Lower leg injuries

Lower leg injuries are common in the athletic population. The most common lower leg injuries include:

Calf strain/ Tear

A calf strain or tear is the injury to the calf muscle (back of the lower leg). The calf muscle group consists of two muscles (Gastrocnemius and Soleus) that joins together to form the Achilles tendon. Calf strain is usually caused by excessive force during sports activities which requires explosive contraction such as running and jumping.

A muscle strain is graded according to the amount of muscle damage occurred:

  • Grade I: A mild muscle pull or strain, may take a few days to heal
  • Grade II: A partial muscle tear, may take around 6 weeks to heal
  • Grade III: A complete muscle tear, may take up to three months to heal

In acute phase, physiotherapy is aimed at reducing pain and inflammation. At a later stage, individualized exercise program targeting muscle strength, flexibility and knee stability is warranted to restore normal function and to prevent reoccurrence.

In addition, at MoveFree Physio we provide gait and running analysis using a computerized system to identify biomechanical abnormalities in runners which helps to optimize the running techniques to prevent recurrent calf injury.

Shin Splint

Shin splints are characterized by pain in the front or side of the lower leg, predominantly near the shin bone. It is common in runners and other athletes who are required to run in their sporting activity.  The usual symptoms include tightness, tenderness of the edge of the shin bone, and throbbing of the shin during and after activity.

According to the area of pain, shin splint is divided into two types:

  • Anterior Shin Splints: The area of pain is on the front of the shin bone (Tibia) and involve the tibialis anterior muscle.
  • Posterior Shin Splint: The area of pain is on the inside rear part of the shin bone and involve the tibialis posterior muscle.

The most common cause of shin splints is overtraining associated with poor running biomechanics such as overpronation or oversupination of feet and poor hip-knee-leg muscle dynamic control. At MoveFree Physio, we provide gait and running analysis using a computerized system to identify biomechanical abnormalities in runners which helps to optimize the running techniques to treat and prevent shin splints.