You probably call it a pulled muscle or the tennis leg but when the calf muscle (or tendons) is overstretched or worse… gets torn, then what you will have right there is a very… trust me, very painful calf strain situation.
So what are the most common calf muscle strain symptoms?
And how do you exactly get a calf strain?
It is these muscles that enable us to do simple everyday activities like playing most active sports, regular walking, and finding balance especially when landing from a jump plus supporting many other small functions like stretching on your toes to reach for stuff placed on a high shelf.
Looking to lose that weight and improve your metabolic health? Check out our review of the Fat Diminisher System HERE
How Do You Get a Calf Strain?
Calf strains are very common in the sports field. Truth be told, you can get a calf strain injury anywhere but mostly it will be during a physical movement.
You can get injured while running, skiing, lunging, going up the stairs, playing tennis, jumping, or even when exercising.
This can happen in various ways depending on your body movement at that particular time. Calf strains can either be categorized as grade 1, 2, or 3.
This is considered the mildest case of a calf strain. Although you’re still able to continue with near perfect leg movement (like walking or jogging without too much discomfort…), don’t be fooled, it will take you up to 4 weeks or slightly more to recover completely depending on how fast your body heals.
Mostly this is just a case of a few strained muscle fibers.
This is moderate injury and it occurs when muscle fibers get torn but don’t rupture fully. An injury of this grade would take you anywhere from 4 to 9 weeks to recover.
A grade 2 calf strain may include some significant swelling and the aching can go on for more than a week. There’s also too much discomfort when walking or moving around.
This is the worst case and a complete recovery can take up to 12 weeks! In this case, the muscle is totally torn (ruptured).
How Do You Know You Have a Calf Strain? What Are The Symptoms?
Upon injury, the calf muscle will announce its discomfort in the following ways:-
* Immediate sharp pain that can make even a grown up cry like a baby depending on the severity
* Bruising may appear
* The area becomes tender and swollen
* An audible snap or pop that is also felt
* Difficulty in standing on your toes (ballet dancer style)
* Feeling of being kicked or struck hard at the back of your leg (around the calf area)
* Difficulty in standing from a sitting position or even walking
How to Remedy a Calf Strain
What you need first and foremost is rest and lots of ice! Ensure you minimize your movement and you apply ice on the injured calf muscle at least 3 times a day for periods of about 20 to 30 minutes per session.
Application of ice can be more frequent depending on the severity of the calf injury and how much swelling or pain is involved.
Once you get through the initial phase, you can now try a few small exercises to help you heal faster and get back to normal activities (especially if you’re an athlete).
You can start with non-stressful toe raises both a standing and sitting position (whichever way you feel comfortable or is appropriate to your particular case).
The idea is to stretch the injured muscle and help it heal without causing more injury.
If walking is a problem or you want to go out for a walk or slight jog, then a compression sleeve or bandage over the injured calf muscle is a good idea.
This helps in two ways;
- keeping the muscle in position and
- reducing tension on the injured muscle(s).
You can also invest in some heel pads if you want to further reduce the tension on your injured calf.
Don’t worry about a workout plan…there are several exercising plans available online for free.
Just look for something that suits your particular case and talk to your physician before starting on any exercises to confirm that you’re not making things worse!
Now you know how to identify and respond to calf muscle strain symptoms…wasn’t that a fun and learning experience? 🙂