What is Tennis Leg?
Tennis Leg is acute mid-calf pain, a fairly common sports-related injury that often occurs in middle-aged adults. Sports medicine used to think that tennis feet were caused by a tear in the small muscle at the back of your knee. But actually, it’s not true. It actually involves a tear of the tendon and muscle part in your calf. This muscle is the most superficial muscle of the calf and is prone to injury, especially in older athletes.
Causes of Tennis Leg
In general, Tennis Leg usually occurs while running or playing sports. For example, a sudden change of direction while running or slipping can cause the muscle to be overstretched leading to the tearing of the calf muscle. It can also happen when “pushing” the ground, such as to perform tennis serve, for example. These movements are very common among tennis players, so injuries are frequent because of this.
Many players often skip the warm-up properly, so this situation is more likely to happen. Tennis players often report sudden pain, stinging or burning in their feet, sometimes accompanied by a sound and sensation of being kicked in the foot. In most cases, players are unable to continue playing because the severe pain makes walking very difficult. At this time, it is very urgent to get first aid from a doctor. Read on to see how first aid is performed.
How is rapid first aid performed?
If walking is painful and difficult, bring a crutch to practice walking. As the pain subsides, you can begin to put weight on your foot. Once you can walk without a limp, you can get rid of your crutches. Cool the painful area by applying ice or applying a cold pack directly to the painful area for 20 minutes or soaking the lower leg in a bucket of cold water and ice for 10 minutes. Be careful not to place the ice pack on bare skin, but carefully place a towel between the skin and the ice pack to avoid frostbite. Several times a day, repeat this method.
Next, Apply a compression wrap to the shin starting from the leg wrap up to the knee. This is important because it compresses the small vessels in the calves and limits bleeding and prevents blood and fluid from accumulating in the feet and ankles. Finally, try to do leg raises in the early days after injury to minimize swelling in your feet and ankles. This also helps remove old blood from injured muscles and return blood to the heart. It will then be replaced with fresh oxygen and nutrient-rich blood that will promote wound healing.
You should seek advice from a Physical Therapist during your rehabilitation. For this process you need:
- Manual therapy: The calf muscles are often very stiff and painful after the initial injury. Physiotherapists perform soft tissue mobilization techniques to restore the normal length and mobility of injured tissue. This step is very important and should not be skipped.
- Heel lift: Putting a heel lift (which is shock-absorbing) in both shoes for one to two weeks can help reduce the load on the calf muscles during walking. As soon as you walk without pain, begin the recovery phase. Heel lifts are a good start to strengthening the calf muscles. Slowly lift your toes and hold this position for 5-10 seconds. Then slowly return to the starting position. Use both legs at once while performing this exercise.
- Light exercise: Swimming or cycling gently for 30 minutes a day increases blood flow to the calf muscles and enhances recovery.
- Quick Workouts: To ensure that you’re ready to return to tennis, agility exercises will be performed to work on your lateral movements, balance, speed, and coordination.