Lower leg pain

With such large muscle groups working together to keep you moving and support your body weight, injuries in your lower leg are very common. They include the calf muscle (at the back), the shins (at the front), the Achilles tendon (which joins the calf to the heel).

Book an osteo appointment to talk about your lower leg pain

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Common lower leg injuries
Introduction

Your osteo will look for links between your injury and other things that might influence the injury. This might include testing your muscle strength, posture, or muscle balance.

Tell your osteo about your injury, about the activities you enjoy, and about your general health. They will listen, then work with you on a management plan to get you back on the pitch, on your bike, into the garden, or playing with your grandkids.

Patient resources

Sports Medicine Australia recommends the following general strategies to help recover from or prevent injuries in the lower leg.

Speak with your osteo about which strategies are right for you and to help you with a management plan specific to your injury/ pain:

  • Strength exercises, gradually increasing load
  • Stretch before physical activity
  • For sports or exercise, take the time to learn the proper technique for activities
  • Gradually increase intensity and duration of training
  • Allow yourself enough recovery time from exercise
  • Wear the right footwear for the activities you enjoy
  • Drink lots of water
  • Sometimes, strapping or taping might be used to help support your lower leg
  • Avoid activities that cause lots of pain

Sports Medicine Australia also has some sport-specific fact sheets that may help:

Calf strain

Achilles Tendon Injuries

What the evidence says

Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) may be a useful treatment for achilles tendinopathy, when compared to eccentric training (Korakakis et al 2017). ESWT may also help accelerate recovery for patients with medial tibial stress syndrome, when combined with a specific exercise program (Garcia et al 2017).

References:

Korakakis V et al. 2017. The effectiveness of extracorporeal shockwave therapy in common lower limb conditions: a systematic review including quantification of patient-rated pain reduction. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2018 Mar;52(6):387-407. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2016-097347

Garcia S et al. 2017. Shockwave treatment for medial tibial stress syndrome in military cadets: A single-blind randomized controlled trial. International Journal of Surgery Vol 46 Oct 2017, pp102-109.