Leg Strain Causes and Treatment
Whether you’re a competitive runner or you’re just trying to stay fit, a leg strain can really put a dent in your routine. If you suffer from a leg strain, you need to understand how to treat it so you can get back to running as soon as possible. In this article, you’ll find information on common causes of leg strain, as well as tips on how to treat it and prevent it from reoccurring.
Symptoms of a calf strain
Symptoms of a calf strain can include swelling, bruising, and tenderness. These symptoms occur due to excessive stretching of the muscles that make up the calf. Depending on the severity of the strain, they may be noticeable within hours or may take a few days to appear.
Symptoms of a calf muscle strain may vary from person to person. For example, a person with a Grade 1 strain may have a minor limp and mild pain in the back of the lower leg. On the other hand, someone with a Grade 3 calf strain may experience bruising and swelling in the area. It is important to seek professional medical treatment if symptoms of a calf strain continue.
Grade 1 strains are mild and may only last a few days. They cause tightness in the calf muscle and soreness when touching it. A person with a Grade 2 strain will experience a lot more pain and soreness. They can last for a few weeks or even longer. A person with a Grade 3 strain will experience bruising and swelling, but may also have difficulty weight-bearing on the affected leg.
Depending on the severity of the injury, a person with a calf muscle strain may also experience hematomas. This complication can delay the recovery process, as the hematomas form inside the muscle and then are reabsorbed back into the muscle.
When a person with a calf strain experiences swelling and bruising, the first line of defense is ice and compression. Ice should be applied for at least 10 minutes every hour for the first few hours, but may be reduced as the swelling and pain diminish. Compression is usually applied by wrapping the injured area. It is important to remember that compression should not be applied directly to the skin, as this can cause further injury.
A professional therapist may use an Ultrasound to help diagnose a calf muscle strain. The ultrasound sends high-frequency sound waves into the tissues. This helps promote blood flow and may be helpful in reducing swelling and pain.
A physical therapist will want to know how long the injury has been going on and whether it is the first time the injury has happened. The therapist may also ask questions to identify the area where the pain is located. They will then perform a variety of physical exercises to assess the strength and range of motion of the injured leg. They will also check the integrity of the knee and ankle joints. If the injury is severe, the therapist will also palpate the affected muscle to assess for any signs of bruising.
Physiotherapy is one of the most effective treatments for calf strains. The therapist can use massage to promote normal tissue repair and help reduce muscle spasms. This type of therapy may also be used to stimulate blood flow and nerve stimulation.
Depending on the severity of the leg strain, a medical provider may prescribe an anti-inflammatory or analgesic medication to reduce the pain and swelling. Some NSAIDs may be purchased over the counter, while others require a prescription from your doctor.
In addition to anti-inflammatory medications, you may be advised to ice the injured area. Unlike heat, ice is an effective pain reliever. However, ice should not be applied directly to the skin. It should be wrapped in a towel or washcloth, with a protective cover between the skin and the ice.
You may also be advised to wear a brace or use a cast on the injured area. This will help to decrease the swelling and provide support. However, you should not return to your previous level of activity until the pain has gone away.
You may also be advised to rest the injured area. This can help to reduce swelling and improve the range of motion. As your pain decreases, you can start to introduce stretching exercises. During this time, you may also begin a rehabilitation program to strengthen and stabilize the injured muscle.
You may also be advised to take acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce pain. While NSAIDs can be effective in reducing pain, they also carry the risk of side effects. If you have a history of kidney disease or blood clots, you should not take NSAIDs. You should also avoid taking them if you are taking blood thinners.
A physician will perform a physical exam and ask you about the injury. He or she will also ask you to bend your knees. They will also look at the muscle to see if it is tender. If the muscle is completely torn, it may require surgery.
For mild muscle strains, you may be able to heal on your own. However, you should consult a healthcare professional before engaging in intense physical activity. This will help to avoid re-injury. The doctor will also determine if you need any restrictions or rest.
If your muscle strain is severe, your doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid injection. These shots reduce the inflammation within the muscle and the spine. They can be given two to three times a year. Corticosteroid injections should be used in conjunction with other treatments. However, they are not effective in treating severe muscle strains.
You should also try to avoid activities that stress the muscle. These include sports that require quick starts. The muscle may also be prone to re-injury.
You may also be advised to rest, apply ice, and wear a compression bandage. The ice should be applied every hour for the first day. You should also start a warm-up exercise routine before engaging in strenuous activity.
Common causes of a broken femur
Often the result of an accident, a broken femur can be painful and cause problems with daily living. It can also lead to other injuries, including broken bones in other areas of the body. These are referred to as peripheral injuries because they can affect tendons, ligaments, muscles, and nerves.
In severe cases, the broken ends of the bone may pierce the skin, which can result in bleeding. The surrounding blood vessels may also be cut. This can lead to circulatory collapse. In severe cases, the femur can be fractured in three ways. There are closed fractures, where the bone does not pierce the skin; there are compound fractures, where pieces of bone break out of the bone; and there are open fractures, where the bone breaks through the skin.
The most common causes of a broken femur are high-impact accidents, like automobile accidents or fall from a height. There are also cases of osteoporosis, a disease that causes bones to become brittle and weak.
X-rays can be used to determine the location of the fracture and to verify its nature. A computed tomography scan can also provide more information about the injury. If the fracture is severe or multiple, it may require external fixation, in which a metal rod and pins are inserted to keep the bone in place while it heals.
Physical therapy can also be helpful in regaining the ability to walk. It can also help with pain management. Your healthcare provider may prescribe pain medication or a steroid cream to relieve your pain.
Your healthcare provider may recommend nonsurgical treatments if you have a young child or other medical conditions that make surgery more dangerous. In some cases, your healthcare provider may recommend a weighted traction splint, which uses an ankle strap to temporarily line up the broken ends of the bone. You may also be instructed to exercise regularly to help ease chronic pain.
A broken femur can be painful and prevent you from enjoying many of the activities you loved to do. It can also cause deformity, which makes your leg appear to be longer than normal. Depending on the severity of the injury, the femur may take months to heal. You may be able to return to some activities, but you may need to use a wheelchair during recovery.
You may also need to use an assistive device to help you move your leg. Some people have knee replacements. Others use metal plates and screws to help hold the bone in place while it heals.
Getting a broken femur diagnosed and treated correctly can make a huge difference in your recovery. Symptoms may include difficulty walking, swelling and redness, numbness, pain in the thigh or leg, and difficulty breathing. If you are experiencing these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
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