Imagine how slow our world would be without our legs… As our primary source of movement: keeping our legs injury free is of the utmost importance. Pivotal Motion Physiotherapy are experts at treating leg injuries which will help you continue to move forward!
Consisting of major muscles and a quarter of the body’s bones, the legs allow us to walk, run, jump, kick a ball and drive a car. Held together by multiple muscle groups such as the hamstrings, quads and calves.
In addition to key joints such as the knees and ankles, the legs are structurally able to support our body and functional enough to allow us to run marathons and climb mountains.
Despite this, legs can often become injured due to the sheer complexity of interconnecting muscle groups, often as a result of overworking certain muscles through physical activities and sports.
PRIMARY FUNCTION OF YOUR LEGS
The main function of our legs is to support the upper body and to help us get from A to B. Each muscle group contributes to lower body movement, countering movements through flexion and compression, and provides stability.
The quadriceps, often the strongest leg muscle, help extend the leg, ultimately taking the majority of the weight while we stand. The hamstrings, located at the back of the thigh, affect hip and knee movement, making them the powerhouse muscle for sprinting and running.
The calf muscle helps control the movement of the ankle and foot, and also provides support for the knee. Together they allow us to move.
LEG INJURIES & SYMPTOMS
Due to simply how much we use our legs, particularly if we play sport or Runner stretching eexercise, muscle sprains, ligament tears, and worn cartilage can be quite common.
Injuries such as Runners Knee and shin splints are common for those who run, regardless of how regularly, and often present pain in the kneecap or in the side of the shins. Other injuries such as a tear in the Achilles tendon or the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)are common sporting injuries, which severely impact and limit any movement of the legs and the ability to walk or support the body’s weight.
The most common of all leg injuries is the simple cramp, an involuntary contraction of one or more muscles, often the result of muscle overuse or strain. While harmless in most cases, cramps can cause several moments of pain or uncomfortableness.
INJURY AVOIDANCE & RECOVERY FOLLOWING A LEG INJURY
The majority of muscle sprains and tears can be avoided through proper stretching and warming up. As multiple muscles are needed to run and play sports, it’s important to individually warm up each muscle group, as well as are ensuring the joints are properly prepared.
Fixing misalignments in the ankles, knees, and hips can also reduce the likelihood of injury, as the stress is spread evenly amongst the joints and muscles. Consulting with physiotherapists can assist in identifying areas of concern, as well as recovery prevention and treatments.
Building strength can also limit the chance of major ligament damage, as the muscles become used to certain types of movement. Provided they are done with the correct form, exercises such as squats and lunges can limit major injuries.