Emma James Physio Blog

Chartered Physiotherapy and Clinical Pilates

Calf and Shin Injuries

Shin Splints, Achilles Tendonitis and Calf Muscle Injuries are common causes of pain in the shin and calf.

  • Achilles Paratendinopathy
  • Achilles Tendinopathy
  • Calf Muscle Strain
  • Compartment Syndrome
  • Shin Splints
  • Osgood Schlatters
  • Broken Leg
  • Tibialis Posterior Pain

‘Shin Splints’ is a catch all term for shin pain that is common during running. Sports medicine experts tend not to use the term Shin Splints, preferring Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome instead, as it more accurately describes the problem.


  • Sudden large force or pressure to the calf
  • Overuse injury common in running and jumping activities
  • Excessive acceleration from stationary and lunging
  • Insufficient warm up exercise
  • Flat feet or pronated arches
  • Improper or worn-out footwear
  • Muscular imbalances (e.g., tight calves)
  • Exercise that is too intense at the beginning of the program
  • Poor body alignment


The Calf is rested in an elevated position and a physiotherapist applies an ice pack for 20 minutes every two hours (never apply ice directly to the skin). A compression support can be applied to limit bleeding and swelling in the tissues. Electrotherapy treatment can also help during the early stages. Once the initial pain has worn off more active rehabilitation can be started, including Calf stretching and strengthening exercises.


Gait Scan at Emma James Physio



  • Always warm up well
  • Always cool down well
  • Stretch frequently
  • Strengthening exercises



How we can help

We can help with any of the injuries mentioned above. Visit us for Gait Scan or Personal Training. See our Website for details.


The Winter Ski and Snowboard season is here!

With the snow season here and mountain holidays approaching we want to ensure you enjoy your time on the slopes with some top tips and information.

Skiing and snowboarding are physically demanding, and so undertaking a variety of appropriate exercises in advance will enhance your performance on the slopes and allow your snow sports holiday to be more fun, efficient and safe.


  • Key to activate your muscles before use
  • Lengthen, help them recover and increase flexibility post snow slope


  • Calves, quads, back and hip flexors


  • Interval training improves your sustained and shorter high energy activities
  • Cycling/Running/X-trainer


Compound movements targeting multi-joints and then practiced plyometrically to increase power.


  • Power muscles for the snow, hold you position and protect your knee during movements
  • Squats and lunges help react to changes in extension, are good for thick snow and changing terrains
  • Split squats and single leg dips help single leg strengthening ensures no weakness


  • Usually underactive due to over reliance on quads
  • Clams, step-ups, squat with theraband around your thighs
  • Sideway jumps replicate fast movements on steep, narrow slopes


  • Maintain your position of bent knees and promote stability along with your hamstrings
  • Calf raises, hamstring curls


  • Essential for posture on the slope and un-easy terrain
  • Russian twists, Swiss ball crunch


  • Important for being aware of your body in poor conditions and in preventing injury
  • Single leg balance with your eyes closed and adding in movements



Usually lower extremity injuries and knee ligament damage 

common ski injuries


  • Twisting movements of the upper leg, while the lower leg rotates the opposite way
  • Valgus forces from direction changes during falls

Upper extremity injuries to the thumb


  • Ski pole being caught in snow in un-easy terrain or during a fall


Usually upper-extremity injuries causing wrist fractures/sprains, elbow dislocations/contusion.  Or broken collar bones and rotator cuff injuries.

common snowboarding injuries

  • Landing on outstretched hands with force after a fall
  • Direct impact to the clavicle or shoulder

Lower extremity injuries to the knee ligaments and ankle


  • Valgus forces associated with one footed chair dismounts and falls
  • Compressive forces landing a jump/fall


ski safety clothing

  1. Have good fitness, muscle strength and flexibility
  2. Have good quality, well fitted equipment
  3. Seek advice for biomechanical deformities
  4. Complete a warm up and cool down
  5. Adhere to ski slope rules, safety rules, stay on marked trails and ski with partners
  6. Book lessons to improve you standard, knowledge and technique with a qualified instructor
  7. Snowboard to your own ability and on appropriate terrain for your level
  8. Ensure good conditions e.g. visibility, terrain, weather, snow quality
  9. Invest in safety gear e.g. wrist/elbow guards/knee pads/impact shorts/helmet


  1. Helps with injury, illness or disability.
  2. Physio also assesses the body as a whole using a variety of techniques including: personal training, sports massage, acupuncture, gait scanning and pilates.
  3. These improve health, aid relaxation, prevent injury, provide education, encourage health promotion, improve biomechanical deficits and provides expert knowledge and exercises for specific sports; perfect to enhance your time on the slopes.

If you’re interested, ring us and book an appointment to find out more or visit our website for details.

Holistic Treatments

At Emma James Physio we have managed to build a very successful partnership with Champneys Tring over the last 15 years, providing the highest quality of care to their day and long term guests. Recently, we have expanded our collaboration within the area by opening a private clinic based in the New Court which is open to non- Champneys residents, also located in Champneys Tring.

With more than 18 years’ experience, I believe that holistic treatments enable the body to heal more quickly and more effectively. I address all aspects of an injury, including the emotional, nutritional and of course the physical.

Far too often, only the physical symptoms of a person’s pain are treated without any consideration for the emotional or nutritional side of the presentation. How often has you felt your shoulders or jaw tighten up when stressed or anxious. What you feel on the inside will manifest itself on the outside in the form of body tension or stress. Without recognising and treating this underlying cause, only short term benefits of physical treatment can be expected.

The same can be said of one’s nutrition. We live in a society with not only so much false media information regarding nutrition, but also a lack of following the basics of human needs. A large portion of our body is merely water. Yet the majority of the population do not drink enough during the day and are dehydrated. This leads to severely decreases many areas of bodily functioning, including healing.

We are also at risk due to the foods, or lack thereof, that we put into our bodies. A large majority of the population go for the quick fix, the ready made meals, the snacks and or course the chocolates. We are serial under eaters of protein, the building blocks for good muscle, ligament and joint tissue. Without adequate protein intake for your body weight, tissue production and healing is at risk.

Millions of people in the UK live with persistent pain in joints and muscles. Almost 31 million days of work were lost last year due to back, neck and muscle problems, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). In fact, the Work Foundation estimates that employees suffering from bone and joint pain cost the EU’s economies 240bn euros (£200bn) each year
Recurrent muscle and joint injuries account for 60% of permanent work incapacity in the EU. Far too often people are looking for the quick fix to their pain so their first port of call is the GP. We’ve heard the story a million times that “the only gave me painkillers and nothing else”. However, this is slightly unfair on GPs.

Unfortunately, the medical degree and career of a person who has become a GP is not concentrated on injuries, but rather medial conditions for the most part. Unlike GPs, Physiotherapy degrees are concentrated solely on muscle and joint injuries and are therefore more qualified than the GP in this area. Physiotherapists should always be the first port of call when it comes to pain. If they feel there is something deeper going on, they have been trained to see the signs and refer to a doctor. This allows each patient to get the appropriate care.
At Emma James Physiotherapy, we see and treat a wide variety of conditions ranging from traumatic incidents such as falls or injuries on the sport field, to gradual onsets of pain that can be down to compensation. We find a lot of knee, back and neck pains in patients due to the load bearing nature of the joints, but also as they sit between the more mobility joints such as the ankle, hip and mid back that can sometimes be dysfunctional.

Unfortunately, pain does not play favourites. We see a wide range of ages groups in our clinic; anywhere between 5 years old and 95 years old. Pain is dictated by your posture, your hobbies, your strength, your flexibly, and as mentioned before your emotional and nutritional state.
Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), discomfort in the hip, is a common complaint for young adults. Keen sports persons can get sharp stabbing pains in one of their hips, often when moving in a certain way.

Common symptoms include: deep groin pain, pain when going from a sitting position to a standing one, pain from prolonged walking and pivoting on a single leg.

What is it?
The hip is a “ball and socket” joint. The “ball” is the top of the thigh bone (femur) and the “socket” is the hollow that the ball sits in. FAI is when the ball does not glide smoothly in the socket due to the shape of the “ball” or “socket” or both.

What can you do?
First and foremost avoid the aggravating activity and rest the hip. If symptoms persist you should consult your Doctor or Physiotherapist who will be able to assess and treat you with a range of flexibility and strengthening exercises to help stretch and strengthen the required muscles and improve the overall dynamic and functional control of the hip.

There are no one exercise which will be able to cure this condition. Each patient is assessed and treated on an individual basis. As we use a holistic approach, a number of factors will need be taken into consideration when treating this condition. How does the ankle, knee and lower back move? What are your daily postures? What are your daily hobbies? Once all this has been taken into consideration, a personalised rehabilitation programme can be specifically designed for you to follow to get out of pain and back to the things you love.

Blog Post by Emma James


Hi Readers,

Welcome to my new Emma James Physio Blog.

You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google +, view our movies on YouTube and read all about us on our Website. The Website is packed full of information on our wide range of services, biogs of our highly trained staff and details of how to book and get in contact with us at our many practices
Your Good Health,
Emma James

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