By Elizabeth Quinn – Reviewed by a board-certified doctor.
A typical cause of calf muscle pain is a pulled or torn calf muscle.If you have a sudden pain in the calf muscle during activity, it is most likely the result of a pulled or torn calf muscle.
This is called a calf strain or a calf pull. It takes place when part of the muscles of the lower leg (gastrocnemius or soleus) are extended beyond their ability to withstand the stress. This stretching can result in small micro-tears in the muscle fibers or, in a severe injury, a total rupture of the muscle fibers.
However there are other factors your calf may all of a sudden cause you pain. Namely cramps and injuries:
Calf Muscle Cramp – A far less severe, however frequently painful, cause of calf pain is the muscle cramp or convulsion. This involuntary contraction of a muscle is short-term, but in might be so strong that it causes a bruise.
Tendon Tear – A calf strain is similar to an tendon tear or rupture but occurs higher up in the back of the leg. The signs of a calf strain are likewise much like that of an tendon rupture – you may think you’ve just been hit in the back of the leg and hear an audible “pop.”
There will be sudden, sharp pain in the back of the lower leg, or pain, swelling as well as bruising over the calf muscle. A lot of calf injuries will make it challenging to endure weight on injured side and make it really hard to base on the toes.
Calf Strain Cause and Severity
A calf strain or pull frequently takes place during velocity or an abrupt change in direction while running.
A ripped calf muscle might spasm, and agreement powerfully so that the toes will automatically point down. Contusions appear over the injured area in addition to in the foot and ankle due to pooling of blood from internal bleeding.
Calf pressures might be minor or really severe and are typically graded as follows:
- Grade 1 Calf Strain: The muscle is stretched triggering some small micro tears in the muscle fibers. Complete recovery takes roughly two weeks.
- Grade 2 Calf Strain: There is partial tearing of muscle fibers. Complete recovery takes approximately 5-8 weeks.
- Grade 3 Calf Strain: This is the most severe calf strain with a total tearing or rupture of muscle fibers in the lower leg. Full recovery can take 3-4 months and, in some circumstances, surgery may be required.
Calf Strains Treatment
The first treatment is R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, elevation). Wrap the calf to keep the blood from pooling in the foot, and keep it elevated for the first 24 hours to reduce swelling. Anti-inflammatory medication may help in reducing pain. Ultimately, the muscle re-attaches to the tendon; however, and the calf is often shorter than prior to the injury and prone to repeat injury.
A check out to a doctor and or a physiotherapist is advised to guarantee in quick rehabilitation.
Typical rehabilitation for a calf strain depends upon the severity of the injury and includes the following.
1. Rest the Muscle. Avoid activities that cause pain. Prevent effect activity or extreme extending (no running, jumping, or weightlifting). Do not return to your sport till you are pain-free.
2. Taping the Calf. Some professional athletes find that taping the calf can reduce pain and help safeguard from additional injury. Applying special physical therapy or kinesiology tape is one way to quickly tape the calf muscle.
3. Series of Motion Stretching Exercises. When the acute pain is gone, start extending the muscle reasonably with passive series of movement stretching. Carefully pull your foot and toes up with legs straight if possible to extend the calf muscle. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 5 to 10 times.
4. Progressive Calf Stretching Exercises. As you recover, you can start using a regular extending and versatility program to acquire range of movement and prevent future calf injury. Follow the suggestions of your therapist when starting these exercises.
5. Use a Foam Roller. Performing mild self-massage with a foam roller as your calf injury heals can help in reducing scar tissue development and improve blood flow to the area.
6.Progressive Strengthening Exercises. Start with exercise tubing or a band and hook it under your toes and press down carefully using light resistance. Point your foot down versus resistance then slowly go back to the start position. Do 10 associates, rest and repeat 5 to 10 times. With time, you will advance to the Calf Raise Exercise.
7. Tendon Strengthening. When you have recovered and experience no pain with standard strengthening exercises, consider strengthening your tendon to prevent associated lower leg injuries.
The goal of rehab is to return to normal activity as rapidly as possible with no long-term results. If you return prematurely, you risk establishing a chronic injury. Keep in mind that everyone recuperates at a various rate, and your rehabilitation has to be tailored to your needs and your progress, not the calendar.
You can securely return to your sport when you meet the list below conditions:
- You have your doctor’s “alright.”
- You are pain-free.
- You have no swelling.
- You have a full series of movement (compared with the uninjured side).
- You have complete or close to full (90 percent) strength (again, compare with the uninjured side).
- You can jog straight ahead without pain or limping.
- You can sprint straight ahead without pain or limping.
- You can jump on both legs without pain and you can jump on the injured leg without pain.