Chronic fatigue and pelvic/hip/lumbar pain when walking (but not cycling)
by Nick B.
I'm at my wit's end and am just wondering if you'd be able to point me in the right direction! First up, a quick caveat - my joint pain is compounded with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) so if my message appears a bit garbled it's because my mind is a bit fuzzy!
I'm a previously fit and active male of 28, I've just had a comprehensive nutritional evaluation and all was optimal except for the Vitamin D mentioned below.
Ok, so I'm afraid I'm going to be a bit vague because I have real trouble trying to describe the problem - I've been to see numerous GPs and a physio but am still no closer to solving the problem.
I used to walk to work and back every day for about 18 months - it was 3 miles each way. One day, 3 years ago, as I was walking it felt like my hip almost dislocated - I'm sure it can't have but it was quite a shock and painful. Looking back I was very naive and think I had been walking with inadequate shoes / carrying a very inadequate bag/load. Since then I've had trouble with my pelvis/hip/lumbar. In fact, a few days after I went to A&E as the pain in my back was so bad, but they found nothing. Nowadays I tend to avoid walking whenever possible as a distance > 0.5 miles tends to aggravate the situation. It does not get better with walking, only worse.
The pain is hard to describe - it's almost like a tweaking but I can't pinpoint the location - it feels deep - like almost in the hip joint itself, although sometimes I can feel pain in the buttocks or groin too - the physio thought it was some kind of buttock tendon problem (I think?) and massaged it but it didn't really help at all.
Very occasionally I'll also get the pain in the right hip, but it's much more prevalent in the left. There's no grinding or clicking as such and doesn't appear to be any limitation to the rotation of the joint (apart from the pain).
I sometimes find it hard to replicate the exact action that causes the pain, especially when explaining to someone - I just know that it will occur every single time I walk any distance.
Oddly I don't get any trouble when cycling.
I have been having a lot of problems just standing up straight - having to constantly shift position and feeling as though my lumbar is very weak. The trouble is the CFS (which developed about 1 year later) severely limits my activity levels. My GP thinks the pain is due to inactivity (I spend a lot of the day in bed), and perhaps some of the core muscles are weaker but personally I don't feel it is all down to that, especially the tweaking pain.
I notice that I do tend to stumble to the left (the hip with the most problem) - I think the balance problems are due to CFS but I just thought
it might be significant that I stumble in the same direction each time?
Another complication is that I have recently had a Vitamin D test which showed I had a deficiency (12ng) - I have started to take supplements and think the lumbar pain is subsiding slightly but the pelvic/hip discomfort is still present. Additionally, I don't know how important it is but I gave up dairy products about 6-9 months before the problem started so wondered if that had also reduced calcium levels?
It was Kerri's site that brought me here in the first place! I've been treating the Vit D with about 10,000 i.u's per day for the last month and am being re-tested next week to see if my levels have improved.
I've also been taking magnesium to try and counter the Vit D's uptake.
I'm pretty sure the onset of the CFS was unrelated to Vit D deficiency as I was working outdoors in Sub-Saharan Africa when it first hit, so no lack of sunshine there! Thus I think it's more likely a side-effect than the root cause (as I spend so much time indoors these days), but of course I want to get it sorted out pronto.
The hip problem actually started quite a while before the CFS so I'm not convinced it's related to that or Vit D, but I should withhold judgement to see what my levels are like after the retest.
I guess in a way I'm not really in a position to treat any tendonitis anyhow as I'm unable to do much physical activity at all. Perhaps I'll re-visit it once I eventually manage to shift this CFS!
I appreciate that it will be hard to address the problem when I am so limited physically but I just want to know if there's anything I can do? I don't even know who to go to - my GPs just write it off as another symptom of CFS but I'm convinced it's not (it started before the CFS!). I'm not sure my physio has a clue what it is - is there someone that specializes in pelvic/walking problems? I don't even know what those specialists might be called or if they even exist!
Well, I'd be very appreciative of any advice you could give me - even just the title of the type of specialist I should see!
Many thanks in advance,
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Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
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