Lower Limb Advice

stepping out with confidence
If you live an active life, your legs can take a bit of a battering. Having evolved from the line of the great apes that walk on all fours, being a biped has enormous advantages for energy efficiency (even if we’re not the fastest sprinters on the planet), being endurance hunters and leaving our hands free for all the tasks we demand of them. However, we can put them under enormous strain and if our biomechanics are slightly out or if we carry a niggle and compensate, injury and pain will occur.

Common injuries are ankle sprains, knee ligament or cartilage damage, thigh strains, hamstring tears, shin splints, tight calfs, achilles pain, this list goes on.

Knee Pain

ACL Sprain
An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear is a fairly common knee injury that can occur in sports that involve changing direction and turning e.g. skiing or football. The ACL lies deep within the knee joint, connecting the thigh bone (femur) with the shin bone (tibia). The function of the ACL is to limit forward movement of the shin in relation to the thigh and also to prevent over rotation at the knee joint. The ACL plays a key part in maintaining knee joint stability. An ACL injury can occur in several different ways, most notably by landing from a jump onto a bent knee then twisting, or landing on a knee that is over-extended. In sports such as football or rugby, direct contact to the knee from opponents can cause an ACL injury. Because of the amount of force that is required to damage the ACL it is not uncommon for other structures within the knee such as the meniscus or other ligaments to also be damaged.
MCL Sprain
The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is the knee ligament located on the inner side of the knee joint. It connects the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia). A knee ligament injury is referred to as a sprain, and this knee injury can occur if the knee is twisted or exposed to direct impact. In collision sports such as football or rugby the ligament can be damaged when an opponent applies a force to the outside of the leg, usually just above the knee, and causes the knee to bend inwards. Alternatively the ligament can be damaged if a player’s studs get caught in the ground and the player tries to turn to the side, away from the planted leg. The medial collateral ligament is often damaged at the same time as the anterior collateral ligament due to the similar mechanism of injury.
Runners Knee
Runner’s Knee is the common term for Ilio Tibial Band Friction Syndrome (ITBFS). Runner’s knee is a painful overuse knee injury that affects the outer part of the knee. It is common in sports such as running and cycling. Due to the repeated bending and straightening of the knee the ITB can ‘impinge’ or rub on the knee, with the friction leading to inflammation. If the ITB is tight, then the friction is increased and a tight ITB can predispose people to Runner’s Knee. Typically there is pain located on the outside of the knee joint. This pain may radiate up the thigh or down the outer side of the shin and is made worse by running or cycling activities. Often the pain from runner’s knee is only present during Ankle & Foor Painbest approach to take with your treatment. Each client will receive a personalised treatment programme which will likely be made up of a combination of soft tissue therapy, joint mobilisation, electrotherapy, acupuncture and exercise therapy.
If you need help with any knee related injury or pain, please call Huntingdon: 01487 773 088

​​Ankle and Foot Pain

Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is a common injury that causes pain in the heel and bottom of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia, a fibrous sheath that runs underneath the foot. During walking and running as you push off with your toes the plantar fascia becomes taut and helps the foot act as a lever to push up from the ground. Plantar fasciitis usually develops as a result of overuse. Pain is common over the inside of the heel and usually radiates down the inside of the sole of the foot. The pain usually occurs with weight bearing activities such as walking and is also typically present in the morning when taking the first few steps out of bed.
Achilles Tendon Injury
Achilles tendon pain is a common complaint among sports people such as runners who repeatedly load the tendon during activity. Broadly speaking the tendon can be painful due to ‘tendinitis’ (meaning inflammation) or tendinosis (degenerative changes). It is a frequent cause of calf and heel pain. Tendinitis is characterised by the signs of inflammation which include redness, heat, swelling and pain. Achilles tendinosis is usually characterised by degeneration of the achilles tendon (situated above the heel to form the lower part of the calf muscles). Achilles tendinosis is a breakdown in the tendon, with structural changes occurring within the tendon without an inflammatory response. This degeneration means that the tendon does not possess its normal strength and may be liable to further injury with continued sporting activity.
Ankle Sprain
A sprained ankle is one of the most common injuries caused by participation in sports. It refers to soft tissue damage around the ankle, usually caused by twisting the ankle inwards or outwards. Because of the position of the bones around the ankle the more common injury is to twist the ankle inward. This injury causes damage to the ligaments on the outside of the ankle. In the case of an outwards injury the damage occurs on the inner side of the ankle. The ligament on the inside of the ankle is called the deltoid ligament and is very strong. It is so strong in fact that the bone on the inside of the ankle can be pulled off (avulsion fracture) before the ligament is damaged. The damage caused by spraining the ankle can cause bleeding within the tissue, leading to swelling and pain.

​What we can do to help…

Treatment for the above conditions will vary depending on your specific requirements. Initially the physiotherapist will conduct a thorough investigation of your particular problem and work out the best treatment strategy. As the sessions continue, this may evolve and change somewhat. Each treatment programme will be a combination of soft tissue therapy, joint mobilisation, electrotherapy, acupuncture and exercise therapy depending on what is required.

To discuss any of these conditions with a physiotherapist please call:
Huntingdon: 01487 773 088

Start your journey back to full health today...

Contact us at the Abbots Ripton Clinic, Huntingdon
Tel: 01487 773 088 Email: info@physio.uk.net