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Walking/Left foot contracts


I only have this issue when I walk on a treadmill. My left foot contracts or cramps up. It contorts in (toes curl under) and it is very uncomfortable. It is hard to described because it is not really painful...just contorts and makes it impossible to walk. It begins about 4-5 minutes in.
I have had vascular tests, seen a podiatrist who prescribed arch supports, have tried Bitter lemon with quinine, purchased new shoes, have had blood test, physical and all checks out well and none of the interventions have helped.
I really miss the treadmill and am determined to find the issue. I am now off one of my statins Rx for cholesterol for about a week. Also I have had hamstring tears and  ongoing discomfort/weakness for about four years which has always seemed odd.
I am obviously frustrated because my physician seems disinterested and told me to try the Schwepps Bitter Lemon with quinine and if that did not work to stop the Pravastatin.
I am perplexed and I realize the results as to whether the statin is the cause could take some time.
Any thoughts or experience with this.
I will be very unhappy if I am told to quit the treadmill.

Not being able to do your preferred exercise is very frustrating. I sincerely empathize.

I can give no medical advice. However, the muscle problems do sound like the the kinds of things people sometimes report after using statin drugs. You did not mention whether these problems began after you started the drug, but the implication is that is what happened.

I don't have any personal experience with this, nor do I know anyone who has. However, it is something I have followed for years. One thing you might try is 50-100 mg per day of CoQ10. Statin drugs deplete CoQ10 in the body, so supplementation is important. I don't know if the muscle problems are directly related to CoQ10 depletion, but some aspect of your health will be.

Without the statin, you will need to try alternate methods of controlling your cholesterol. Of course, a strong exercise program should help with this.

Sorry I can't be of more help.


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Scott Demaree


I can answer questions about training, physiology, nutrition, technique, equipment and injury prevention. My background is not medical, so I will not be able to answer detailed questions about injury treatment. However, during 30 years of endurance exercise I have had a few injuries so I feel qualified to talk about things that have worked for me and others.


I have been a long distance runner since 1978 and took up racewalking in 1982. More recently, I have worked as a certified personal trainer helping people with a wide range of exercise needs. Last year, I coached several people to successfully finish the Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk in Dallas (60 miles in three days).

American College of Sports Medicine, American Council on Exercise, National Science Teachers Association

Journal articles associated with my graduate work with me as the primary author were published in the Journal of Nutrition, Acta Physiologica Scandanavica. Additionally, I co-authored the chapter on exercise metabolism in ACSM's Resource Manual for Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 4th Edition. Finally. I co-authored a book for beginning marathon runners (Marathoning 101).

I have recent Master's degrees in Exercise Science from Wichita State University and Nutrition from Texas A&M University.

Awards and Honors
I won national championships in the 1986 100-Kilometer Racewalk and the 1989 24-Hour Run.

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