Tendon or Muscle Strain: Overstretched and Painful
If you’re an active person, you’ve most likely heard of, or even experienced, a pulled muscle. It’s a painful problem that can put you out of commission for a while, depending on how bad the damage is. Most people think of their hamstrings or other large muscle groups when it comes to a muscle strain. Don’t forget that your feet have muscles and tendons, too—and they can strain as well.
Pulling Your Leg—or a Foot—Isn’t Always a Joke
A strain is an injury that over-stretches a muscle or even a tendon. This is similar to a sprain, which affects ligaments. A strain can be the result of overuse, fatigue, improper use of a muscle, or a sudden accident. The damage can be small, or you can partially tear or completely rupture the tissue. You have plenty of muscles and major tendons in the feet and ankles, which means you have many opportunities and places to strain your lower limbs.
Muscle or tendon strains are painful and can leave you limping. If the damage was the result of an accident or sudden injury, the pain will be sharp and immediate. If the damage accumulates over time from overuse or fatigue, the discomfort may build for a while. Either way, you end up with soreness in the affected muscle—or tendon, as the case may be. Typically, the discomfort limits your range of movement. Most likely you’ll develop swelling, stiffness, and weakness. It might feel like your tissues have become knotted. You may or may not have bruising, too, depending on the severity of the injury.