How are pulled calf muscles treated?
- Rest: Stop running or physical activity to avoid further damaging the calf.
- Ice: Apply an ice pack or cold compress for 20 minutes every two hours.
- Compression: Reduce swelling and fluid buildup by applying a compression bandage or wrap to the injured area.
What is the best treatment for a torn calf muscle?
- There are essentially six rehabilitation stages that need to be covered to effectively rehabilitate a calf muscle tears and prevent recurrence. These are: As with most soft tissue injuries the initial treatment is RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
- 1 How long does it take for a torn calf muscle to heal?
- 2 Should you walk on a torn calf muscle?
- 3 Can a calf tear heal on its own?
- 4 What is the fastest way to heal a calf muscle?
- 5 Can you exercise with a torn calf muscle?
- 6 Why does my calf muscle keep tearing?
- 7 Is it OK to massage a torn calf muscle?
- 8 Should you wear a boot for a torn calf muscle?
- 9 How can I speed up muscle recovery?
- 10 What is the difference between a calf strain and a tear?
- 11 Can you walk with a grade 3 calf strain?
- 12 What does a grade 3 calf strain feel like?
- 13 Are Compression Socks good for calf strains?
- 14 Pulled Calf Muscle: Treatment, Symptoms & Recovery
- 15 Symptoms and Causes
- 16 Diagnosis and Tests
- 17 Management and Treatment
- 18 Prevention
- 19 Outlook / Prognosis
- 20 Living With
- 21 Torn Calf Muscle: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment
- 22 Overview
- 23 Symptoms and Causes
- 24 Diagnosis and Tests
- 25 Management and Treatment
- 26 Prevention
- 27 Outlook / Prognosis
- 28 Living With
- 29 More health news + info
- 30 What Is a Calf Strain?
- 31 How Does It Feel?
- 32 Signs and Symptoms
- 33 How Is It Diagnosed?
- 34 How Can a Physical Therapist Help?
- 35 Can This Injury or Condition Be Prevented?
- 36 What Kind of Physical Therapist Do I Need?
- 37 Is this content helpful?
- 38 Exercises for a Torn Calf Muscle
- 39 1. Range of Motion Exercises
- 40 2. Calf Stretches
- 41 Strengthen Your Calf
- 42 Calf Muscle Injury
- 43 Credits
- 44 Pulled Calf Muscle: Symptoms, Treatments, and Recovery
- 45 Calf Strain: Rehab Exercises
- 46 Introduction
- 47 How to do the exercises
- 48 Calf wall stretch (knees bent)
- 49 Bilateral calf stretch (knees straight)
- 50 Bilateral calf stretch (knees bent)
- 51 Ankle plantarflexion
- 52 Ankle dorsiflexion
- 53 Bilateral heel raises on step
- 54 Where can you learn more?
- 55 Struggling to make a comeback after a calf muscle strain?
- 56 Why you have to do a specific strength training programme when you’ve torn a muscle
- 57 What a rehab programme for a torn calf muscle should include
- 58 How increased neural tension can lead to calf muscle strains
- 59 References:
How long does it take for a torn calf muscle to heal?
In the less severe cases it usually takes up to three days for a pulled calf muscle to start feeling better. In the most severe cases that don’t require surgery a full recovery may take up to six weeks. In the case that the injury requires surgery the recovery period may extend up to six months to a full year.
Should you walk on a torn calf muscle?
Walking on recovering calf muscles can also increase recovery time. If you have to have surgery for a severe pull in your calf muscle, it may take several weeks or months before you fully recover.
Can a calf tear heal on its own?
Calf muscle tears usually heal after a few weeks of conservative treatments, such as rest, ice, compression and elevation. In rare cases, you may need surgery. Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/24/2021.
What is the fastest way to heal a calf muscle?
How do you treat a calf muscle injury?
- Rest your injured leg.
- Put ice or a cold pack on the sore muscle for 10 to 20 minutes at a time to stop swelling.
- After 2 or 3 days, you can try alternating cold with heat.
- Wrap your lower leg with an elastic bandage (such as an Ace wrap) to help decrease swelling.
Can you exercise with a torn calf muscle?
Initial rest helps prevent further injury and enables the healing process to begin. For a few days reduce the amount of walking you do and gently exercise your calf regularly within pain limits to avoid stiffness. Avoid forceful and stressful activity such as running and jumping at this stage of your recovery.
Why does my calf muscle keep tearing?
Calf muscle strains usually occur when someone suddenly moves or overstretches their calf after standing still. Quick pivots, jumps or abrupt stops can cause strains. This injury is especially common when your toes get forced upward (toward your body) and your ankle pulls your calf muscles down too quickly.
Is it OK to massage a torn calf muscle?
The No HARM protocol should also be applied which includes no heat, alcohol, running or activity, and no massage. This will help ensure decreased bleeding and swelling in the injured area.
Should you wear a boot for a torn calf muscle?
8. Walker Boot. In some cases your doctor may recommend you that you wear a walker boot for calf tear the first 3-4 weeks after a grade 2 or 3 calf tear. A walker boot holds your ankle at 90 degrees in a neutral position and is thought to speed up healing as well as reduce the risk of further injury.
How can I speed up muscle recovery?
Your doctor may recommend the following at-home treatments:
- Rest. Rest the muscle for a few days or until your doctor gives you the okay.
- Ice. Apply ice to the injury for 20 minutes each hour you’re awake.
- Compression. Wrapping the muscle with an elastic bandage can help bring down swelling.
What is the difference between a calf strain and a tear?
Symptoms. A calf strain usually starts with sudden pain in the back of the lower leg. A pop, snap or tearing sensation may be felt. Occasionally, with a severe tear, it may feel like you have been shot in the back of the leg.
Can you walk with a grade 3 calf strain?
– Grade 3 calf strain (6 – 12 weeks). A grade 3 calf strain is a severe injury involving a complete tear to half or all of the calf muscle. Crutches or even a moon boot may be required to enable walking due to severe pain and weakness. Immediate swelling and bruising will be present within 24 hours.
What does a grade 3 calf strain feel like?
Grade III: A third degree or severe injury results in a complete rupture of the muscle and is often concomitant with a hematoma. Pain, swelling, tenderness and bruising are usually present. Recovery is highly individualised and can take months before you are fully recovered for a full return to activity.
Are Compression Socks good for calf strains?
Though compression socks and sleeves cannot cure your calf problem, they can help reduce and alleviate pain, as well as help prevent calf injuries. They also help you feel better as you heal. Blood Circulation – Both compression socks and sleeves are good for blood circulation, especially for runners.
Pulled Calf Muscle: Treatment, Symptoms & Recovery
An overstretched calf muscle, also known as a calf muscle strain, arises when the muscles in your calf (the soleus and gastrocnemius) get overextended during physical activity. The calf muscles are located in your lower leg behind your shin bone and reach from the base of your thigh all the way down to the bottom of your foot. They aid in the flexion and extension of your foot, ankle, and knee. A calf strain can create discomfort and make it difficult to do activities such as running, leaping, and other sports.
A damaged calf muscle may necessitate surgical intervention.
Is a strain the same as a sprain?
A calf strain is not the same as a sprain. Strains are muscular or tendon injuries that occur (tissues that attach muscles to bones). Sprains are damage to the ligaments of the body (tissue that connects bones or cartilages or holds a joint together).
Who gets pulled calf muscles?
A strained calf muscle may happen to anybody at any time. These strains, on the other hand, are more prevalent in athletes that engage in a lot of stop-and-go motions, as well as short bursts of speed. Pulling calf muscles is a common injury among sprinters, football players, soccer players, and tennis players, among others. The injury is referred to as “tennis leg” in some circles. There are also more risk factors for torn calf muscles, including:
- People over the age of 40 may be more susceptible to strains when participating in physical activities. Men are more prone than women to get calf muscle injuries, according to some research. It’s necessary to warm up and stretch before physical exercise, as well as prepare your muscles before the start of a sports season
- Lack of fitness Calf muscle quality: People who have tight or short calf muscles are more likely to suffer calf strains.
How common are pulled calf muscles?
In one study, it was estimated that calf strains account for around 1.3 percent of all lower limb injuries in runners. Gastrocnemius strains were shown to account for 12 percent of all muscle injuries in a study of soccer players, according to the same study. More commonly, gastrocnemius strains (those that occur near the middle of the calf) occur than soleus strains (the lower calf, closer to the heel).
Symptoms and Causes
Calf muscle strains are most commonly caused by someone abruptly moving or overextending their calf after being stationary for an extended period of time. Strains can be caused by sudden pivots, leaps, or abrupt pauses. This type of injury occurs most frequently when your toes are thrust upward (toward your torso) and your ankle pulls your calf muscles down too rapidly.
What are the symptoms of a pulled calf muscle?
A strained calf muscle might result in the following symptoms:
- Standing on your toes or tensing your calf muscles might be difficult. When bending your ankle or pointing your toes, you may have muscle soreness. You’re having trouble bending your knee
- The sensation of snapping or popping in your calf
- Pain at the back of your lower thigh that comes on suddenly
- Your calf muscle is swollen. Bruising on the inside of your calf muscle
The majority of persons who have a pulled calf muscle report being unable to return to their previous level of exercise immediately following the injury.
Diagnosis and Tests
Your healthcare professional will do a physical examination and discuss your symptoms with you. It’s critical to describe in detail how you sustained your injury and how your calf felt immediately following the accident in your report. It is possible that this information will assist your healthcare physician in making a diagnosis. It is possible that you may require imaging tests to identify whether you have any partial or total rips in your calf muscles. Aside from that, these tests can rule out other illnesses that might cause lower leg discomfort, such as Achilles tendon ruptures or deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
According to research, up to 10% of persons who have symptoms of calf pulls really have deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which can be a life-threatening illness. Your healthcare professional may do one or more of the following procedures:
- To check for rips or fluid accumulation around the calf muscles, an ultrasound is used. To look for blood clots, a rip, or internal bleeding, an MRI is performed.
Management and Treatment
The acronym RICE, which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation, is commonly used to describe immediate therapy for torn calf muscles.
- Rest: Stop running or engaging in other physical activities to avoid additional injury to the calf. Apply an ice pack or cold compress for 20 minutes every two hours for a total of four hours. Do not directly apply ice to your skin
- Instead, use a cooling pad. Compression: Applying a compression bandage or wrap to the wounded region might help to reduce edema and fluid accumulation. Lie down with your leg lifted, ideally above the level of your heart. Pillows, blankets, or cushions should be used to support the whole length of your leg.
Even if you may conduct RICE at home, it’s always a good idea to double-check with your healthcare professional to see if there are any additional instructions. Avoid:
- Heating the wounded region
- Applying pressure to the affected area consuming alcoholic beverages
- Massage the calf muscle
- Walking or engaging in some type of physical exercise
Your healthcare practitioner may offer further therapies after diagnosing your injury, including but not limited to:
- Medications for the relief of pain
- Keep your lower leg from moving by wearing a soft cast or boot.
Will I need surgery for a pulled calf muscle?
The majority of complete calf muscle injuries necessitate surgical intervention. A surgeon creates an incision in the calf of your leg and uses stitches to rejoin the two ends of your muscle together. This treatment necessitates the use of general anesthesia, and you may be required to remain in the hospital for a few days. Following surgery, you may be required to wear a cast in plantarflexion for three weeks, followed by a modest dorsiflexion stretch cast for another three weeks after that.
You will be advised by your healthcare professional when you may resume light physical activity once the cast has been removed from your body.
You may lower your chances of getting a strained calf muscle by doing the following:
- Maintaining the strength and conditioning of your calf muscles
- Regular stretching
- Refraining from pushing past pain
- Resting and recharging your batteries in between sessions
- When participating in sports, it is important to use good technique. Preparing your calf muscles for physical exercise by warming them up and stretching them
- Wearing footwear that is both supportive and well-fitting
Outlook / Prognosis
The majority of people heal completely from torn calf muscles with no long-term consequences. Inquire with your healthcare professional about when you will be able to gradually resume light activities. Depending on the severity of your injury, it might take several weeks before you are able to return to your previous level of participation. Recovery from surgery might take anywhere from three to six months. Physical therapy will most likely be required during your recovery to help you restore strength and movement in your leg.
Allowing your injury to fully heal before returning to your usual activities will lower your chance of re-injury and help you recover faster.
If you have any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor:
- Is it difficult for you to walk or bear weight on your leg? You are not able to bend or flex your ankle or knee
- Have you been experiencing acute calf pain? If you see swelling in your lower leg, foot, or ankle, consult your doctor.
An announcement from the Cleveland Clinic A strained calf muscle occurs when the muscles at the rear of your lower leg are overstretched, as in running. It’s a typical injury among athletes who perform a lot of stop-and-go motions, but it can also occur in older, physically active adults. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation are all effective treatments for calf strains. Calf muscle rips are extremely uncommon and necessitate surgical intervention.
Torn Calf Muscle: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment
Having a ripped calf muscle is a serious injury that can cause a partial or total tear in the muscles that run behind your shin bone. When you have a calf muscle rupture, you will often experience abrupt, strong calf pain that will make it difficult to walk or bear weight on your leg. Calf muscle injuries are normally treated conservatively, however they might occasionally necessitate surgical intervention.
- A brief overview of the disease, its symptoms and causes, diagnostic procedures and tests, management and treatment, prevention, an outlook or prognosis, and living with the disease
Muscle Tear in the Calf
- A brief overview of the disease, its symptoms and causes, diagnostic procedures and tests, management and treatment, prevention, an outlook or prognosis, and living with the disease Return to the top of the page
Leg muscles that are located in the lower leg behind the shin bone are known as calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus). They go from the back of your knee all the way down to your heel. These muscles are susceptible to tearing if you make abrupt motions that cause them to be excessively overstretched. Calf muscle tears can be partial or full, depending on the severity (rupture).
Because they are situated between two joints — the ankle and the knee — your calf muscles are particularly vulnerable to injury. The muscular fibers in these muscles are also extremely tight, which makes them susceptible to overstretching injuries.
Who gets torn calf muscles?
Leg muscles that are located in the lower leg behind the shin bone are known as calf muscles (Gastrocnemius and Soleus). From behind your knee all the way down to your heel, they are a nuisance. Performing rapid motions that cause them to be overstretched might cause them to rip. Complete or partial calf muscle injuries have been seen (rupture). Because they are situated between two joints — the ankle and the knee — your calf muscles are particularly susceptible to injury. The muscular fibers in these muscles are also extremely tight, which makes them vulnerable to overstretching injuries.
- Anyone who has short or tight calf muscles and does severe physical exercise without first completing a thorough conditioning program
- In sports such as basketball, soccer, or tennis, athletes who must do abrupt jumps or changes in direction are referred to as “jumpers.” Athletes over the age of 40 who may be suffering from weak calf muscles as a result of aging or inflexibility
How common are torn calf muscles?
Calf injuries may occur in any activity, although they are most frequently seen in those that require running, such as football. Most of the time, the lesions arise when the athletes and their muscles are exhausted. It is more frequent for the gastrocnemius (a muscle in the middle of the calf) to rupture than the soleus (a muscle closer to the heel).
Symptoms and Causes
If you abruptly overstretch your calf muscle, you may suffer a ruptured calf muscle. This injury can be caused by sudden pivots, leaps, or abrupt stops when participating in sports. In addition, if your calf muscles are overworked, it is likely that they will tear over time. People who return to exercise too soon after a previous calf injury are more likely to have a rupture in the muscle.
What does a torn calf muscle feel like?
Symptoms of a torn calf muscle include the following:
- The inability to balance or bear weight on the damaged leg is a result of a lack of calf strength. The sensation of snapping or popping in your calf
- Someone kicked your calf, causing you to experience sudden leg pain at the back of your lower leg
- Bruising and swelling in your calf muscle Where the muscle has been ripped, there is a visible depression beneath the skin.
Complications of a ruptured calf muscle might include the following in extremely uncommon instances:
- Compartment syndrome, which is characterized by significant edema that prevents blood from reaching the muscles
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), is known as a blood clot in the deep veins of the leg
- A blood clot in a vein near the surface of your skin, also known as superficial thrombophlebitis
Diagnosis and Tests
Your healthcare professional will do a physical examination and discuss your symptoms with you. They may palpate (push) on your calf muscles to see whether there are any discomfort or edema in those muscles. A torn calf muscle may appear similar to other lower-leg injuries, such as an Achilles tendon rupture or a ruptured Baker’s cyst, depending on how severe the tear is. Calves that hurt like they’re cramping up might really be a sign of a significant blood vessel condition like DVT or compartment syndrome.
Your healthcare practitioner may perform the following imaging studies to assess the condition of your calf muscles:
- When you have an ultrasound with Doppler, the sound waves are manipulated in order to generate images of soft tissue within your body. It also keeps track of how your blood circulates throughout your body. When you get a muscle scan, your physician can look for muscle rips, internal bleeding, and blood clots. An MRI is a type of imaging technique that produces precise pictures of the soft tissues in your body. This test can assist your provider in distinguishing between muscle injuries and issues with your tendons and ligaments
- However, it is not recommended for everyone.
Management and Treatment
Following confirmation that you have a torn calf muscle, your healthcare professional may offer a home therapy known as RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
- Rest: If you experience calf discomfort, you should halt all physical activity and elevate your leg. Don’t try to push through discomfort because doing so may aggravate the situation. It is possible that you will be needed to use crutches or wear a boot for a number of days. Ice: Apply an ice pack or cold compress to your calf muscles for 20 minutes every two hours for a total of four treatments. Do not directly apply ice to your skin
- Instead, use a cooling pad. Compression: Wrap or sleeve your leg with a compression wrap or sleeve. Blood flow to the painful region is reduced, and edema is reduced as a result of compression. Lie down with your leg lifted, ideally above the level of your heart. Pillows, blankets, or cushions should be used to support the whole length of your leg.
In the meanwhile, until you obtain clearance from your healthcare professional, refrain from:
- Heat should be applied to the damaged region. Massage your calf muscles
- Take a walk, exercise, or engage in some physical activity
Wearing a softcastor boot may also be necessary to keep your injuries immobilized and protected while healing. Some patients require crutches or an assistive device to allow them to move around while their injury is being treated. After a few weeks of RICE, your healthcare professional may suggest that you undergo physical therapy.
Your calf muscle can be helped to restore its strength and flexibility with the aid of therapy. It can also assist you in returning to your normal activities, such as going up stairs or pressing down on the gas pedal in your automobile, with less pain and discomfort.
Will I need surgery for a calf muscle tear?
If you have a calf muscle rupture, you may need surgery if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Have a youthful appearance and a desire to return to competitive sports or high-impact hobbies
- Continue to have calf discomfort even after attempting nonsurgical therapies for several months
- Have a full muscle tear that is accompanied by severe edema and internal hemorrhage
You will be under general anesthesia for the duration of the procedure to treat a calf muscle injury. Your surgeon creates an incision (cut) in the calf of your leg and uses stitches to rejoin the two ends of the torn muscle together. It is possible that you will need to stay in the hospital for a few days following your surgery. A cast is often worn on the whole leg for around three weeks following surgery, depending on the procedure. In addition, you may be required to wear a cast below the knee for an extra three weeks.
You may lower your chances of getting a calf muscle injury by doing the following:
- Allowing your calf muscles to rest and recuperate in between games, practices, and exercises is important. Maintaining the strength and conditioning of your calf muscles
- When participating in sports, it is important to use good technique. Preparing your calf muscles for physical exercise by warming them up and stretching them
- Wearing footwear that is both supportive and well-fitting
Outlook / Prognosis
The majority of people heal completely from a torn calf muscle within a few weeks or months, depending on the severity of their injuries. Even after their injury has healed, some people continue to endure calf discomfort for an extended period of time. It is crucial to remember that even after a torn calf muscle has healed, there may still be scar tissue present in the muscle. That tissue isn’t as powerful as the surrounding muscle, which is why it is there. This puts you at a higher risk for calf muscle tears and other lower-leg injuries in the future as a result of your current condition.
If you have any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor:
- You’re unable to stand on your toes. You are unable to walk or bear any weight on your leg
- In the calf, you are experiencing acute or lasting discomfort
- Do you have difficulty moving your ankle or knee? If you see swelling or severe bruising in your lower leg, foot, or ankle, get medical attention.
An announcement from the Cleveland Clinic A ripped calf muscle is a painful injury that occurs in the muscles that are located behind the shin bone. Sporting persons and those over the age of 40 are particularly susceptible to this sort of muscle strain. Conservative therapies like as rest, ice, compression, and elevation are typically effective in healing calf muscle strains after a few weeks of use. In some instances, surgery may be required. Get useful, helpful, and relevant health and wellness information and news sent to your inbox.
More health news + info
calf strain is an injury to the muscles at the back of your leg, below the knee, that causes pain and discomfort. The calf is made up of nine different muscles. At the same moment, it is possible to hurt one or more of the muscles listed above. Calf strains can develop when a person engages in high-intensity movements such as sprinting or leaping. They can also occur as a result of a clumsy movement. Calf strains are a well-known condition among sports, particularly runners, soccer and basketball players, gymnasts, and dancers, among others.
Physical therapists help patients suffering from calf strains by reducing discomfort, restoring muscular strength and flexibility, and speeding up the recovery process.
They improve the quality of life of their patients via hands-on treatment, patient education, and prescribed physical activity. For an evaluation, you can make contact with a physical therapist directly. VisitFind a PT.Find a PT Near You! if you’re looking for a physical therapist in your region.
What Is a Calf Strain?
It is made up of nine separate muscles that make up the calf. Among the biggest and most active muscles in the region are the gastrocnemius and soleus. They collaborate with the plantaris muscles, which connect to the heel bone and perform the same function. The other six calf muscles are involved in the promotion of knee, toe, and foot motions. A calf strain is caused by overstretching or injuring any of the nine muscles of the calf. It is quite common. It might happen all at once or build progressively over a period of time.
The severity of a muscle strain is determined by the amount of muscular damage that has occurred.
- A slight or partial stretching or tearing of a few muscle fibers in the first grade The muscle is sore and uncomfortable, but it retains its typical strength and function as well. Walking is not restricted in any way, and leg usage is not restricted. a significant strain or ripping of more muscle fibers in the second grade Muscle tenderness and soreness are present in the affected area. There is a reduction in physical strength. Bruising may occur from time to time. There is little use of the legs, and limping when walking is prevalent. A significant tear of the muscle fibers is classified as Grade 3. This can entail a total tear of the muscle. The bruising is clearly obvious. An apparent “dent” is sometimes visible beneath the skin where the muscle has been ripped. The use of one’s legs is quite difficult. Putting weight on the limb causes excruciating discomfort
Bruising can occur as a result of a stretched or torn muscle, which is caused by bleeding. If you suffer from a significant calf strain, you may get bruising that spreads around your ankle or foot. Swelling might begin within a few hours of the occurrence of the injury. The wounded region will swell and become stiff as a result of the injury.
How Does It Feel?
You may encounter the following symptoms if you have a calf strain:
- A sharp discomfort in the lower leg’s back was experienced. Pain might subside immediately or continue for a long period of time. While at repose, you feel a throbbing pain, with strong stabs of agony when you try to rise up or walk
- Calf tightness, soreness, or weakness
- Spasms (a gripping sensation or acute tightness in the calf muscle)
- Calf cramps The ankle or knee should be moved or stretched to relieve the sharp discomfort in the lower back leg. When the damage occurs, there is a tugging sensation. When the damage occurs, there is a “snapping” or “popping” sound.
Signs and Symptoms
When you have a calf strain, you may notice the following symptoms:
- Swelling in the location where the strain has occurred
- Bruising in the afflicted area(s)
- Swelling in the affected area(s)
- When walking, climbing stairs, or standing, you may have calf weakness. When you walk, you have a limp
- You are unable to carry out regular chores that need standing and walking
- Run, jump, or put any weight on the injured limb are all out of the question.
How Is It Diagnosed?
In the case of physical therapy, they will conduct a comprehensive initial examination before making any further recommendations. This will entail gathering information about your medical history. A calf strain might occur as a result of a single incident. A calf strain, on the other hand, is frequently caused by repetitive activity. To diagnose the particular cause of your calf strain, your physical therapist will gather information regarding your condition. The interview will be tailored to your needs and may contain questions such as the following:
- Has there been an injury? So, how have you been dealing with your calf strain thus far? Are there any imaging or other tests that have been requested by other health care practitioners? What are your present symptoms, and how do they interfere with your daily activities? If you are experiencing discomfort, where is it located and how intense is it? Is your pain different throughout the day? Do you have any hobbies that you find difficult to complete? How many activities have you been unable to accomplish as a result of your injury
Following the interview, your physical therapist will do a physical examination on your behalf. They may do any of the following:
- Keep track of your motions (walking, stair climbing, etc.)
- Notify your doctor if you notice any moves that make your symptoms worse or better. Mobility (movement) and strength of your calf and other body parts should be tested. Using gentle and skilled pressure, assess the wounded region to discover where the most discomfort exists.
You will have an opportunity to discuss the findings with your physical therapist following the interview and physical examination. They will collaborate with you to build a customized treatment program that will help you begin your recovery process. Depending on the circumstances, your physical therapist may collaborate with an orthopedist or another medical specialist in order to provide an appropriate diagnosis. In order to confirm the diagnosis and rule out any other potential harm, they may conduct further testing.
How Can a Physical Therapist Help?
In the field of physical therapy, they are movement professionals who treat patients to improve their overall quality of life. Exercise, hands-on care, and patient education are all possible components of treatment regimens.
You will be provided with a focused therapy regimen by your physical therapist in order to expedite your recovery. This program will be developed in accordance with your evaluation and your objectives for a safe return to sport or daily activities after an injury.
The First 24 to 48 Hours
Your physical therapist may recommend that you do one of the following:
- Advise you to relax and refrain from engaging in any activity that gives you pain
- And Provide you with crutches or a brace and instruct you on how to utilize them
- Make use of ice packs on the affected region and show you how to use them at home. Wrap the affected region with an elastic bandage to keep it compressed. In both of your shoes, place heel lift pads on the bottoms. To get further services, such as diagnostic testing, consult with another health-care professional.
Working together, your physical therapist will build a treatment plan that will help you reach your individual goals. Your strategy may comprise the following elements: Patient education is important. Your physical therapist will collaborate with you to identify and correct any external issues that are contributing to your discomfort. It is possible that you will be asked about the types and amounts of workouts you do, your sporting activities, or your footwear. Your physical therapist will make recommendations for changes to your daily routine and develop a specific exercise program to assist you in returning to your desired level of activity without experiencing discomfort.
- Your physical therapist will devise a treatment plan to alleviate your discomfort, which may involve the application of ice to the painful region.
- Your physical therapist may advise you to reduce the amount of time you spend doing certain activities that give you discomfort.
- Exercising your range of motion.
- Depending on your condition, your physical therapist may recommend range-of-motion (movement) exercises to help you regain normal motion in your calf muscles.
- Your physical therapist may use “hands-on” treatments to gently manipulate the muscles and joints in and around your joints.
- They frequently deal with issues that are tough to deal with on your own.
- Muscle imbalances or deficiencies might play a role in the development of calf muscle tension.
- In accordance with your condition, your physical therapist will develop a safe muscle strengthening program that is tailored to your needs.
- In accordance with your age and physical condition, your physical therapist will recommend activities that are appropriate for you.
- Following the improvement of your pain, strength, and range of motion, you will need to cautiously go back into more physically demanding activities.
Following the recommendations of your physical therapist will help lower your chances of suffering another injury. Using information about your specific condition, your physical therapist will design a sequence of activities that will teach you how to move effectively and securely.
If Surgery Is Necessary
A calf strain is an uncommon injury that necessitates surgical intervention. If your calf requires surgical repair, your physical therapist will work with you to reduce the amount of discomfort you experience. They’ll assist you in regaining mobility and strength following surgery in order to return to routine activities as securely as promptly as possible after your procedure.
Can This Injury or Condition Be Prevented?
You can avoid a calf strain by following these guidelines:
- Increase the intensity of any activity or sport gradually, rather than all at once. Avoid pushing yourself too hard, too fast, or too soon
- Instead, relax and enjoy yourself. Always warm up before participating in a sport or engaging in a physically demanding activity. Consistent strength and flexibility/stretching training should be part of your routine. This will assist you in maintaining strong physical conditioning even during the off-season of a sport. Individualized exercise regimens that increase strength, enhance mobility, and reduce the chance of injury are designed by physical therapists who are specialists in this field. Shoe care: Make sure your shoes are in good condition and that they fit properly.
What Kind of Physical Therapist Do I Need?
Calf strains are treated by all physical therapists who have received the necessary training and experience. However, you might want to think about the following:
- In this case, you should see a physical therapist who has experience treating individuals with calf strains. a physical therapist that specializes in orthopedics or sports rehabilitation in their clinical practice
- A physical therapist who is a board-certified clinical specialist in sports physical therapy or who has completed a residency or fellowship in sports physical therapy is qualified. There are advanced knowledge, expertise, and abilities available to this physical therapist that may be applicable to your situation.
If you are looking for physical therapists with these and other certifications, you may locate them by usingFind a PT, an online resource supplied by the American Physical Therapy Association. You can look for physical therapists in your region who have specialized clinical knowledge in a certain area. When looking for a physical therapist (or any other type of health care practitioner), the following general guidelines should be followed:
- Consult with family, friends, or other health-care professionals for advice. Whenever you call a physical therapy facility to schedule an appointment, inquire about the physical therapists’ previous expertise in treating clients who suffer from calf strains. Provide as much detail as possible about your symptoms and explain what is making them worse if you are called in for an evaluation.
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Thank you very much. Your feedback has been forwarded to the appropriate party. Customers, according to the American Physical Therapy Association, should have access to information that will assist them in making health-care decisions and preparing them for their appointment with a health-care practitioner. The articles that follow present some of the most up-to-date scientific research on the subject of physical therapy treatment of calf strain. The articles present the results of recent research and provide an overview of the standards of practice in the United States as well as other parts of the world.
- Injuries to the calf muscle in sports: a systematic analysis of risk variables for injury, Green and Pizzari published a paper in which they discuss calf muscle strain injuries in sports.
- British Journal of Sports Medicine.
- Fields KB, Rigby MD.
- Summary of the article on PubMed.
- Campbell, JT.
- Summary of the article in PubMed.* A free online resource produced by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, PubMed is available to anybody who has an Internet connection (NCBI).
- Details Examined by an expert on November 02, 2019; updated on November 02, 2019.
- Symptoms Conditions Strain in the calf In the name of the Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy (AOPTA), Andrea Avruskin PT, DPT, expert reviewer(s) Alexander Yiu-Ming ChanPh.D., DPT, and Stephen F.
ReischlPT, DPT, board-certified clinical specialist in orthopedic physical therapy, contributed to this article on behalf of the AOPTA.
Exercises for a Torn Calf Muscle
When you return to exercise after ripping your calf muscle, exercise with caution to avoid further injury. iStock/Getty Images image courtesy of Katarzyna Bialasiewicz/iStock Calf tears are a painful ailment that frequently occurs while you are sprinting or jumping high up in the air. In the case of a torn gastrocnemius muscle, which is the larger of your two calf muscles, appropriate workouts will depend on the severity of the injury. Tennis players are particularly susceptible to this type of injury, according to a case report published in the Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association in the December 2013 issue.
However, serious calf injuries may necessitate surgical intervention.
Performing calf tear rehab exercises under the professional guidance of a physical therapist will yield the best results and will help to prevent additional damage.
1. Range of Motion Exercises
The gastrocnemius muscle is responsible for plantarflexion of the foot, which is often known as “pointing the toes.” After a muscle rupture, range of motion is generally restricted, particularly if your ankle has been immobilized. A torn gastrocnemius can be treated with range of motion exercises that can begin one week after the injury.Move 1: ABCs
- Lie down on your back with your leg straight out in front of you. Draw the letters of the alphabet in the air, starting with your big toe. enlarge the letters to the greatest extent feasible while remaining within a painless range Fill in the blanks with the letters of the alphabet three times.
Ankle pumps are the second move.
- As though you were pressing on the gas pedal, sit with your knees straight and your toes pointed as far down as they possibly can. Hold for a total of three seconds. Pull your toes as close to your body as possible and hold for three seconds
- Repeat this process ten times.
2. Calf Stretches
Stretching is an important part of the recovery process following a calf muscle breakdown. Performing stretching exercises can help you move your joints further than your active range of motion. According to the Boston Sports Medicine and Research Institute, stretching should not be undertaken until three weeks after an injury has been sustained. Although it is normal to feel a tugging feeling in your calf when stretching, if you experience discomfort, you have gone too far. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons suggests holding stretches for 30 seconds and then repeating the process three times.
- Lie down on your back with your leg straight out in front of you. Wrap the towel over the ball of your foot and hold one end of the towel in each hand
- This will keep you warm. Pulling the towel toward you until you feel a stretch in your calf is a good technique.
Move 2: Calf Stretch Against the Wall
- Face a wall and take a deep breath. Place your hands on the wall, at around shoulder height, and close your eyes. Remove the weight from your afflicted leg by stepping back about 2 feet. Slowly lean in toward the wall, keeping your back heel on the floor and your knee straight
- Do this until you feel a stretch in your calf muscle.
Strengthen Your Calf
Generally, strengthening activities should be avoided for at least six weeks following an accident to give your injured muscle the time it needs to heal. Following clearance from your doctor or physical therapist, begin performing calf raises, as illustrated by ExRx.net, to help rebuild the strength in your gastrocnemius muscle and prevent further injury.
- Lie down on a step with your heels dangling over the edge and your feet flat on the ground
- Slowly raise your toes as high as you possibly can, then repeat. Hold for two seconds, then carefully lower yourself back to the ground. Repeat for a total of ten times, building up to three sets in succession.
Calf Muscle Injury
Rather than being one muscle, the gastrocnemius muscle and soleus muscle combine to form yourcalf muscle.
If these muscles are overstretched, they are at risk of becoming damaged. Calf muscle injuries can range from a little strain or pull that can be treated at home to a more significant tear that may necessitate the attention of a doctor.
What causes a calf muscle injury?
A calf injury is most commonly sustained while participating in sports that require you to push off with your foot fast in order to achieve a sudden burst of speed. Tennis, baseball, soccer, racquetball, and even plain running are examples of sports that fall under this category. The calf muscle might be stressed and stretched beyond its usual limits as a result of the abrupt movement. This might happen all at once (acute injury) or gradually over time (overuse injury).
What are the symptoms?
The severity of the symptoms is determined on how badly you have damaged the muscle. A strong tugging sensation in your lower leg may indicate that you have simply sustained a strain. It’s possible that you’ll feel uncomfortable. You could feel a pang of discomfort. In the case of more severe muscle rips, you’ll experience extremely acute pain and will be unable to walk.
How do you treat a calf muscle injury?
The majority of calf muscle injuries may be treated at home, including:
- Rest your damaged leg for a while. Take it easy for a day or two
- Apply ice or a cold pack to the painful muscle for 10 to 20 minutes at a time to reduce swelling and relieve pain. Place a thin towel between the ice pack and your skin to prevent it from melting. When you are awake, repeat this procedure every 1 to 2 hours for the following 3 days, or until the swelling subsides. After 2 or 3 days, you can attempt alternating cold and heat. Using a warm water bottle, an electric heating pad set on low, or an extra-warm towel will help relieve pain in your calf. Avoid sleeping with a heating pad on your skin
- Instead, wrap your lower leg with an elastic bandage (such as an Ace wrap) to assist reduce swelling. It is important not to wrap it too tightly since this might induce further edema below the afflicted region. If the bandage becomes too tight, it should be loosen. Numbness, tingling, increased discomfort, coldness, or swelling in the region below the bandage are all indications that the bandage is excessively tight. During the following three days, keep the leg propped up on a pillow while you ice it and whenever you sit or lie down. Keep it above the level of your heart as much as possible. This will aid in the reduction of edema. When it comes to medications, be cautious. Ensure that you read and adhere to all of the label directions.
- If your doctor has prescribed you a prescription pain reliever, follow the directions on the bottle. Alternatively, if you are not taking a prescription pain reliever, ask your doctor whether you may use an over-the-counter pain reliever.
- Don’t do anything that will exacerbate the discomfort. As you begin to feel better, you can gradually resume your workout routine.
More serious injuries may necessitate the use of physical therapy or surgical intervention.
How can you prevent calf muscle injuries?
The majority of calf muscle injuries occur when participating in sports. If you have already had calf muscle pain, it is very vital to attempt to avoid further injury. When you workout, make an effort to:
- Warm up your body. Before participating in any sport or intensive exercise, gently warm up your body by walking or riding for 5 to 10 minutes. Stretch and cool down afterward. Continue to gently cool down after an intensive exercise by running, walking, or bicycling for about 5 minutes at a leisurely pace and stretching for another 5 minutes
- Avoid participating in any sport or intensive activity that you are not physically prepared to accomplish.
On the date of its publication: November 16, 2020 Healthwise Staff is the author of this article. E. Gregory Thompson, MD – Internal Medicine is the subject of this medical review. Dr. Adam Husney is a Family Medicine specialist. Dr. Kathleen Romito is a Family Medicine specialist. Doctor Patrick J. McMahon, MD, practices Orthopedic Surgery. On the date of its publication: November 16, 2020 The author is a member of the Healthwise staff. E. Gregory Thompson, MD – Internal Medicine is the subject of this medical review.
Adam Husney is a Family Medicine specialist.
Kathleen Romito is a Family Medicine specialist.
McMahon, MD, practices Orthopedic Surgery.
Pulled Calf Muscle: Symptoms, Treatments, and Recovery
We feature goods that we believe will be of interest to our readers. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of the links on this page, we may receive a small commission. Here’s how we went about it. A calf muscle has been pulled. A pulled calf muscle is a term that refers to strains that occur in the two muscles in the lower back of your leg that form your calf. These muscles are referred to as the gastrocnemius and soleusmuscles. An injury to the muscles results in some degree of muscle fiber damage.
Runners and sportsmen are particularly prone to this type of injury, which happens often.
An injured calf muscle can manifest itself in a variety of ways depending on how severe the injury is.
A minor strain might cause soreness and a sense of tugging in the bottom portion of your leg, which can be uncomfortable. While it is possible to walk with a minor strain, doing so may be painful. Other indications and symptoms of a torn calf muscle are as follows:
- Mild swelling, redness, and bruising, as well as the difficulty to stand on the ball of your foot
A significant strain in your calf muscles might cause you to experience intense discomfort in your calves. It can also impair your movement, preventing you from being able to walk. A symptom check is used to determine whether a calf muscle has been pulled. In addition, your doctor will search for symptoms of infection such as swelling and bruising. They could even ask you to do some light stretches as they examine your calf muscle to check if it’s been strained in any way. A modest calf muscle strain may resolve within a few days if it is not severe.
- Compresses made of ice or cold are recommended. Wrap these in a nice towel and apply them on your calf for ten minutes to relieve the pain. If you still have swelling after three days, you can repeat the procedure every hour or two for the next three days. Heat pads are a type of heating pad. Be careful not to fall asleep with the heating pad on your leg. Make sure the temperature is set at a low setting. It is best not to use a heating pad straight soon since the heat may cause your calf to swell even worse. Leg wraps are a great way to keep your legs warm. These can also aid in the reduction of edema and the improvement of movement. Raise your leg above the level of your heart. This will help to reduce edema. Rest for at least a full day after your workout. Only until your calf has been entirely relieved of discomfort and edema can you resume your routine activities and exercises. Take pain relievers that are available over-the-counter. For pain relief, you can take acetaminophen or ibuprofen as directed by your doctor unless otherwise specified. Ibuprofen is also a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID) that helps to relieve swelling.
Unless your symptoms improve within a few days, you may have a more significant calf injury that has to be treated. More severe instances may necessitate surgical intervention or physical treatment. Stronger pain drugs may also be provided by your doctor; however, they should only be used for a short period of time and should not be used more frequently than advised. It might take anywhere from one to three days for a torn calf muscle to begin to feel better in its entirety. However, according to Oxford University Hospitals, a full recovery might take up to six weeks to complete.
- Walking on healing calf muscles might further lengthen the time it takes to recover.
- It is critical for your total recovery that you receive treatment as soon as possible.
- Additionally, there is a chance of recurrent calf muscle strain within one to two weeks of the first injury occurring.
- Athletes who continue to compete in the same sports and persons who use the same muscles over and over again have a higher probability of developing cancer.
- Additionally, a herniated muscle can occur as a result of a torn calf muscle in some cases as well.
- Despite the fact that it is not painful, this lump must be treated by a doctor in order to prevent additional muscle harm.
Stretching not only aids in the recuperation of your injured muscles, but it may also aid in the preservation of the stability and mobility of your knee and ankle joints. Inquire with your doctor about the following exercises that you may perform at home to aid with your calf muscle rehabilitation:
- Chair stretches are quite beneficial. Bend and straighten the knee of your problematic leg for 10 repetitions at a time while sitting in a sturdy chair
- Wall stretches Position yourself facing a wall and extend your arms so that your hands are firmly on the wall at shoulder height. Straighten the afflicted leg, keeping your heel firmly pushed into the ground while you do so. Step your second leg forward until it forms a 90-degree angle with your other leg. Hold this posture for 30 seconds at a time for a total of 4 repetitions. Then, during the day, repeat the technique as many times as you feel comfortable. Stretching on the floor Sit on the floor with your afflicted leg extended straight out in front of you. Your foot should be flexed and your heel should be firmly planted on the ground. Lie down on your back and gently press your toes towards you for 5 seconds
- Repeat the stretch up to 10 times
- Standing stretches Take a firm hold of the back of a strong chair and pull yourself up onto the balls of your feet for 5 seconds. Repeat four times every session, up to a maximum of thrice per day
Following a calf muscle strain, you are at a significantly increased chance of experiencing another strain of the same type in the near future. Muscle strains and strained calf muscles can be avoided by doing the following:
- Stretching your legs before exercising
- Warming up for at least five minutes before exercising, including deep stretches
- Cooling down for five minutes after exercising
- Stretching your muscles again for five minutes after you’ve cooled down
You may also avoid torn calf muscles by refraining from participating in rigorous activities that you are not physically prepared for. It’s critical to progressively increase the intensity of your workouts as you progress. In certain cases, a doctor, personal trainer, or physical therapist might make advice about how to take your exercises to the next level when the time is right for you. A strained calf muscle is a frequent injury that, unless there are complications, may be treated at home with little difficulty.
Calf Strain: Rehab Exercises
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Here are a few examples of workouts that you may try out for yourself. The exercises may be recommended for a specific disease or for rehabilitation. Start each exercise cautiously to avoid injury. If you begin to experience discomfort, reduce the intensity of the workouts. You will be instructed on when to begin these workouts as well as which ones will be most beneficial to you.
How to do the exercises
Slide number one of seven Stretching the calf wall on slide 1 of 7. (back knee straight),
- Stand with your back to a wall and your hands on the wall at around eye level. As you place your afflicted leg about a step behind your other leg, keeping your back leg straight and your back heel on the floor, bend your front knee and slowly move your hip and chest toward the wall until you feel a stretch in the calf of your back leg
- Stretch for at least 15 to 30 seconds, depending on your comfort level. Repeat the process 2 to 4 times.
Calf wall stretch (knees bent)
Slide number two of seven Stretching the calf wall on slide 2 of 7. (knees bent),
- This is the second slide of seven calf wall stretch on slide 2 of 7 (knees bent),
Bilateral calf stretch (knees straight)
Slide number three of seven Bilateral calf stretch is shown on slide 3 of 7. (knees straight),
- Place a book on the floor a few inches away from a wall or countertop, then place the balls of your feet on top of it to support yourself. Your heels should be flat to the ground. This means that the book should be thick enough that you may feel a mild stretch in each calf as you read it. If you are unsteady on your feet, you should hold on to a chair, counter, or wall while performing this stretching exercise. Maintaining your knees straight, bend forward until you feel a stretch in each calf is important. Add another book or use a thicker book, such as a phone book, a dictionary, or an encyclopedia, to increase the amount of stretch you receive. Stretch for at least 15 to 30 seconds, depending on your comfort level. Repeat the process 2 to 4 times.
Bilateral calf stretch (knees bent)
Slide number four of seven Bilateral calf stretch is shown on slide 4 of 7. (knees bent),
- Place a book on the floor a few inches away from a wall or countertop, then place the balls of your feet on top of it to support yourself. Your heels should be flat to the ground. This means that the book should be thick enough that you may feel a mild stretch in each calf as you read it. If you are unsteady on your feet, you should hold on to a chair, counter, or wall while performing this stretching exercise. Bend your knees and lean forward until you feel a stretch in each calf
- Repeat on the other side. Add another book or use a thicker book, such as a phone book, a dictionary, or an encyclopedia, to increase the amount of stretch you receive. Stretch for at least 15 to 30 seconds, depending on your comfort level. Repeat the process 2 to 4 times.
Slide number five of seven Ankle plantarflexion is shown on slide 5 of 7.
- 7th slide in a series Ankle plantarflexion (slide 5 of 7) –
Slide number six of seven Ankle dorsiflexion is seen on slide 6 of 7.
- Sit with your afflicted leg straight and supported on the floor in a comfortable position. One leg should be straight with the foot flat on the floor
- With your other leg straight, gradually bend the foot back so that your toes point upward. Afterwards, carefully return your foot to its original position. Repeat the process 8 to 12 times.
Bilateral heel raises on step
Lay down on the floor with your injured leg supported by the other leg. One leg should be straight with the foot flat on the floor; with your other leg straight, gradually bend your foot back such that your toes point upward. When you are finished, slowly return your foot to its initial position; This should be repeated 8 to 12 more times.
- Place yourself on the lowest step of a stairwell, with your back to the stairwell. Placing the balls of your feet on the step is recommended. If you feel shaky on your feet, grab hold of the railing or a wall for support. Slowly raise your heels over the step, keeping both knees straight, until you are standing on your toes (see illustration). Afterwards, gradually drop your heels below the step and toward the floor
- Return to the starting position, keeping your feet in line with the step, and repeat. Repeat the process 8 to 12 times.
Follow-up care is critical to the success of your therapy and overall safety. Make careful to keep all of your appointments and to show up on time, and call your doctor if you are experiencing any difficulties. Keep track of your test results, as well as a record of the medications you’re taking, for future reference.
Where can you learn more?
To discover more about “Calf Strain: Rehab Exercises,” type EnterS834 into the search box on this page. As of July 1, 2021, the information is current.
Struggling to make a comeback after a calf muscle strain?
At SIP, we frequently receive calls from runners who have strained their calf muscles once and then find themselves re-injuring them every few weeks or months – generally just as they are re-establishing their natural training rhythm. Our experience has shown us that this is frequently due to a lack of a good rehab/strength training program, or that they may have increased neurological stress in their legs.
In this article:
- You should follow a specialized strength training regimen after tearing a muscle, for the following reasons: What should be included in a rehabilitation program for a torn calf muscle
- The relationship between increasing neural stress and calf muscle strains
For anyone interested in seeing a video of a livestream I performed on this subject, go here:
Why you have to do a specific strength training programme when you’ve torn a muscle
Essentially, when you tear the calf muscle, you are tearing a portion of the muscle fibers or cells. A three-stage healing procedure must be followed in order for you to regain complete function of that particular muscle. In the first stage, the wounded cells must be expelled from the body. It does this through inflammation, during which the ripped muscle fibers are absorbed by the inflammatory cells in the area of the injury. Inflammation is a critical component of the initial healing process, which is why taking anti-inflammatory medications (such as ibuprofen) within the first 5 days after a muscle injury is not recommended.
- This will take around 3 weeks, although the new cells will not be as robust as the old ones.
- Stage 3: During this stage, your body will strengthen the new muscle cells it has created, but only if you perform the appropriate activities to signal to your body that they need to be strengthened in the first place.
- In the same way, if you’ve hurt your muscles, you should rest them as well.
- As a general rule of thumb, we discover that:
- It is not uncommon to physically break some of the fibers or cells in your calves when you run. It takes three stages of recovery for you to regain full function of that muscle. In the first stage, the wounded cells must be expelled by the body. It does this through inflammation, during which the ripped muscle fibers are absorbed by the inflammatory cells in the area of the wound. Because inflammation is a critical component of the initial healing process, taking anti-inflammatory medications (such as ibuprofen) during the first 5 days after a muscle injury is not recommended. In the second stage, your body is required to generate new muscle cells in order to replace the ones that have been injured. This will take around 3 weeks, but the new cells will not be as robust as the old ones until after that. You must progressively rebuild their strength to the level that it was before to the calf muscle injury. In this stage, your body will work to develop the newly formed muscle cells, but only if you perform the appropriate activities to signal to your body that they should be strengthened. Consider this: you can’t create strong muscles by only resting them
- You must also exercise them in order to get this result. The same is true if you’ve suffered a muscular injury as a result of another activity. Depending on how badly you’ve damaged your calf, the length of time it will take to complete this step will be different. We can use the following as a general guideline:
What a rehab programme for a torn calf muscle should include
We hope that the explanation above has made it apparent why you shouldn’t just sit around and wait for the pain in your calf to go away before concluding that it has fully recovered! It is necessary to follow a properly graded training regimen that stresses the muscle at the appropriate degree. While you are performing the exercises or after you have completed them, you should have no discomfort. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and the activities you begin with will be determined by the nature of your ailment.
- The activity of going up and down on your toes is an excellent example of an exercise that targets the calf muscles.
- These exercises should also be performed in a slightly different manner depending on which section of the calf muscle has been strained, as described above.
- The most essential thing to remember is that you should work on increasing your strength to the level that you require for your specific sport.
- So you can see why doing simple double leg heel lifts and then expecting your calf to be strong enough to withstand the stresses of running will not be sufficient.
- If your activity requires leaping, you’ll need to add plyometric workouts, which teach the muscle to contract strongly, in your rehabilitation regimen during the final phases of your injury recovery.
In addition, make sure that you return to jogging or sports in a gradual manner. Begin with short, gentle runs, then gradually increase the distance and speed as you get more fit. In general, your calf muscle tear regimen should incorporate the following components:
- Weight-bearing exercises that target the calf muscle in isolation, beginning with a light weight and gradually increasing the weight over time
- Exercises that strengthen the muscles in the rest of your body
- Exercises that prepare your calf for your specific sport, such as plyometrics if you play jumping sports like volleyball
- And a gradual return to a running or sports program
How increased neural tension can lead to calf muscle strains
From the top of your skull to the tips of your fingers and toes, your nervous system is connected in a continuous loop. It starts with the brain, which is connected to the spinal cord, and then there are a slew of nerves that branch out into your arms and legs. The nerves should be able to move freely while you walk or run. It is possible that something will block the nerves from sliding, forcing them to stretch and pull tight, so increasing the tension in the nerve. When this occurs, it can result in hamstring and calf muscle injuries as a result of the sciatic nerve being compressed.
Even though this seems fairly frightening, it is usually relatively simple to rectify the situation.
It has been our experience that focusing on lower back and gluteal flexibility while also altering basic everyday routines is sufficient for the majority of our patients.
You are invited to speak with a member of the SIP team online through video conference for an assessment of your injury and a customized treatment plan for you.
About the Author
A certified physiotherapist with more than 15 years of experience and a Masters Degree in Sports Injury Management, Maryke Louwis is a valuable resource. You may find her on LinkedIn and ResearchGate.
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