Complaints to the lower leg can occur all of a sudden or they can gradually get worse. If the symptoms last longer than a week, it is advisable to make an appointment with one of our physiotherapists.


The lower leg is the part between your knee and your ankle; your shin and your fibula. The muscles in your lower leg can be divided into the shin muscles, the fibula muscles and the calf muscles.

  • The shin muscles are on the front of your shin bone. These muscles pull your ankle and your toes upwards.
  • The fibula muscles are located on the outside of your lower leg and move your foot to the side. These muscles also help stabilize your ankle when you are moving. The fibula muscles are also often stretched and torn when you sprain your ankle.
  • The calf muscles are located at the back of your lower leg. There are roughly 2 layers of muscle. The most superficial layer is attached to the Achilles tendon and provide the vertical displacement. The deeper layer of muscles run from your lower leg to your foot and toes. These muscles, together with the fibula muscles, take care of your horizontal movement.


Many calf injuries and Achilles tendon injuries are caused by the fact that the deeper layer of the calf muscles are not able to do their work optimally. This may have to do with the way the foot and ankle move or that the training is built up too quickly. This creates an overload in these muscles themselves, as with shinsplints, or the Achilles tendon tries to compensate and becomes overloaded and irritated.


Shin splint


Shin splints, or medial tibial stress syndrome as it is called today, is a collective name for complaints on the inside of the tibia. The inside of the lower leg is often pressure sensitive and can also be thick, red and swollen.
These complaints are common with soldiers, basketball players, tennis players and people who run. The exact cause of these complaints differs per person. It can be an overload of the deep calf muscles that run to your foot and toes. Or it can also be an overload of the soleus muscle.
Often the underlying cause of this complaint lies elsewhere. Namely in the foot and / or ankle. If the foot and/or ankle are not strong enough, the muscles in the lower leg and calf have to compensate and become overloaded. Only massage of the calf will not solve your problem. Often by training the muscles in the foot a lot of the issues are aleady solved.


Complaints to the achilles tendon


Complaints to the Achilles tendon often arise gradually in runners and athletes who do many explosive jumping movements.
The first signs of Achilles tendon injuries are pain or stiffness just above your heel bone when standing up. With rest and regulated movement, your body will automatically recover within two weeks.
After that, the complaints can increase as follows:
Only stiffness and/or pain the morning after an activity.
Also pain/stiffness during the warm-up and after the activity.
Pain/stiffness during the warm-up, which then decreases and returns during and after the activity.
Constant pain during an activity and the first days after it.
Constant pain during activities in daily life.
Often the tendon is also red, swollen and pressure sensitive.
What many people do not know is that Achilles tendon complaints are often caused by a stiff forefoot and / or stiff big toe. The forefoot and big toe (+ their muscles) are responsible for the horizontal displacement when you walk and run and your Achilles tendon is responsible for the vertical displacement. If your forefoot and big toe are stuck, they can’t do their job properly. This will make the Achilles tendon to want to take over. This way the Achilles tendon becomes overloaded.
With long-term Achilles tendon complaints that do not disappear with treatment, it is important to look at the rest of the kinetic chain. For example, the opposite shoulder can also cause problems in the Achilles tendon.


In case of complaints to the lower leg, it is important to find out where exactly the problem comes from. Als een hardloper een onderbeen probleem heeft wordt er aanvullend een loopanalyse gedaan waarin vaak heel duidelijk in naar voren komen waar het probleem vandaan komt. With this the whole kinetic chain is checked. During the treatment we ensure that all muscles and joints can move properly again. In addition, you will receive specialised exercises to make your lower leg muscles, your ankle and your foot stronger than before.
If you have any questions about your calf and lower leg injury, please feel free to contact one of our therapists. Often we can already give you useful tips that reduce your complaints immediately.

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