put on some 'muscle rub' cream, and I have helped her into bed, but whenever she moves she is an alot of pain. And when even trying to move position in bed, she can't without it be extremely painful. She had to just lye on her back, as the position I helped her into bed in. It's all the inner part of her upper thighs that hurt. And one side hurt a bit this morning but she was able to walk around, pick up a baby, go up and downstairs absoloutely fine, no problem. It's just this evening that it turned very bad and painful, with both legs - what is this? What can she do? Is it muscle pain? The doctors are closed now till monday, what can she do till then? If she can't go up and downstairs how can she get to doctor? What painkillers are best to help her?
She doesn't take any medication.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 3 years ago.
Hi. There are a few possibilities here. If she has ever had any problem with her back before this could be a severely ruptured disk or disks in the lumbar spine and if that's the case, considering her symptoms, that really should be considered a medical emergency. That said, it could be a severe deficient in an electrolyte like potassium, magnesium, or it could be a severe vitamin D deficiency. Finally, it could be a sudden flare up of an autoimmune disorder like polymyalgia. I know this may sound alarmist but she really needs to get to the emergency room just as soon as possible for blood work and an MRI of her spine
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your reply.

has never had any problems with her back.

She did have a blood test a month or so ago, to just check everything - and all way fine expect her vitamin D levels. The doctor said she is deficient in vitamin D - they persrcibed her vitamin D tablets but she has not taken them as yet. The doctor never mentioned that it could result it anything like this though.

With this information, what should she now do? If it wouldn't be an emergency, and just be a result of the severe vitamin d deficiency.

Also in the past she has had some knee pain which the doctor said was mild arthritis, but she is on no medication for it and does not get pain in knees often or badly.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 3 years ago.
Jo she definitely needs to start the vitamin D as soon as possible then and hopefully in a day or two after that she'll feel much better. I'm going to assume that's the problem and for now it isn't an extreme emergency but her doctor needs to know about this as soon as possible. Topical capsaicin cream and oral ibuprofen may help for now with her symptoms
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Okay, thank you for your help.

So I don't need to treat this as an emergency?

Yes - I will get her to take the vitamin D, and help her with that cream and ibuprofen tablets.

As her doctor would not be avaliable to talk to till monday morning - would this be okay? Should I be worried?

If the vitamin D did cause this, would this pain go when getting her level of vitamin D normal?

Thank so much.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 3 years ago.
Well Jo since we can't be absolutely certain what the problem is I still think the ER is best since they could give her intravenous vitamin D if that's indicated. Yes, her taking the vitamin D tablets could help fairly soon. If she starts taking them now she may even be better by tomorrow. Let me know how it goes and please remember to rate my service to you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My mum has fallen to sleep, she took 2 paracetamols and put on some muscle warming cream which seemed to relieve a bit of pain. It is 1am in London.

I know there is no way to be absolutely certain - but if it wa something more serious to go to the ER such as the spine/back problem you mentioned earlier - would the pain not be more severe or constant? Rather than just with movement?

I'm asking because I thought if it would be something such a disk/s problem the pain would more severe, that should couldn't go to sleep with.

I am just considering whether to wake her up to take her to hospital or not. I feel it is more than likely the vitamin D defciency - and would that be serious to go to hospital? or could she wait and go to the doctor till monday?

Also I don't think she ever picked up the prescription for the vitamin D tablets, but I have my own Vitamin D tablets.

It is advised on the container to take 1 tablet a day, the quantity of each tablet is: 25ug.

Should she take 1 of these tablets, or more??

and lastly should I wake her up to take it now, or can it wait till morning - how urgent is it?

Many thanks.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 3 years ago.
Give her four of those tablets for now Jo and get the prescription tomorrow. Hopefully she can get back to sleep. If she's relatively comfortable in bed then she needs to stay there for now and see how she is in the morning.