Pain/Ache in feet/ankles/legs

Hello all,
I have a question that I hope someone can shed light on. I have been having pains/aches in my feet and ankles. It is worse at night, as soon as I lie down, they just ache and I can't get them to stop, I feel like I have to constantly move them around. It drives me nuts. Pain medications don't relieve it very well either.

I had to go to my cardio doctor for clearance for surgery in January and he casually mentioned that it seems as if I have poor circulation and he wanted my doctor to look when she performs the surgery.

I went online and read that my symptoms can be a sign of PAD. So, I immediately thought of all you wonderful women and thought I would post a message and see what you all think. My doctor didn't seem concerned but honestly, I didn't even tell him about my ankles/feet at the time. I hadn't thought about it being related to poor circulation.

Any thoughts or ideas or suggestions would be wonderful, thank you!

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18 replies. Join the discussion

Are you by any chance on Norvasc? My doctor had me take it at night because it can cause swelling in the feet. After several months on Norvasc, even taking it a night, my feet and ankles became painful and swollen.
He has since cut the dosage in half and within three weeks, there has been a significant difference in the swelling and pain.

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No, I am not on Norvasc. I take Verapamil, Plavix, Lipitor....
I am glad that you have gotten relief on the dosage being cut in half and thank you for responding. I will check into it. I just started having these symptoms and I have been on the Verapamil since April.
Thank you!

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Please insist on having the tests for PAD.
They include ankle brachial pulse, which is subjective.
Pulse volume recordings (ultra sound with blood pressure cuffs) are much more accurate.

I suffered for 2 years before I insisted it be taken seriously. GP, Cardiologist and Podiatrist brushed me off. Not one of them used a simple hand held doppler to test my pulses.
I have had 2 stents placed in my legs and it has made the world of difference. Good luck to you.

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I remembered seeing a similar post not so long ago, here's the link and there are quite a few replies.
Personally the first thing that always springs to my mind is Statins, purely because so many people suffer the same pains when taking them. I hope you find the answer.
Lidia xx

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I agree--statins! Lipitor especially. I tried at least five of them and they all gave me the same symptom, achey ankles and legs.

I would notice it first thing in the morning, especially around my ankles, when I tried to walk to the bathroom/kitchen. It would get better throughout the day. I had the leg cuffs test, etc. All normal. I'm not getting leg pains on Crestor. (Although, I have to say, I did the stop statin experiment for over two weeks and it did NOT stop the pain/cramping in my toes.) So I'm going to start taking my Crestor again.

You might want to ask to change statins, or have your dosage reduced, depending on your numbers, and see if there is any change. Sometimes I think it's a toss-up between side effects and whether you want to go on living.

May the Blessings Be!


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to Jamaicanmenuts (love that name btw - made me smile when I read it) - thank you for responding and recommending those tests. I am writing them down to ask my doctor. When I was in there, I forgot to mention my fee and ankles. He was asking me about the pelvic pain I was having and he listened to the pulse points (i guess) in my groin area and said he had some concern about circulation. I am glad that you finally have relief and good for you to keep asking the doctors. I just don't know why they brush women off so much. Drives me nuts!

Thank you for the link and also for the info on the Statins. Now see, I didn't think of that. That is why I love this site so much. You are all so informed and I can post a question and get great answers. Thank you!

Thank you also! My husband was on Lipitor and he had terrible joint pain, mostly in his hips though so I didn't connect that. He is on Crestor now and much better. I will check into it everyone! I think I will ask for the test and then if they are normal, ask for the change in Statins. I am getting blood work done for an upcoming hysterectomy so I will check my cholesterol then.

Thank you everyone. You are all the best!

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Dear IV,

Yes--get the tests first. Would like you to keep us informed of the results.

And good luck with the rest of it!

May the Blessings Be!


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If you are on a statin or zetia, that is probably what is causing this. Are you taking a statin? If so, then you may want to research "leg pain and statins."

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Hi Colleen,

Great idea to have your legs checked for PAD at the same appointment. Just takes a few minutes.

Some hospitals or malls offer free PAD screenings...or walk-ins you sign up for. For $20 at a local hospital I got PAD check, bp check and several other things I can't remember. I've had random onsets of plantar fascitis since my teens but this was in my early 50s and there was now some minor knee and lower leg swelling and pain when I walked long enough to grocery shop or stand for long periods of time in the kitchen. My cardio said it wasn't enough to bother screening. But I was having a rough time and was very relieved to get it quickly and easily tested somewhere else. Both legs and arms have different bps but not enough to be of concern.

However......the pain takes a long time to recede even once I'm off my feet. Steamy towels (microwaved wet) wrapped around feet and legs then plastic wrapped around that feels delicious and helps so much with circulation. Cold weather makes it much worse.

Good luck with this,

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Do you still have this problem? thank you for the suggestion of the towels. Last night I just about couldn't stand it, it was bothering me so bad! I am going to set up an appt for next week with the cardio doc. Just too much to do before Christmas. I will deal with it until then. But I will also do the towels, a wonderful idea. I hope that you are not still suffering with this???

and ellen128, yes I take Lipitor and I will check into that too. From what I read on alot of the postings, Lipitor causes leg aches and hip aches, mine is all in my ankle, but that doesn't mean it isn't the Lipitor, just think I should get the test for PAD too.

Thank you everyone. I will let you all know, as usual, you are the best!!

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Based on your comments, 'It is worse at night, as soon as I lie down, they just ache and I can't get them to stop, I feel like I have to constantly move them around', you may want to look at RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome).

It is possible you may also have poor circulation, too. However, I know my feet and ankles ache, thighs get tired/heavy when walking, etc. , but have found by taking a Midol or Pamprin that any excess fluid is relieved and that helps with the discomfort. PAD was ruled out when I had the test. I have found that it seems to occur when I am retaining fluid after eating soup, or pretzels, etc.

You may want to talk to your doctor abou trying a mild diuretic (or the Pampin or Midol) and see if that helps. If you then still feel like you have to move your legs at night, inquire about RLS.

Best to you,


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Thank you so much for responding. I have had on and off Restless Leg Syndrome, so I know what you are talking about and this feels similar but it is just my ankles and feet this time. But having said that...I will check out all options and keep that in mind if nothing else explains it. My cardio doctor said for me to go off the Lipitor for 7-10 days, see if it goes away, start the Lipitor again and then call them. Depending on what that shows, they will then have me come in and test for the PAD, if needed. If all that is negative, I will check into the RLS. I am already on a diuretic and I also take extra Potassium.
I love this forum, so much good advice and thank you for sharing. I will update this as soon as I know something.
Right now, sitting here typing, they are hurting pretty bad :(
Hugs to everyone,

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I had to be off of statins for way longer than 7-10 days and take a very strong muscle relaxant plus pain med to get rid of this side effect from statins. i thought i had restless leg syndrome, too, for a while - but now even if I take a statin for one day, I suffer for a week. Amazing!

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PAD was my first thought when I read your post. I would go to the doctor and have him test. It's really simple - just take an arm BP reading and then a doppler ankle reading. They should be the same. If they're not, then there could be a problem.

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Ellen128, wow, they affect you badly. So what do you do? Do you just not take them and work on the diet to bring your cholesterol down?
Alaska Girl, Thank you. I plan on doing that after the holidays unless it clears up while off the Lipitor. It has only been 2 days w/o Lipitor so too soon to know whether it is the statin or not!
Hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas! I for one, am glad to wake up alive and be here!
Love and hugs,

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I take vitamin supplements - now have been taking Policosanol in addition to lecithin and flaxseed oil (omega 3 and 6) and just pray a lot for a new med to come out. i do not want to live in such horrible pain from the statins/zetia or welchol so i take my chances.

quality of life is important to me. thanks.

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7-10 days may not be enough - it took me a long long time to get better - over a month off of the statins...finally, it went away.

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Thank you Ellen128,
I will keep that in mind. I will be off of the statin through the holidays and if I still have the ankle problem, my doctor can easily check that and then we will also know that I need to be off the Lipitor if the PAD isn't the problem. I appreciate you letting me know!
My husband went on Crestor and he is much, much better!

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