Bruised lower legs after running

Hi guys,

I am hoping I can get some advice with my problems, basically, about 5 years ago I used to play football semi professional, and due to personal reasons I gave up. Last year a friend asked me to play for his sunday football team, so I did that for a year and now I have been asked to go back semi professional but have been told I need to get fitter, which I know I do.

So I started practicing every other days, sometimes 2 or 3 days in a row, however I have started getting an issue with my lower legs, I played a friendly on saturday and I felt good, but 2 days later my lower legs have come up in bruises, I did not take any nocks in the game. The bruising is on both legs on the inside and outside of the calf. I tried to train yesterday but it got to the point where the pain was so bad I could not even walk! This is not good because I only have until the 23rd of June to get fit as thats when pre season training starts and I dont want to miss out!

What could be causing this? I have never suffered this kind of pain before? I have decent shoes and insoles.

If anyone could help I would be so greatful!


  • It could just be that your shinpads were too tight but you would surely have felt uncomfortable at the time.

    But basically, if you have unexplained bruising that is causing you serious pain you need to see your doctor.



  • Hi,

    thanks for the reply, I have been suffering with tight calfs but never bruising, it is sore to touch. It was not my shinpads as I thought that was my issue before when they was tight so I bought some new ones that only have 1 strap on them so I think I can rule that out.

    I thought it was my shoes, everyone online says bad calfs = bad shoes so I bought some new shoes and better insoles designed for football, offering support of the foot. When I used them my legs felt better until I played this game.

    Could it be that my legs were not properly recovered and running for 90 mins made them get bad again?

    I just want to make sure I dont do more damage, if I need to see a doctor then I will, just had terrible experiences with doctors, they never seem interested.

  • Just so people know the pain seems to be on the soleus muslce.

  • I'm confused - you now seem to be disassociating the pain with the bruising.

    Basically, if you think you have shin splints (i.e. pain that isn't associated with the bruising) look up some exercises that can help you deal with it or get advice from a physio.

    If, however, you think that the bruising has not been caused by contact during football and is what is causing the pain then you need to see a doctor.

    The first scenario is normal, the second is not - running alone whether as a sport or during a game of football shouldn't cause bruising on your calves.

  • Im really not sure to be honest, I have never been serious about running I have just run while playing football and have never had any pain before.

    Basically I have slight bruising but when i touch it the pain is quite severe, I had tight calfs for a while but lots of stretching, self massage and new shoes got it under control. But since my game saturday I have had this injury thats stopped me from training. I am 95% sure I didnt take a nock, I cant see how I would have the same injury on both legs, some places I cant actually see a bruise but if I touch it I have the exact same pain as a bruise if that makes sense? On the inside and Outside of my calfs.

    Sorry if I seem like a complete noobie.

  • You said in your first post "my lower legs have come up in bruises" - now you are saying they only feel bruised.

    If it just feels like bruising then it's probably shin splints and you just need rest and stretches.

    But to be honest you don't seem to be describing what's happened very well so it's just a wild guess really.

    If in doubt see a physio.

  • >> ✭✭✭


    It doesnt sound like shin splints.

    Pain in the soleus muscle + bruising sounds like calf injury. Does it hurt when you stand on your toes?

    Yes we are guessing here and you describe very badly my friend. See a physio for a proper diagnosis not some guess work on forums. There are some idiots on here image !

  • >> ✭✭✭

    PS: If we guess it right, do we get a prize?

  • Sure what prize would you like? Ha, the problem is this happened Saturday so bruises have gone now but I still have pain if I touch the tender areas.

    I have been suffering from calf issues for a while just being tight but this was worse. I saw a physio and he said its down to footwear but I have changed my boots, got expensive insoles but I still have the pain. It did get better but then Sat it just got really bad.

    Im finding it hard to explain to be honest, I was thinking maybe because I had 5 years out and now im back training flat out they are just being over used and flaming up?

    Could it be that my old footwear was causing the injury, i changed footwear but my calfs had not recovered from the damage done before?

    I have suffered shin splints before and this is a complete different pain, honestly the only way to describe it is bruises on the inside and outside of my calfs, no longer visable but if I touch the sore spots its exactly the same feeling as a bruise image

  • Screamapillar wrote (see)

    The first scenario is normal, the second is not - running alone whether as a sport or during a game of football shouldn't cause bruising on your calves.

    I've had bruising from running. It's happened twice. The first time I ended up in A&E (I couldn't walk!) and they said it was a stress fracture. It seems more likely since though that the cause was compartment syndrome.

    A very unflattering picture. The bruising came out a lot more than this the day after the race (London marathon). Zero impact to my leg, and purely caused by the repeated stress of running. 



  • hmmm mines no where near as bad as yours in that picture!


    ultra bookie taking a read now

  • Interesting read, so many different answers think i need to get booked into somewhere to take a proper look as I just have no idea what my problem is.

    Going to let it die down, do some training and see if it comes back if so il get booked in

  • A physio may be more helpful than a GP, as in my experience most GPs would simply say to stop running! 

  • just as an FYI update, went to see a physio today, luckily I know one from my old club when I was there.

    My calfs are basically in spasm, hes put it down to an over use injury but he said they are very bad, gave me a very painful massage, some excersizes to do 4 times a day and then 1 more massage next monday.

    Fingers crossed image

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