Common Conditions

Calf Strain (Gastrocnemius)
Tearing of the calf muscle (gastrocnemius), typically following a sudden acceleration movement. Associated with localised pain in the back of the lower leg, pain on firmly touching the affected region and often pain on performing a heel raise (i.e. lifting the heels off the ground) and on performing a calf stretch.

Calf Strain (Soleus)
Tearing of the deeper calf muscle (soleus), typically following a sudden acceleration movement. Associated with localised pain in the back of the lower leg, pain on firmly touching the affected region and often pain on performing a heel raise (i.e. lifting the heels off the ground) and on performing a soleus stretch.

Shin Contusion
Bruising of the shin bone following a direct impact from a hard object. Typically associated with pain on firmly touching the affected region, an increased bone prominence corresponding with the point of impact and sometimes visible bruising and swelling which may present directly after injury, or, some days later.

Calf Contusion
Bruising of the calf following a direct impact from a hard object such as a football boot. Typically associated with pain on firmly touching the affected region and sometimes visible bruising which may present some days following injury. Pain may increase on performing a heel raise or calf stretch.

Calf Cramp
A painful, involuntary contraction of the calf muscle that can occur suddenly and may prevent the individual from continuing activity. Occasionally these can happen at night time and typically cause a feeling of tightness in the calf that usually eases upon gently performing a calf stretch.

Less Common Conditions

Referred Pain
Pain referred to the lower leg from another source such as the lower back or knee, often associated with symptoms above or below the lower leg (such as lower back pain or stiffness or pain in the groin, thigh, knee, ankle or foot). Typically associated with pain on firmly touching the region responsible for the referred pain and/or loss of movement in that region. Sometimes in association with pins and needles or numbness in the affected leg or foot.

Tibial Fracture
A break in the shin bone, which may occur in association with a rolled ankle, due to a fall from a height or following a forceful impact to the front of the shin. Pain is usually severe and often results in an inability to carry weight on it. There may be visible deformity of the shin bone and often significant swelling. Pain typically increases on firmly touching the affected region of the bone and occasionally pins and needles or numbness may be present in the lower leg, ankle or foot.

Fibular Fracture
A break in the fibula, which often occurs in association with a rolled ankle or due to a fall from a height or forceful impact. Pain is usually severe and typically increases on firmly touching the affected region of the bone. In some cases, there may be visible deformity of the bone and often significant swelling. Occasionally pins and needles or numbness may be present in the lower leg, ankle or foot.