Strained Calf Muscle is a common condition in which the soleus and gastrocnemius muscles of the calf are overstrained. This set of muscles helps in the flexibility and mobility of the foot, ankle, and knee. A strained calf is a painful condition in which you are unable to jump, run, or perform other physical activities. We usually confuse it with a calf muscle strain and sprain as both appear the same to us. Calf muscle strain affects muscles and tendons whereas sprains are for ligaments.
Symptoms And Diagnosis
Strained calf muscles are common in men after 40. People get most commonly during physical activities while performing physical activities without doing proper warm-ups. People with short or tight calf muscles are at high risk. You won’t be able to stand on your toe if you get a calf muscle strain.
Flexing the ankle and toe will be very difficult. You will be feeling a popping sensation in your calf. Swelling and bruising can also be there. An experienced healthcare provider can identify the calf strains by examining them.
Let your doctor decide the severity of the strain and determine the treatment plan. Ultrasound scanning is the other common method of diagnosing it. Usually, doctors suggest 1 to 28 days rest from sports for a strained calf.
How To Prevent It?
A well-conditioned calf muscles won’t cause a muscle srtarin’. To prevent the condition we will have to ensure that the calf muscles are strong and conditioned. Regular stretching exercises are very effective. Giving relaxation and recovery time in between workout routines is also recommended. Warm-up sessions need to be practiced compulsorily before entering the workout regimes. Supporting footwear that matches your physical activity can also p[prevent calf muscle strain.
How To Treat?
👉Rest: Doctors usually suggest to take rest and staying away from physical activities if there is a calf strain. Running or other activities that complicate the strain must be avoided. Experts suggested mild exercises can be practiced for fast healing. Some doctors may even suggest crutches or a stick for a few days to ease the healing process if the condition is severe.
👉 Ice packs And Hot Bags: Ice oaks work well initially as cold compress reduces inflammation. It is a good practice for relieving muscle pain. Once the inflammation is cured it is also suggested to apply hot bags for curing muscle soreness.
👉 Compression Socks Or Bandages: Compression socks or bandages can be used on the affected area to reduce pain and soreness. It also prevents inflammations and swelling. It is always recommended to use fine-quality bandages or socks to prevent complications.
👉 Use A Pillow: Using a pillow to elevate the affected leg may prevent inflammations and swelling. Lift the leg above the level of your heart for best results.
👉 Pain Killers: Over-the-counter medications can be used to ease muscle soreness. Medicines like ibuprofen are effective where. There are many topical creams and lotions available for sudden pain relievers. These medicines are only for the symptoms and they won’t cure.
👉 Stretches: Gentle stretches relaxes and stabilizes the calf muscles. The strained calf can be easily cured by practicing stretching exercises.
- Standing wall stretch: It is the most recommended one. Keep your hands firmly against the wall and straighten your affected legs. See that your heels are pressed into the floor.
- Toe raise stretch: It is also considered effective for healing pain and muscle soreness. Sit on a chair by keeping your feet flat on the floor. Then list the toes of the left foot and keep the right foot form on the ground. Reverse the stretch with right and left.
- Floor stretches: Sit on the floor by keeping the affected leg firmly on the floor. Heels must be pressed on the floor and toes to stretch toward you.
👉 Strained Calf And Surgeries
Surgery is the final option for strained calf muscle. Doctors opt for it only if there is a very severe tear. The two ends of the torn muscle will be reattached with a stitch after an incision. It demands hospitalization for a few days as it needs anesthesia and follow-ups. It may take up to three months or longer for a complete cure.