Thursday, August 11, 2022

Can Knee Pain Cause Calf Pain

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Hamstring And Calf Tightness

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Tightness in the muscles on the back of your thigh and calf can lead to pain with straightening out your knee. This tightness can happen for many reasons including a protective reaction to a new injury and prolonged positioning of the knee in a bent position.

This is most common after surgery if you sleep with a pillow underneath the knee. The prolonged knee-bent positions from either sitting at a desk for too long or sleeping a pillow under the knee can make those muscles shorter. This can make it painful when you try to straighten the knee out.

To treat this, its important to maintain a good range of motion in the knee by doing gentle stretching exercises regularly.

Also, try not to sleep with a pillow underneath your knee after surgery or any new injuries.

When To See A Healthcare Provider

If you are unsure of the cause of your symptoms, or if you do not know how to treat your condition, you should contact your healthcare provider. Your treatment will depend on the specific cause of your calf pain.

Some signs that you should be seen by a healthcare provider include:

  • Inability to walk comfortably on the affected side
  • Injury that causes deformity of the lower leg
  • Calf pain that occurs at night or while resting
  • Calf pain that persists beyond a few days
  • Swelling of the calf or ankle joint area
  • Signs of an infection, including fever, redness, warmth
  • Any other unusual symptoms

How Can You Tell The Difference Between A Pulled Calf Muscle And A Blood Clot

The following are the signs and symptoms of a blood clot in the leg: skin that is warm to the touch in the afflicted area An increase in the size or soreness of the afflicted calf muscle or region.When you have a pulled muscle, the pain will normally worsen over time and will not come and go like the feeling of having a strained muscle could.a red or raw painful region of skin that is usually located behind the back of the neck

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Fractures Bursa Inflammation And Patellar Injuries


Fractures of the bones of knee are relatively common. The patella, or kneecap, may fracture due to a fall directly onto it or in car accidents, when the knee is driven into the dashboard. If the bone is displaced , surgery may be required for repair, but if the bone is in good position, a knee immobilizer and watchful waiting may be all that is required.

The head of the fibula on the lateral side of the knee joint can be fractured either by a direct blow or as part of an injury to the shin or ankle. This bone usually heals with little intervention, but fractures of this bone can have a major complication. The peroneal nerve wraps around the bone and can be damaged by the fracture. This will cause a foot drop, so do not be surprised if the physician examines your foot when you complain of knee problems.

With jumping injuries, the surface of the tibia can be damaged, resulting in a fracture to the tibial plateau. The mechanism of injury is jumping and landing on a fully extended, straightened knee. Since the femoral condyle sits on the tibial plateau to make the knee joint, it is important that it heals with the most even joint surface as possible to prevent future arthritis and chronic pain. For that reason, after plain X-rays reveal this fracture, a CT scan may be done to make certain that there is no displacement of the bones. This type of fracture may require surgery for repair.

Bursa Inflammation

Patellar Injuries

Treating A Bakers Cyst

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Treatment will not usually be necessary if you have a Bakers cyst that is not causing any symptoms.

Painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen can be used to reduce the swelling and relieve any pain. Bandages or an ice pack may also help. A bag of frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel works well as an ice pack.

If you have an underlying condition thats causing your cyst, its important that the condition is properly managed. The cyst may disappear when the condition causing it has been treated.

In some cases, it may be possible to drain the cyst. Surgery may also be needed to repair any significant damage around the knee joint.

Page last reviewed: 11 June 2018 Next review due: 11 June 2021

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Getting A Diagnosis For Swollen Knee

Chronic swelling can cause permanent damage to the joint tissue, cartilage and bone. It is therefore important to ask your doctor for advice if your swelling doesnt go down.

Theyll discuss your symptoms and carry out a physical examination.

They may arrange for you to have some tests. These may include an:

They may also arrange for you to have joint aspiration. This is when a fine needle is inserted into the swollen area to check for blood, bacteria or crystals

Can Knee Pain Radiate Up Leg

When you have sciatica, you may experience the following knee symptoms:

In the front, sides, or back of the knee, a hot sensation, sharp pain, or dull ache may be felt. A person may also experience Having difficulty bearing weight on ones knee.

Knee weakness, especially when trying to straighten the leg, is also a common symptom of sciatica.

If you suffer from sciatica, you may also suffer from knee pain, buttock, thigh, calf muscles, and foot pain. Most frequently, sciatica pain will only affect one leg at a time, so pain in both knees is rare in this case.

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Why Does My Calf Hurt When I Walk

Leg discomfort during walking can be caused by a variety of orthopedic conditions. Degenerative joint disease in the hip or knee is a common cause of hip or knee pain in elderly persons. A condition known as compartment syndrome, which is characterized by elevated pressure in the calf, can cause calf pain during walking and calf pain after walking.

What Conditions And Disorders Affect The Calf Muscle

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Conditions that affect the calf muscle include:

  • Muscle strain: The most common calf injury is a strain. It happens when the muscle fibers stretch too far or tear. It usually results from strenuous exercise or overuse. This injury is common in activities like running and sports that require jumping or quick stops and starts, such as soccer, basketball, football and volleyball.
  • Leg cramps:Muscle cramps and muscle spasms in the calves can be very painful. Leg cramps can happen during the day or at night. They can result from several factors, including pregnancy, dehydration, some medications and certain health conditions.
  • Tennis leg: This type of muscle strain injury affects the gastrocnemius muscle. Providers call it tennis leg because it commonly happens when the leg extends and the foot flexes. But it can happen in any sport. Tennis players put their leg in this position when they serve a tennis ball and push off suddenly into motion.
  • Compartment syndrome: A serious, life-threatening condition, compartment syndrome happens when pressure builds up inside a muscle. The pressure decreases the flow of blood and oxygen. The injury can result from trauma or strenuous exercise.

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What Is Hip And Leg Pain

Hip and leg pain can have many different causes. Because the movement of the hip joint, lower back, and leg bones are all connected, pain or inflammation in one area can cause problems in another. This is called referred pain.

Types of damage or injury that could be causing hip and leg pain are:

  • Bone fractures.
  • Nerve damage. Damage to the nerves can lead to neuropathy , a tingling sensation radiating into the legs and extremities.
  • Muscle injury or inflammation . Muscle sprains, tears or strains in the lower back, buttocks, pelvis, and thighs can cause hip and leg pain.
  • Joint problems.Arthritis can lead to pain in the hip, lumbar or lower spine, and the knee, causing pain that can be felt throughout the lower body.

Anatomy Of The Calf Muscles

The calf is the area on the back of the leg between the knee and the ankle.

It is made up of two muscles collectively known as the triceps surae. Triceps surae simply means three-headed calf . It comprises of a pair of muscles, gastrocnemius and soleus.

The gastrocnemius muscle has two-heads which arise from either side of the bottom of the femur just above the knee joint. It is a superficial muscle, meaning it forms the top layer just below the skin.

The soleus muscle runs deep to gastrocnemius and arises from the top of the tibia, just below the knee joint.

The two muscles join together around mid-calf level to form the Achilles tendon which twists and attaches the calf muscles to the back of the heel.

The triceps surae muscles work together to plantarflex thefoot i.e. pull the foot downwards andstabilise the ankle. They areparticularly important in controlling and executing the push-off phase ofwalking and running.

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How Do Doctors Diagnose Knee Injuries

    The initial evaluation by the health care professional will begin with a medical history. Whether the evaluation is occurring immediately after the injury or weeks later, the physician may ask about the mechanism of injury to help isolate what structures in the knee might be damaged. Is the injury due to a direct blow that might suggest a fracture or contusion ? Was it a twisting injury that causes a cartilage or meniscus tear? Was there an injury associated with a planted foot to place stress and potentially tear a ligament?

    Further questions will address other symptoms. Was swelling present, and if so, did it occur right away or was it delayed by hours? Did the injury prevent weight-bearing or walking? Does going up or down steps cause pain? Is there associated hip or ankle pain? Is this an isolated injury, and have there been other occurrences?

    Past medical history and information on medications and allergies will be helpful information to learn about the patient.

    Sometimes X-rays of the knee are required to make certain there are no broken bones, but often with stress or overuse injuries where no direct blow has occurred, plain X-rays may not be initially needed and imaging of the knee may wait until a later date. Standing X-rays of the knees are used to assess the joint space and compare the injured knee to the uninjured one. An MRI might be considered to evaluate the ligaments and cartilage within the knee joint.

    Are There Any Complications That Can Develop

    Pin on What Causes Pain Behind The Knee Pain Behind Knee ...

    If a Bakers cyst ruptures, it can be quite difficult to tell the difference between the ruptured cyst and a deep vein thrombosis in the leg. A DVT is a blood clot that forms in a leg vein. In these cases, it is important that investigations are carried out to exclude a DVT because it can be a serious condition that needs treatment. See the separate leaflet called Deep Vein Thrombosis for more detail.

    Very rarely, a Bakers cyst may become infected.

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    How Can You Tell The Difference Between A Blood Clot And Muscle Pain

    Timing: DVT symptoms are often mild at first, but progressively and consistently worsen over a period of days. Cramps, on the other hand, are the polar opposite: they often begin suddenly and with great intensity, but they disappear just as rapidly and last only a few seconds to minutes. Cramps are also more likely to occur in the middle of the night than at any other time.

    What Is Arthritis In The Legs

    The term arthritis refers to redness and swelling of the joints characterized by joint pain and stiffness. A joint is the area where two bones meet. The two bones at the site of the joint are separated by a cushioning tissue called the cartilage that protects the joint and facilitates proper movement. The joint space is lined by the synovial membrane that secretes a fluid called synovial fluid. Synovial fluid lubricates and protects the joints to allow for adequate movement. Arthritis may result when any of the joint structures are damaged. Leg arthritis affects the joints of the hips, knees, ankles or feet. There are over 100 types of arthritis. The most common types of arthritis affecting the legs are

    • Osteoarthritis: This is the most common type of arthritis. It occurs due to wear and tear of the joint cartilage that happens with increasing age.
    • Rheumatoid arthritis: In this type of arthritis, the bodys immune system attacks and damages the joints.
    • Gout: This occurs due to excessive deposition of uric acid crystals in the joints, which causes joint inflammation.
    • : This refers to arthritis that occurs as a result of joint infection.
    • Post-traumatic arthritis: This type of arthritis results because of injury or after a surgery or other invasive procedure on the joint.
    • Psoriatic arthritis: People who suffer from a long-term skin condition, psoriasis, may develop psoriatic arthritis along with the skin manifestations such as plaques.

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    Common Causes Of Knee And Calf Pain

    Feeling discomfort in your knee and calf can come from many different issues. Some of the problems that can lead to discomfort in both of these areas include:

  • Muscle strains A strain in the thigh, hamstring and calf muscles can lead to pain being felt in several parts of the leg. Muscle strains in your leg occur when a leg muscle is overstretched or torn. They can cause pain, swelling, bruising and difficulty walking.
  • Popliteal tendinitis The popliteal tendon connects the popliteal muscle in the knee and upper calf to the thighbone. This tendon can become irritated by repetitive movements, especially if they put lots of stress on the knees. The pain of this issue is typically felt in the top of the calf and back and side of the knee. Your pain may also get worse when youre walking or running downhill.
  • Sciatica Most people think of sciatica as a lower back issue. But the sciatic nerve runs down the back of your leg, too. This means that sciatica can result in discomfort along the whole length of your leg, including in your knee and calf.
  • What You Can Do

    “Can Knee Pain Cause Back Pain?”

    Take over-the-counter NSAID drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen to ease pain and swelling. RICE rest, ice, compression, and elevation can often help, too: Get off your feet. Raise your leg so its higher than your heart. Put a cold pack in a thin cloth or towel on your knee for 10-20 minutes at a time, several times a day. Wrap an elastic bandage around your knee when youre up and about, snug but not tight.

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    What Are The Potential Complications Of Calf Pain

    Complications associated with calf pain can be progressive and vary depending on the underlying cause. Mild calf pain due to overuse usually responds to rest, ice, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. Because calf pain can be due to a serious disease, failure to seek treatment can result in complications and permanent damage. It is important to visit your healthcare provider when you experience any kind of persistent pain or other unusual symptoms. Once the underlying cause is diagnosed, following the treatment plan outlined by your doctor can lower your risk of potential complications including:

    • Inability to perform daily living tasks
    • Loss of limb
    • Pulmonary embolism
    • Spread of infection

    A Weightlifter With Tight Calves

    An important position to be able to get in for most weightlifting athletes is a squat. This is a complex position requiring mobility from head to toe. Having a lack of mobility in your calf or ankle musculature is a surefire way to end up with a squat that either favors one side of the body, or puts another joint at jeopardy and can easily lead to back pain and sciatica. Your calf musculature plays a big role in how well your ankles bend to allow you to put your weight appropriately in your feet. If the ankles do not bend far enough forward, one of two things usually happens.

    Compensation #1: Your weight stays too far back in your heels. Now a lot of your weight should be in your heels with a good squat, but more is not better in this case. When you are unable to get a good amount of weight to your forefoot due to tight calves, this can expose you to compensating to get weight forward elsewhere. It can lead to you rounding your back or pushing your shoulders too far out in front of you to provide the counterbalance. This can expose you to low back pain, shoulder pain, or neck pain. If youre curious about solutions for those issues, just click the links. Rounding your back can be dangerous because it may expose you to herniated or bulging discs.

    If youre ready to work with an expert so that you can get rid of this pesky issue, give us a call at 480-482-0651 or stop by our contact us page to fill out a contact form and let us know how we can help!

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