Lower leg

Calf muscle injuries
There are two main muscles in your lower leg that help with propelling your body forward during walking, running or climbing stairs. Symptoms of a calf strain link to a sudden increase in pain during an activity, pain when trying to resume an activity or pain on trying to raise up onto your toes. There can be swelling, bruising, stiffness and aching seen and felt.

Calf strains are normally caused during activity when you suddenly increase your speed, change direction or over period of time of intense training sessions. Normally seen in adulthood people have a high risk of a calf strain when sprinting, dancing and almost any sport that involve running. Hence calf strains are very common and if there not managed appropriately increases the risk of re-injury.

Early management is important to identify the injury, physiotherapists will be able to diagnosis the grade of strain (grade 1, 2 or 3) and provide you with an individualised rehabilitation programme while informing you on realistic time frames of healing and returning to your sports.

Shin splints (Medial tibial stress syndrome - MTSS

Shin splints is condition that normally effects runners, footballers and dancers. Common symptoms of shin splints include pain and tenderness along the inside of you shin bone, pain with running that reduces at rest, pain at the beginning of your run that can ease and in some cases swelling along shin bone.   

Common causes of shins splints relate to an increase in running frequency or speed, a decrease in rest between runs and increase of repetitive jumping activities. 

Generally it effects more females than males and you are at higher risk of developing shin splints if increase in training suddenly, train on hard surfaces and have reduced control of you pelvis and knee movements during activity. Pronation (linked to flat feet) is a normal finding for many people but if you have symptoms of shin splints it can be worth considering how this is contributing to your symptoms. 

With physiotherapy an assessment of your running gait will be able to identify areas to develop that commonly involves strengthening and stretching exercises in specific areas. Physiotherapists will be able to provide cue’s on adjusting running styles and discuss a graded return with an individualised training programme.