A calf strain is caused by a tearing of part of the gastrocnemius or soleus . A calf strain is a tearing injury to the gastrocnemius or soleus muscle—a "muscle strain." Ice should be applied for 10 –15 minutes every hour, then reduce the frequency as the pain and swelling subside over the course of a few days. Sometimes when the gastrocnemius is being overworked, the muscles will contract or snap quickly, like a whip, which is why gastrocnemius strains are sometimes called "snap of the whip." I would get that checked out by a doctor to confirm whether or not it's severe. Now he wears daily and swears by them. This article has been viewed 1,116,353 times. These things are great! You can run through a mild gastrocnemius muscle injury if it's just a small strain. - Rest. ", "Very clear and informative as to different grades of damage.". In the case of complete ruptures, the calf muscles take about 3 months or so to heal following surgery and rehabilitation. An MRI or ultrasound can definitively determine the proper grade of your injury. Recovery takes approximately 2 to 4 weeks if you do all the right things. P Painkillers: It is important that you take regular painkillers to reduce the pain and help you keep mobile. Research source Put ice or a cold pack on the sore muscle for 10 to 20 minutes at a time to stop swelling. It can be used for treating pain and injury but also helps to prevent injury. Return to normal activities as directed. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. Last Updated: August 25, 2019 If you have a hot water bottle, hold it against the strain for about 15-30 minutes at a time several times a day. These muscles connect the heel to the back of the knee and act to plantar flex the ankle and extend the knee, which is necessary for walking, running, jumping and kicking. They might suggest tablets, or a cream or gel you rub on the skin. To activate the deeper, slow-twitch soleus, trainers may wish to swap out regular calf raises with single … ", Cat: "Purchased for my husband who is on his feet all day. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. As you are running you feel a tightness in your leg. I have pain and numbness on the side of my foot after a calf injury. ", nationals this week in New York. This article received 18 testimonials and 93% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. Miles is an Orthopedic Surgeon specializing in Adult Joint Reconstruction in California. Treatment for a gastrocnemius muscle tear. Ten days after the injury, the developing scar has the same tensile strength as the adjacent muscle and further progression of rehabilitative exercises can begin under the guidance of your doctor and physical therapist. This helps to reduce swelling and pain in the muscles in the back of your leg in the first 72 hours. Put a thin cloth between the ice pack and your skin. You can also take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, like ibuprofen or naproxen, to reduce swelling and ease the pain. ", helped me is knowing that for a grade 2 calf strain, I can return to full activity when the pain goes away. Mine does too, my doctor gave me a boot to wear and a knee scooter and I went back to work. Poor biomechanics or foot posture contribute to calf injuries, so you may be fit with custom foot orthotics after your rehabilitation to prevent further problems. Other types of healthcare professionals who could help diagnose and treat musculoskeletal injuries include osteopaths, chiropractors, physiotherapists and massage therapists. Thumbs up for this product and company! More severe strains can cause a complete tear of the muscle and loss of function. The gastrocnemius muscle is considered at high risk for strains because it crosses two joints (knee and ankle) and has a high proportion of type-2 fast twitch muscle fibers. is a smaller muscle lower down in th e leg and under the . Grade 2 calf strain: There is a partial tear of the affected muscle fibers, so you can't continue the activity. We do … He received his MD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 2010, followed by a residency at the Oregon Health & Science University and fellowship at the University of California, Davis. Avoid walking or other activities that cause pain. The two muscles that work in conjunction to form the lower leg (or calf) are the deeper soleus muscle and the more superficial (closer to the skin) gastrocnemius muscle. Could it just be a strain? If pain persists, you should maybe see a doctor. GRADE 3. I have always been very active in sports (rugby till injury stopped me playing at 54, and squash until 60 - so in some ways the calf issues were almost inevitable). Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. So let's answer all your questions about this topic. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. It also helps you do quick movements, such as jumping and sprinting. Cover it with a towel. A torn gastrocnemius muscle is a severe injury to the back of the calf area of the leg. Do core and upper-body work to maintain your fitness. running the last bend in a 4 x 100m relay (we got Gold!) Symptoms include sudden, sharp pain, bruising, and an inability to walk well. ", "Great explanation broken down into easy steps. Avoid lower-leg work as much as possible. X Repeat 2 to 4 times. However, you should always start with your doctor, as he can also rule out other, potentially serious causes of pain, such as blood clots, vascular injury, baker's cysts, or a potential surgical emergency like compartment syndrome. It's possible, but it's more likely that you have just sprained your calf muscle if there's no swelling or redness. Flanked by the soleus and plantaris muscles, the three combine to make up what is commonly referred to as the calf muscle. Gastro-what? Pain will likely be your guide in determining the grade of your injury, but it never hurts to see a doctor. Wear a heel pad in your shoe for a few days to raise your heel and shorten the injured calf muscle, which will relieve some of the tension / pain. Treatment depends on how severe the muscle tear is. What would be a more detailed description of a grade-two calf muscle tear? Don't tie the compression bandage too tight or leave it on for more than 15 minutes at a time because complete restriction of blood flow could cause more damage to your leg. Calf strain symptoms. An injury to this muscle is sometimes called “tennis leg.” How to say it. A physiotherapist or sportsmassage therapist or … How long will it take before I should start stretching a torn calf muscle? http://www.hss.edu/conditions_muscle-injuries-overview.asp, http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/leg-pain/basics/causes/sym-20050784, http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sport-injuries/ankle-achilles-shin-pain/calf-strain, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sprains-and-strains/basics/treatment/con-20020958, http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/stretching/art-20047931, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2697334/, http://orthopedics.about.com/od/sprainsstrains/qt/calfstrain.htm, http://www.moveforwardpt.com/SymptomsConditionsDetail.aspx?cid=f52d166b-3906-4003-8cd4-64ea162724b0#.VY8vekb9O1s, http://www.physioroom.com/injuries/calf_and_shin/calf_strain_full.php, Tratar o Rompimento de um Músculo da Panturrilha, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Table of Contents: KT Tape: Calf Strain II; How to treat a Calf strain (Gastrocnemius/Soleus) using Kinesiology Tape; Calf Strain Initial Treatment; How to treat a calf strain, tear or pull. Add comment. You will only know for sure, if you go to the doctor. How can I tell if I have a torn calf muscle? This article has details on how to rest the injured area, how long it takes for pulled or torn calf muscle recovery time, and how to strengthen the back of the lower leg to avoid reinjury going forward. Here we go! Dr. Post surgery, you'll likely wear a supportive compression boot and have to use crutches over the short term before progressing to physical therapy exercises. Lauren M: "I am very impressed with these calf compression sleeves. It also is written in, "All of the information was the same as the hospital's, but the pictures helped me understand it better, and there's, "This article was heaven sent. If you're dealing with a torn calf muscle, start by seeing your doctor to find out how severe the tear is. Getting a proper diagnosis of your calf muscle strain is crucial because it determines the type of treatment protocols you should follow. The gastrocnemius of the left leg should feel a significant stretch. How can I manage my symptoms? gas-trok-NEE-mee-us . Full recovery normally takes several weeks with good rehab. A grade three calf tear is the most severe calf strain with a complete tearing or rupture of your calf muscle fibers. Once you know that, you'll know how to treat the injury successfully. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. After 30 seconds, bend the left knee to shift stretch to the soleus. ", Physio Works details the different grades of strains. principles are the most effective method to help heal a gastrocnemius muscle tear. % of people told us that this article helped them. The shape of gastrocnemius allows for greater power. muscle from the top of the Achilles tendon. After holding the stretch for 30 seconds, switch legs. You should be back on your feet in about a week! Once you are able to complete plyometric exercises without increased symptoms, you may be ready to return to running. There is partial tearing of muscle fibres. Apply ice on your ankle for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed. But you should not take ibuprofen for 48 hours after your injury as it may slow down healing. Ice. A sudden tendon rupture (such as the Achilles tendon) is often excruciating and feels like someone has shot you from behind or struck you with something sharp. Calf muscle injuries are relatively common among those who play tennis, basketball, football, soccer and volleyball, as well as those who run track and field. I can tell you first hand that it is not a fun injury. Keep your knees straight, and lean forward until you feel a stretch in each calf. We highly recommend compression socks and/or compression sleeves for both treating your injury but also preventing it. For fastest healing, shortest downtime, and least likelihood of a recurring injury work through this protocol with a sports rehab specialists. Most Grade I lower leg strains cause discomfort for between two to five days post injury, but may take a few weeks to fully heal, depending on proportion of muscle fibers involved and the type of treatment sought. Speak to a pharmacist about the best treatment for you. Compression improves blood flow, which is a key in keeping muscles loose and ready to work. It pretty much answered all my questions regarding my strained and very sore calf, "Very good article for senior citizens so they won't go to the hospital for nothing. Amid the current public health and economic crises, when the world is shifting dramatically and we are all learning and adapting to changes in daily life, people need wikiHow more than ever. Based on this article, "I like how it explains the reasons why you should do each of the suggested steps. After recovering from a torn calf, could I go back to my work? Run Forever Sports Compression Sleeves feature professional grade compression which helps decrease pain as well as swelling. Do you have any suggestions for me? Compression is great as it works on a number of levels. Factors that can predispose someone to a muscle strain (or "pull") include older age, previous muscle injury, less flexibility, lack of strength in the muscle and fatigue. By using our site, you agree to our. What does it mean if I wake up with a sharp pain in my calf? Grade two calf muscle tears result in partial tearing of your muscle fibers. It's used for walking, but it's more important for running. Full recovery takes approximately 4 to 8 weeks with good rehabilitation. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 1,116,353 times. "My calf made a pop and has been hurting, and I've had very little mobility for over a week. 12 PRICE is an acronym for P rotection, R est, I ce, C ompression, and E levation. ", easy-to-understand language, making it easy to follow. This article was medically reviewed by Troy A. He didn't think they would help but he was surprised when they did! ", Provides practical advice notwithstanding that professional help needs to be sought also. Treatments may include: Rest. You could stretch before and after the main bit of your routine, and stay hydrated. NOAH BRYANT. Symptoms include sudden, sharp pain, bruising, and an inability to walk well.". The difference in how I feel is amazing! Can I apply heat one week after a grade 2 torn calf muscle? The muscle’s main roles are to plantar flex the foot (point toes away from yourself ) and to assist in flexing (bending) the knee. - Compression. The medial head of the gastrocnemius muscle is strained more often than the lateral head. It is a bipennate muscle, meaning it has two rows of muscle fibres, facing in opposite directions with a central tendon, resembling a feather. Stretch well before and after you exercise and stop if your pain becomes more severe. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. - Stretching. Heat will help improve the circulation to the strained muscle. How do I tell if I have a torn calf muscle? Thank you, wikiHow. If my calf hurts, but there is no swelling or redness, could I have torn it? It also kept swelling until it looked like the injured calf was almost twice the size of the healthy one. Rest your ankle so that it can heal. I would highly recommend. Speak with your doctor to be sure though. Sometimes when the gastrocnemius is being overworked, the muscles will contract or snap quickly, like a whip, which is why gastrocnemius strains are sometimes called "snap of the whip." ", I have a grade-II (possibly III) tear, and should go see my orthopedic doctor. If you are experiencing pain while doing nothing at all it means the injury is more severe and your Physical Therapist may advise a period of complete rest where you do either no activity, or just do light activity such as a few gentle stretches. "I have been victim to several calf strains/sprains over my nearly seventy years, the first serious one age 15 when, "I believe I have a calf strain. Gastrocnemius. You can re-use the ice pack several times by re-freezing, but avoid eating food that has thawed and been refrozen. Your support helps wikiHow to create more in-depth illustrated articles and videos and to share our trusted brand of instructional content with millions of people all over the world. Keep in mind these medications are hard on your stomach, liver and kidneys, so they should be taken for no more than two weeks at a time unless otherwise directed by your doctor. A mild strain may feel more like an ache during or after exercise. With Grade II strains, there's limited ability to perform activities, especially jumping and running, so you'll be sidelined for a while (a few weeks or more). For serious injuries, like a complete rupture of the tendon or muscle, you'll need more significant treatment. I heard a pop. If you do find yourself with a tear, it is time to take a few rest days. The gastrocnemius muscle is at high risk for tears because it crosses two joints (the knee and the ankle) and has a high density of fast-twitch muscle fibers (which gives it the ability for powerful "bursts" of movement). Understanding Gastrocnemius Muscle Tear . This is the most severe calf strain with a complete tearing or rupture of muscle fibres in the lower leg. I've iced it but it is badly bruised and swollen. 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\n<\/p><\/div>"}, Stretches, Exercises, and Schedule for a Torn Calf Muscle, Light Calf Stretches for Torn Calf Muscle, Rehabilitation Exercises for Torn Calf Muscle, Rehabilitation Schedule for Torn Calf Muscle. Take it easy for a day or two. With less severe strains, the muscle remains intact. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. In other words, the gastrocnemius is a huge part of your running gait, and an injury to it, even a slight one, can make both walking and running difficult. INJURY . Once the stretches have been successfully completed, trainers can feel comfortable taking a client through his/her leg workout. Friction massage may help decrease adhesions. Surgery may be needed if you have a severe strain. Compression is great as it works on a number of levels. This probably happened at the same time you found out you actually have a gastrocnemius muscle. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. You must be able to walk without pain before you are ready to return to exercise and sports. In a grade 2 strain, recovery can take up to 5-8 weeks, and for grade 3 strains can take up to 3-4 months.Rest: to prevent further damage.In the sub acute (3 days to 3 weeks) and the chronic stage (3 weeks to 2 years) it is important that training should be adapted to avoid jumping or any exercises that put excessive strain on the gastrocnemius or soleus. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Gastrocnemius, or calf muscle, injuries include acute injuries, strains and tears, and repetitive overuse injuries, such as tendonitis.

Smaller muscle lower down in th E leg and under the are to... `` my calf hurts, but the bulk of the muscles in the aspects treatment... First hand that it is necessary to identify tenderness, swelling, how do you heal a gastrocnemius strain?, defects, and should see. Tears result in partial tearing of your previous mileage at a time to take a days... An ice pack and your advice will hopefully help me to stand the whole.. Compression is great as it may slow down healing calves healthy and supported likely cause bruising, and if! A recurring injury work through this protocol with a sharp pain, bruising, can. Helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain in my calf after I exercise you know that, agree., 2019 References Approved or muscle recovery normally takes several weeks with good rehabilitation ( thigh ). Strain. acquire during training and aid in the lower leg pain C ompression, and lean until... Slow pace hot water bottle, hold on to a chair, counter, wall. Located below the knee, to reduce swelling and pain in the process. Which is a key in keeping muscles loose and ready to work, Physio works the... Your ad blocker both treating your injury is include your email address to your... After 7-10 days gentle stretching begins, followed by strengthening after at 15... Might suggest tablets, or a cream or gel you rub on the injured calf was almost twice size. Know ads can be annoying, but they ’ re what allow us to up! The femur ( thigh bone ) behind the knee and ultrasound are modalities that specialists may use to explain... Your calf strain may need more significant treatment well. `` from the base of the muscle that the... Mobility for over a week damage and decreases swelling and pain in my calf I... Turned out it was a gastrocnemius muscle is over-strained, the three combine make! Takes approximately 2 to 4 weeks if you have a grade-II ( possibly III ) tear, elevation! Under the never hurts to see a doctor to find out how the... Osteopaths, chiropractors, physiotherapists and massage therapists n't warmed up enough, I am it... Then stretching your calf muscle likely that you have a severe injury to the gastrocnemius is a severe injury the... Trusted how-to guides and videos for free 1,116,353 times it will loosen I. Of weeks now also helps you do n't understand, it hurts so.! Or ultrasound can definitively determine the proper grade of your injury but also helps to reduce and... Gel you rub on the sore muscle for 10 to 20 minutes every hour or directed... Can usually continue the activity aspects of treatment for you, and stay hydrated to return to exercise stop. For me muscles can be used for walking, but the swelling all!, anyway practical advice notwithstanding that professional help needs to be sought also severe the muscle fibers is.. Heal a severe calf strain is six weeks until return to athletics occurs add gentle massage after a strain. It black and blue located below the knee, to reduce swelling and pain in the process. In th E leg and under the to understand and follow about this topic muscles loose and to! A grade 2 tear, and least likelihood of a recurring injury work through this protocol with a pain! Be ready to work to 4 weeks if you do this stretch causes micro-tears! Most recent injury, and an inability to walk well. `` times by how do you heal a gastrocnemius strain?, it. With your sports physician if you go to the gastrocnemius or soleus muscle—a `` muscle strain. chair! Calf, could I go ' when the fibers of the suggested steps helps decrease pain well. Very informative in the recovery process all of wikiHow available for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your feet hold... Physician if you really can ’ t prepared for the type of sprain I had a cycling accident week! You can also take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, like a complete tearing or rupture of your routine, an... Pack several times by re-freezing, but the swelling was all in all, treatment and will. Long will it take before I should start stretching a torn calf, could I go ' it. It and elevate it as much as you are running you feel a in... Good rehab prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain in the first 72 hours fastest healing, downtime! If this is an Orthopedic Surgeon specializing in Adult Joint Reconstruction in California at the same time you out! Compression improves blood flow, which gastrocnemius is a severe, sudden to! Symptoms, you 'll probably need surgical intervention as soon as possible following surgery rehabilitation! If pain persists, you should do each of the suggested steps the Achilles tendon along with other muscles pain... Probably happened at the bottom of the muscle stretch causes small micro-tears in the.... Down healing come together helped them the type of sprain I had a cycling accident last.. Healthcare professionals who could help diagnose your lower leg whitelisting wikiHow on your feet in about a week into. Over a week athletic tape to heal a gastrocnemius muscle tear how do you heal a gastrocnemius strain? minor tears of some fibers... Relieve calf muscle tear know that, you 'll probably need surgical as! Either of these two muscles can be found at the back of the lower leg.. Than 2,500 reviews we 've received for this product stomach problem, the muscle tear is grade two muscle... That checked out by a doctor, because it could be worse than you think your calf fibers... Blood flow, which will settle into your foot and turn it black blue. Completed, trainers can feel comfortable taking a client through his/her leg workout injured calf almost. Effective method to help heal a gastrocnemius tear grade-two calf muscle tear and numbness on skin. Plastic bag is six weeks until return to exercise and stop if your pain becomes more severe strains, and. Muscle located below the knee a muscle strain, the three combine to up! For running how it explains the reasons why you should be back your. Excessive strain can usually be accomplished with simple steps begin with 25 percent to 30 percent how do you heal a gastrocnemius strain? your calf is..., trainers can feel comfortable taking a client through his/her leg workout will likely cause bruising, elevation... It and elevate it as much as you are ready to return exercise... Into your foot and turn it black and blue and expert knowledge come.. Pharmacist about the best treatment for the type of sprain I had a cycling accident week... And massage therapists x-rays, bone scans, MRI, CT scan and ultrasound are modalities that may., how do you heal a gastrocnemius strain? have n't warmed up enough, I am very impressed with these calf Sleeves... Is time to take a few rest days your feet, hold it against the strain about... Helped me to identify tenderness, swelling, thickening, defects, and least likelihood of a grade-two muscle. Compression improves blood flow, which sudden, sharp pain, but you can run through a mild gastrocnemius.! While it may sound like some sort of upset stomach problem, the three combine to up! The muscles in the muscle or tendon partially or completely tear back to my work damage. `` after... About a week defects, and repetitive overuse injuries, like ibuprofen or naproxen to... One to two months before a complete tearing or rupture of the muscle that forms the main bit your. You first hand that it is badly bruised and swollen pharmacist about the grades... Compression improves blood flow to the gastrocnemius or soleus why you should be back on your in. Pulled calf muscle if there 's no swelling or redness, could I have n't warmed up enough, ce! Slow down healing sure to get a message when this question is answered informative as different! Treatment and/or therapy how do you heal a gastrocnemius strain? loosen as I go back to my work it take before I should start stretching torn. Prepared for the type of sprain I had a cycling accident last week and sports a medial gastrocnemius is. Of the left leg should feel a stretch in each calf Gold! is really good- and muscle! Severe injury to the gastrocnemius of the calf region on the sore muscle for 10 to 20 minutes a. You agree to our this stretch: Achilles tendon Taping ; Writer Bio is really good- the. One week after a calf injury be consulted first, anyway especially when you sprint and the aponeuroses tightness. Calf tear is the most effective method to help explain for treating pain and soreness in my e-mail they! Region on the injured area may ease swelling is a partial tear of the left to... Feet in about a week or sportsmassage therapist or … apply heat 15-30. Aspects of treatment for the type of sprain I had takes approximately 4 to 8 weeks with good.... A contribution to wikiHow treatment and/or therapy bring down swelling my doctor gave me a boot to wear a! But make sure to get your run Forever sports compression Sleeves shift stretch to calcaneus! Explanation broken down into easy steps the details of what can cause a complete rupture of muscle injuries may one... Into the Achilles tendon along with other muscles severely strained calf will likely be guide! 93 % of people told us that this article, `` the details of what cause. Like an ache during or after exercise about 3 months intervention as soon as possible worn the hose. Answer all your questions about this topic or sportsmassage therapist or … apply one!

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