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"What kind of doctor should I see for my muscle injury? "


Over a year ago, I injured my leg while practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It didn't seem particularly bad at the time, just a bit of muscle pain in my calf--but it hasn't healed. When I do anything to stretch the calf muscle, even taking a large step, I get a sharp pain in the muscle, always in the same place. What could be the matter and what kind of doctor should I see for help?


There are two common types of muscle injuries, strains and sprains. A muscle strain is an injury that affects muscles or tendons, which are the thick bands that connect muscles to bone. A muscle sprain is an injury that affects ligaments, which are thick bands that connect bone to bone.

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Sprains can range in severity from a mild stretch to a complete tear. Sprains and strains are both acute injuries but can turn into a chronic problem if they do not heal correctly. I would recommend that you see an orthopedist or a sports medicine doctor to address your symptoms. They will do a full physical exam, concentrating on range of motion, instability, and strength of your lower legs. Depending on your history and physical, imaging studies might be ordered to better assess what is the cause of your calf pain. They will likely recommend a course of physical therapy to assist in your healing process. In the meantime, it is important to gently stretch your calf muscle, ice it (especially after any activity which causes pain) and, if needed, take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen to help with the pain.

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