Low back pain and calf pain in a recreational runner masking peripheral artery disease: A case report

Fabrizio Brindisino, Denis Pennella, Giuseppe Giovannico, Giacomo Rossettini, John D. Heick, Filippo Maselli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Running is one of the most popular sports worldwide due to its low costs and its beneficial impact on health. Recent evidence suggests 11% to 85% of recreational runners experience at least one running-related injury each year and most of these are related to musculoskeletal conditions. The aim of this case report is to describe the clinical decision-making process that guided a physiotherapist to suspect a non-musculoskeletal cause in a recreational runner presenting with low back pain and calf pain secondary to Peripheral Artery Disease. Case Presentation: This case report describes the clinical history, clinical exam, laboratory and imaging tests, and surgical procedure of a 65 y.o. amateur runner suffering low back pain and left calf pain for 3 months. The patient’s clinical findings suggested that referral to another health-care provider was required to explore potential non-musculoskeletal sources of pain. An angioplasty was necessary to solve the patient’s clinical situation. Discussion and Conclusion: In this patient case, clinical findings along with a comprehensive family and personal history, ruled out a musculoskeletal condition and implicated a vascular condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1146-1157
Number of pages12
JournalPhysiotherapy Theory and Practice
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2021


  • Differential Diagnosis
  • angioplasty
  • ankle brachial index
  • low back pain
  • peripheral arterial disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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