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Leg pain

Leg pain is a very common complaint, especially among athletes and persons who have recently taken up athletic activity or sports. There are various orthopaedic related causes like:

  • Shin splints (medial tibial stress syndrome)

  • Stress fracture

  • Exercise induced compartment syndrome

  • tendonitis

  • Leg cramps

  • Sprains and muscle strains

  • Calf claudication (vascular cause)

The usual cause is commencement of sports or athletic activity without adequate warm-up, stretching and conditioning. It can also happen if there is a sudden increase in the level of activity. This does not give the body enough time to carry out the repair of small injuries and they can rapidly build up over time to cause leg pain.

Certain conditions such as having flat feet or abnormally rigid arches of the foot can predispose to getting leg pain. Wearing the right kind of footwear is also important.


What are the treatment options?


The treatment of these conditions is initially rest with Ice application and a short course of anti-inflammatory medications. Stretching exercises guided by a sports physiotherapist helps to gradually build up activity which can then progress to strengthening, conditioning and sports specific exercises over time.


If there is a stress fracture, it may need a short period of immobilisation with a splint or plaster. Exertional compartment syndrome may need a surgical decompression if non-surgical measures fail to relieve symptoms.


Dr Vinod Kumar Abu Dhabi

Sports surgeon Abu Dhabi

Shoulder surgeon Abu Dhabi

NMC Royal Hospital


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