Sports Medicine/Post-walking Tingle


Dear Dr. Arthur,

This is a bit of a trivial question, but it's bothered me for years and google has no definite cluster of answers for it.

After finishing my walk(s) around my neighborhood or anywhere at a moderate and relaxed pace, I get this odd tingling sensation in my calf muscles, thighs, and the muscles around my lower leg. It's not painful or discomforting and it feels like little bubbles popping sporadically and randomly. The feeling is actually pleasant, but not under my control and this always happens when I am at rest right after a walk.

I usually run medium-long distance, and I have never had this feeling post workout.

Can you identify what it is?

Thank you!

Hello Dennis!

My, that is an unusual occurrence to have what you describe as "little bubbles popping......" in your lower extremities at post-walking!  You didn't mention how long this has been happening, or if it just seem to start after you've been walking for a few months, or if this has been a recurring phenomena?  

If I were to speculate on this, more than likely it would remind me of a neurological condition of an exercise-induced excitation of the sensory nerves just under the skin. Because it is bilateral, I don't feel it is a medical emergency of any type.  From what I understand of this particular "feeling", is the sensory nerves are activated by the small arteries and veins proximal to the nerves, and the increased flow of blood will stimulate the nerves, thereby causing these sensations.  If there were cramps in the muscles, if it was one-sided, if there was pain, etc., I would certainly follow up with some studies to rule out blood clots.

If these sensations are a regular part of your walking program, and don't change, and don't cause any other feelings, I wouldn't worry about it.  I do have to applaud you for your walking exercise as it is much more healthier than running, ie: uses more calories at a moderate pace than running, is safer on the bones and joints of the lower body, and you probably wouldn't feel the sensations from running, as you do with walking. As such, running uses a totally different bio-mechanics than walking, and that is why you wouldn't necessarily feel the same sensations as you would when walking.

Keep up the good exercise routine, Dennis, and don't worry about the "bubbles"!  

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Dr. Patricia B. Arthur, DC, MRC, CST


As a 30-year practicing Chiropractic Physician, my specialty was Sports Medicine. For 8 years I had the distinct pleasure of working with the USOC, and traveled the world to care for the athletes in the Pre-Olympic venues for the Summer Games. When I wasn't traveling, I had a private practice, and a hospital practice, in Kamuela, Hawai'i. Questions I couldn't answer usually dealt with pharmeceuticals. This was not my expertise, but the simple questions pertaining to familiar drugs I was able to digress, or refer to someone that was knowledgable in that field. Most Sports Medicine field injuries were familiar to me, but I always aired on the side of caution. In my office practice, I would tend to see more patients with the weekend injuries who would try to self-treat, only making the injury worse than it should have been! Nevertheless, I never took anything for granted, and so it was my conservative approach to the "cause-and-effect" mechanisms that were vitally important to the healing process.


Following my competitive nature, I knew Sports Medicine would always be a part of my life. After graduation from Palmer University in Iowa, the old adage taught at the school dealt only with the spinal column......anything connected to the spine was outside our scope of practice. To me, this was too simplistic, because the complex body also had arms and legs! From this point, I developed specific technigues which would encorporate the body as a whole rather than haphazard segments. There is nothing traumatic that happens to a single ligament, tendon or joint that doesn't effect a secondary, or possibly a tertiary element in that area. In order for that space to heal, all the factors must be addressed. Volunteering my time teaching referrees, coaches, and interested parents about the realities of probable sports injuries was worth a thousand words!j

American Chiropractic Association; Local Emergency Response Committee; Hazardous Materials Response Team; Urban Search and Rescue Team - Operations and Planning; Federal Corps of Engineers Committee; Earthquake Advisory Board; Big Island Wildfire Committee

Papers published focusing on the importance of proper care of sports injuries; Authored medical columns for the syndicated magazine "The People's Doctor "; Published papers in professional journals on Head Injuries in Sports; Published papers on Drug Abuse in Sports.

Robert Packer Hospital - Certified Surgical Technician - CST; Palmer University - Doctor of Chiropractic - D.C.; Wright State University - Masters in Counseling/Psychology; Wright State University - Masters In Couseling of the Severely Disabled.

Awards and Honors
Selected US Olympic Physician -1988; Graduated Wright State University with a 3.75 GPA; Graduated Palmer University with a 3.5 GPA; Faculty Appointment - Palmer University Post Graduate Education; Faculty Appointment- Hawai'i/Kapiolani Community College - Skills Team Tester;

Past/Present Clients
Cincinnati Bengals Football Team pre-season training; Summer Olympic Athletes worldwide; Kona Ironman Triathletes - Finish - line physician

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