Lower limb rehabilitation after sporting injuries
What is tendonitis?
Our tendons are the strong bands of connective tissue that attach our muscles to bone. When they become acutely inflamed and painful, usually from overuse, disease or infection, this is called tendonitis.
Common sites for tendonitis in the lower limb include the quadriceps tendon at the front of the knee and the Achilles tendon at the back of the ankle; however it can occur in any of the tendons that cross the ankle and foot.
Tendonitis is usually diagnosed through taking a thorough medical history, physical examination and sometimes through an ultrasound investigation. Treatment plans are often aimed at tissue-specific stretching and strengthening, and correction of biomechanical, environmental or pathological causes.
Heel and Arch Pain
Heel and arch pain are common complaints in the general population. Heel pain is often associated with inefficient loading of the foot during weight bearing activity such as walking or running. Often, it is diagnosed as Plantar Fasciitis although there are numerous causes to heel and arch pain including as localised nerve entrapments, proximal nerve entrapments, and intrinsic muscular strains within the foot, Achilles tendonitis, heel spurs and inflammatory arthritis. Treatment is targeted at symptomatic relief and counteracting the root cause of the pain.
Stress fractures are fractures that occur due to repetitive stress on the bone, which is not sufficient enough to actually cause an acute fracture. Over 80% of stress fractures occurring in the general population occur in the bones of the lower leg or the foot. Most stress fractures that occur within the foot can be attributed to fatigue of muscular activity. They present with pain and even mild swelling in the affected area and the pain is often relieved with rest.
Due to the prolonged mild nature of these types of fractures in comparison to acute fractures, conservative treatments are well tolerated by patient and sufficient to allowing fracture sites to heal in a timely manner. Treatments usually consist of offloading the site from ground pressure and reduction of physical activity to allow bone healing.