Calf Pain / Calf Strain

Calf Pain / Calf Strain

Calf pain sometimes called a ‘pulled calf’, is common, especially in sports involving running, jumping, hopping, and landing. A tear in the calf muscle is referred to as a calf strain. This strain happens when the calf muscle is loaded too quickly or too weak for the activity, causing the muscle fibre to pull apart. These strains vary significantly in the degree of damage; first-degree, second-degree, or third-degree.

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Symptoms & Causes of ​​Calf Pain / Calf Strain

The symptoms of calf pain / calf strain are:

  • First-degree strain (Mild)

    • May or may not present any symptoms until after activity has ceased

    • Cramps or tightness 

    • Sharp pain at the time of activity or after

    • May be able to continue the activity, with or without mild discomfort

    • Aching after activity

    • Unable to pinpoint it to one specific spot in the calf

  • Second-degree strain (Moderate)

    • Hear a 'pop' sound or snap when it happens

    • Sore to touch

    • Sharp pain in the calf when carrying out the activity

    • Unable to continue the activity

    • Significant pain with walking afterward

    • Swelling

    • Mild to moderate bruising

  • Third-degree strain (Severe)

    • Hearing a loud pop, snap when it happens

    • Burning or stabbing pain

    • Severe and immediate pain in the calf

    • Unable to continue with the  activity

    • May present with considerable bruising and swelling within hours of injury

    • Able to pinpoint and see the two loose ends of the torn calf muscle

    • Gap visible

​The causes of calf pain / calf strain are:

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Treatment for ​​​Calf Pain / Calf Strain

Our physiotherapists at Fizo Kare Physiotherapy Centre will focus on pain management and accelerating healing. A muscle tear can reattach successfully if treatments and protection are done to the muscles. We will also gradually progress on rehabilitation exercises for the muscles to regain full functionality and prevent further injuries.

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