Millions of people have realized the importance of exercise and sports in staying healthy and fit. Jogging, running, walking, treadmill and aerobic exercises are the most popular exercise and fitness programs they use. Unfortunately, many of those who get into these exercise programs overdo the activities and end up developing overuse injury in their lower extremities.
Common Leg Injuries
Many patients, both fitness enthusiasts and athletes, suffer from these common leg injuries, which are usually the results of overuse and accidents:
- Foot and ankle sprains – Sprains and strains commonly occur in the joints and muscles in the foot or ankle. Sometimes, twisted ankle occurs involving tearing of the ligaments at the side or front of the ankle. Severe pain, swelling and bruising often accompany this injury.
- Shin splints – Many athletes, including runners, swimmers, basketball, and soccer players experience this injury. Runners usually suffer from shin splints when they dramatically increase their mileage from their normal level. Basketball and soccer players develop shin splints normally from the tremendous pounding their legs receive from the playing court or field. Increased muscle tension on the back and front part of the leg causes the periosteum that covers the bone to be pulled, resulting to irritation and constant inflammation to the affected area.
- Achilles tendon injury – Tearing in the Achilles tendon is usually from either acute injury or repetitive strain.
- Plantar fasciitis – This is a pain condition in the foot’s bottom or arch. It is typically caused by too much pressure put in the foot, lack of cushioning in the heel, tight calf muscles. over pronation or over supination and over training.
- Stress fracture – Tiny crack in the bone develops with excessive demands put on the body, which the bone and muscle cannot meet.
- Osteoarthritis – The degenerative damage from this disease causes episodes of pain.
Injuries to the muscles, joints, ligaments and nerves can directly cause pain to the leg. There are dozens of muscles that comprise the leg and foot. They get strained especially after strenuous physical activities. In some instances, minor stiffness can result, while in more serious muscle strain conditions, severe pain can be felt by the individual. Resisted activity or stretching can trigger the pain.
Pain in the leg can also be referred pain from a pinched nerve in the lower back. This pinched nerve can be caused by disc damage, osteoarthritis or an injury. The referred pain can also be severe.
Some injuries like sprains and strains may respond well to standard conservative treatments. Some problems associated with poor feet biomechanics like in plantar fasciitis, may need orthotics in helping correct the issue. Severe tearing as in cases of Achilles tendon injury may require surgery. Still, other leg conditions can be managed well by treatment and exercise.
Chiropractic Care for Leg Injuries
Chiropractic treatment focuses on identifying the source of the pain and the factors that trigger the problem, correcting those issues through various appropriate means and preventing their recurrence.
Diagnosis and subsequent treatment will target the underlying cause of the problem.
During the chiropractic treatment, the initial step to help relieve pain and facilitate healing is to reduce the inflammation associated with the condition. Next is to correctly realign the bones in the foot and ankle, as necessary, like in a sprained ankle condition. This enables the body to properly heal and reduce the risk of the injury repeating. In many cases where sprained ankle is treated by conventional or other non-chiropractic methods, injury reoccurs in the same ankle because the damage did not heal correctly rendering the joints and ligaments in the foot or ankle still vulnerable. Aside from realignment, a combination of various other treatments such as manipulation and mobilization techniques, massage, stretching exercises and soft tissue treatments can be utilized to reduce tissue irritation.
Chiropractic care for patients with shin splints includes micro-electrical therapy, cryotherapy, massage, and a mild strengthening program to improve the tibialis posterior muscle. Patients with injured legs can be made to return to their regular exercise programs by correcting their biomechanical issues and no-nonsense chiropractic care that will clear any subluxations in the ankle, foot, knee or pelvis.
Having leg injuries and leg pain is one of the problems that can cause the greatest restriction to your carrying on with normal life, depriving you of the enjoyment you deserve. If you suffer from any leg injuries, chiropractic care will be available to help you get moving again soon.