Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Medial gastrocnemius (calf) myofascial pain

Mohamed is a 24 yrs old talented ex-junior hockey player who has tight painful calf muscles towards the 2nd half of every match but he noted that seemed to be symptom free during training session. He would request to be replaced to get time to ice and try to return to play after 10 minutes. As he plays in more matches, the pain becomes more unbearable and may even take a few days rest to be relieved. I evaluated his injury 5 days ago and found that he had localised muscle spasm in both his medial gastrocnemius heads (see photo)in both calf muscles.

He had an aversion for massage and has difficulty stretching his calf muscles. After trying myofascial release he seemed to be quite sore and requested injection to relieve the muscle spasm in the right medial gastrocnemius. After a short discussion about the pros and cons, we both decided to do myofascial injection* (Lignocaine 1% plus water**) to relieve his symptoms. (This was done as we were sure that he did not have a muscle tear. An ultrasound scan is required if a tear is suspected). The procedure went on smoothly (with 'some' pain as he told me he did not like needles) and he was told not to do any running or jogging. He was told to go into water to undergo aqua-jogging to assist in his recovery and undergo a rehabilitation program. I assured him that he would feel better after 2 days.

I reviewed him before player selection on match day 2 days ago and he was running without pain. The following day we had another training session whereby he said he felt better in the injected leg and wanted an injection in the untreated leg.

*see Injection of Lignocaine vs Dry Needling.
** see Advantage of Lignocaine Plus water vs Lignocaine 1% Neat.

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