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Lower Leg Injuries
Achilles Tendonitis
The Achilles tendon is the large tendon found at the back side of the foot and ankle. This tendon attaches the calf muscles to the ankle and allows the ankle to be pointed in a downward position and propel us when we walk. This tendon injury is characterized by pain with walking and swelling and tenderness at the tendon. The tendon will typically feel worse with walking and running.
Anterior Shin Splints
Pain is on the outside of the lower leg and is associated with those runners who have a loud heel strike when running.
The leg has three bones that can fracture — the femur (the thighbone) and the tibia and fibula in the lower leg. The tibia (shinbone) is the larger of the two bones of the lower leg. Like femur fractures, tibia fractures often occur because of direct, high-impact trauma, especially during motor vehicle accidents. However, the tibia can also fracture from a low impact incident even in healthy people, if the lower leg is bent or twisted at just the right angle. Such injuries usually require immediate medical assistance by a qualified medical practitioner.
Posterior Tibialis Tendonitis
The posterior tibialis muscle is found at the inner aspect of the lower leg with the tendon extending down the leg and along the inner aspect of the foot. The function of this muscle and tendon is to support the arch of the foot. This tendon can become injured with running and also if the foot pronates or collapses too much. In this instance, the muscle and tendon become overworked resulting in swelling and irritation of the tendon. Often, this injury requires a biomechanical assessment by a medical professional to resolve aggravating factors and resolve the injury. Initial management can include ice and rest.
Shin Splints
Overuse musculotendinous injury that can be caused by abnormal biomechanics, poor conditioning, and improper training. Pain can manifest in two locations: anterior or posterior.
Posterior Shin Splints
Pain is on the inside of the lower leg toward the ankle. In both instances, weak muscles in the lower leg accompanied by improper footwear and running mechanics may exacerbate the symptoms and possibly lead to stress fractures. Consultation with a Physiotherapist is recommended to focus on pain reduction, lower extremity flexibility and strengthening, proper running mechanics, and proper footwear.
Stress Fractures
Stress fractures are tiny cracks in a bone and are most common in the weight-bearing bones of the lower leg and foot. Stress fractures are caused by the repetitive application of force, often by overuse, such as repeatedly jumping up and down or running long distances. Stress fractures can also arise from normal use of a bone that's been weakened by a condition such as osteoporosis. You should consult with your healthcare provider regarding management of the condition.
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