[Question #1773] Leg pain, Is it herpes?

42 months ago
I had unprotected sex on the night of December 31. 4 weeks later I began to have sore legs, groin and buttocks with shooting pain from my buttocks down my left leg and sometimes my right. My lymph nodes in my groin don't feel swollen. I have been having this leg, buttocks and groin pain for almost a month now, and it is worst when I sit. The reason I suspect this is herpes is because I did an online search of "leg pain and unprotected sex" and herpes came up. I have had no other symptoms that would indicate herpes. Just the leg, groin and buttocks pain. I went to my doctor 5 weeks after the unprotected sex and had a herpes blood test done. I don't have the results yet but usually no call back is a negative result where I live. If this isn't herpes what else could it be? I do a lot of sitting through out the day and recently after a 7 hour car ride I could barely walk without limping do to groin pain. this was 7 weeks post possible exposure.  Almost 8 weeks now and still no other symptoms.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
42 months ago
I doubt that this has anything whatsoever to do with a herpes infection.  You've had no lesions which one would expect with new infection, your symptoms started a month after the contact (the usual incubation time from infection to symptoms is 5.5 days with the range being 2-10 days).  Even if your herpes test is positive now, I seriously don't think you contracted it at this encounter.  The odds of contracting HSV 2 at a single unprotected encounter, even if she was infected, which I suspect you don't know, is incredibly small.  What you describe sounds far more like piriformis syndrome to me - it is characterized by pain with extended sitting and is caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve.  I would suggest that you run this by your doctor and see what he/she thinks.

Terri
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42 months ago
Thank you for the reply. I did some research and I think  piriformis syndrome is indeed what I have. I have been doing stretches and the shooting pain in my leg has gone away but the pain in my buttocks still comes and goes but is helped from stretching.  I posted this question on another forum and received an answer from a person who said that they had leg pain for 2 years before their initial outbreak. How common is something like this? Would herpes leg pain be something that would be relieved by stretching? The pain is usually non existent in the morning but increases throughout the day. Does herpes leg pain do this?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
42 months ago
I'm so glad the stretching is helpful.  That syndrome recurs and so don't be discouraged if you have to keep stretching and sometimes even have physical therapy.
To the person online who said they had leg pain for two years before their first recognized outbreak:
A blood test may well have told them they had herpes well before two year - the outbreak might have triggered the diagnosis but it might have been diagnosed much earlier. You,on the other hand, have done testing so we might be comparing apples to oranges here.  And also, we have no idea if this person's leg pain had anything to do with herpes or not- it could have been many things.  I would strongly encourage you to take these anecdotal reports on the internet with a grain of salt - very hard to sort out what is real, what is misunderstanding, what is being posted to scare people and has no relationship to the truth  (oh yes, that happens all the time).  We are here to provide you with good science based on years of experience and research so I hope you will these questions by us so we can help you sort through them accurately

Terri
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42 months ago
Thanks again for your reply. If this is indeed herpes related nerve pain in my legs/groin/buttocks, would it be absent in the morning and increase through out the day? Does stretching help herpes nerve pain? I took a muscle relaxant and it seemed to help. 
Thank you
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
42 months ago
I think if this was herpes related nerve pain, you would notice it all day equally.  Stretching does not help herpes nerve pain, no.  This simply does not sound like herpes nerve pain to me.

Terri
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