Why is my husband in severe pain after walking for 50 minutes? DR MARTIN SCURR answers your health questions
My otherwise healthy husband has intense pain in his groin after walking for about 50 minutes. It radiates down her right thigh, and although it subsides when she rests, it soon returns. He did checks to see if it’s due to a hernia, a spinal disc problem or even a tumor, but they didn’t find anything. What could be the problem?
Barbara Croxen, Menston, West Yorkshire.
This could be a condition called intermittent claudication: pain in a muscle or group of muscles, brought on by exercise and relieved by a few minutes of rest.
This can affect the buttocks, hips, or thighs, but is usually the calf muscles.
In most cases, it is due to narrowing of the arteries that supply the muscles in the affected area, causing pain when the muscle is deprived of blood and oxygen.
This could be a condition called intermittent claudication: pain in a muscle or group of muscles, brought on by exercise and relieved by a few minutes of rest
This can affect the buttocks, hips, or thighs, but is usually the calf muscles
The condition is quite common, affecting about 10% of adults over the age of 55. Smoking, raised cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure are all major risk factors.
Even if you say in your longer letter that your husband has had some tests done, he may need a more specific type of checkup that includes scans of the arteries in his legs to look for signs of narrowing.
This is something your GP can arrange and if, as expected, this shows a restriction of blood flow, it can be treated with blood-thinning medications (such as low-dose aspirin) to reduce the buildup of deposits of fat in the arteries (such as statins).
Some patients are also offered a type of bypass surgery in which a vascular surgeon redirects blood flow around the blocked area.
However, rest assured that this is only necessary in a minority of cases, and if started early, medication alone is often all that is needed to remedy the problem.
I have had intermittent twitching in my right eyelid and surrounding area for the past three months. While this isn’t painful, it’s quite irritating. What can I do?
Name and address provided.
Spasm in one eyelid (rather than both) is medically known as myokymia.
It’s a very common and harmless affliction and it happens to most of us at one time or another.
The twitch can range from a barely noticeable flicker to visible movement that is noticeable to others. It can be related to excessive tiredness, too much caffeine, and stress.
Spasm in one eyelid (rather than both) is medically known as myokymia
Some people, much less commonly, develop persistent eyelid twitching, that is, involuntary contractions several times a day called benign essential blepharospasm, caused by uncontrolled contractions of the eyelid muscle.
A neurological disorder, this starts on one side and then progresses to involve both eyes and can become more severe. However, it is very rare.
It seems unlikely that this is what is affecting you, but if your symptoms become more frequent and your other eyelid becomes involved then you should be referred to a neurologist.
Provided your symptom stays on one side and is intermittent, I predict it will resolve.
I suggest trying to get enough sleep and limiting your caffeine intake: try caffeine-free alternatives or limit yourself to a couple of cups of tea a day.