The deeper soleus muscle is one of the two muscles that form the lower leg.The muscles that connect the heel to the back of the knee are necessary for walking, running, jumping and kicking.A calf strain injury usually occurs in the mid leg or knee.There are three types of muscle strains: Grade I, Grade II and Grade III.The type of treatment you should follow depends on the diagnosis of your calf muscle strain.
Step 1: You can schedule an appointment with your doctor.
If you develop calf pain that won’t go away after a few days, you should schedule an appointment with your family physician.Your doctor will examine your leg and calf muscles, ask questions about your lifestyle and how you might have injured it, and possibly take X-rays of your lower leg to rule out a fractured fibula.Your doctor will refer you to a specialist if necessary.Other healthcare professionals who could help diagnose and treat injuries include massage therapists.You should always start with your doctor, as he can rule out other, potentially serious causes of pain, such as blood clot, vascular injury, baker’s cysts, or a potential surgical emergency like compartment syndrome.
Step 2: You should see a specialist for your leg.
Sometimes surgery is required if the muscles are badly torn, but usually they are just mild Grade I strains.There are some serious medical conditions that can cause calf pain or refer to pain to that region.The most serious causes of your calf pain may need to be ruled out by a medical specialist.If you have lower leg pain, specialists may use x-rays, bone scans, and other scans to help diagnose it.Those who play tennis, basketball, football, soccer and volleyball, as well as those who run track and field, are more likely to suffer calf muscle injuries.
Step 3: Understand the different types of treatments.
Make sure you get the doctor to explain the diagnosis and give you options for treatment.Rest and home care can be used for mild to moderate calf muscle strains.You can research calf injuries on the internet in order to learn more about treatments and their expected outcomes.Older age, previous muscle injury, less flexibility, lack of strength in the muscle and fatigue are some of the factors that can lead to a muscle strain.
Step 4: The seriousness of the injury needs to be identified.
Minor injuries and self-heal within a week are what most calf strains are.Micro-tears of up to 10% of the muscle fibers are involved in grade I muscle strains.Mild pain twinges at the back of the lower leg are what they’re characterized by.There is no noticeable loss of strength or motion.It’s possible that you can still walk, run or play your sport despite the pain.Muscle strains occur when the force in the muscle is so great that it tears tissue at the junction between the muscles.It can take a few weeks to fully heal from a Grade I lower leg strain, depending on the amount of muscle fibers involved and the type of treatment sought.
Step 5: Use the R.I.C.E.
.R.I.C.E. is the most effective treatment for most injuries.It stands for, and.Rest is the first step in addressing your injury.Cold therapy should be applied to the injury as soon as possible in order to stop internal bleeding and reduce inflammation, ideally while your leg is elevated on a chair or stack of pillows.Ice should be applied for 10 to 15 minutes every hour, then reduced as the pain and swelling decrease over the course of a few days.Compressing the ice against your injury with a compression bandage or elastic support will help stop the bleeding from the torn muscle fibers.If you leave the compression bandage on for more than 15 minutes at a time, it could cause more damage to your leg.
Step 6: Take over-the-counter drugs.
If you have a calf injury, your family doctor may recommend anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin to help combat the inflammation and pain associated with it.Unless directed by your doctor, these medications should not be taken for more than two weeks at a time.
Step 7: Practice calf stretching.
Light stretching relieves muscle tension and promotes blood flow.scar tissue is not as flexible as muscle fiber after a muscle strain injury.The scar tissue becomes more flexible as a result of stretching.Wrap a towel or compression bandage around your foot.Then grab each end with your hands and slowly pull back while extending your leg and noting the deep stretch in your calf muscles and then slowly release.If you don’t have calf pain, you can practice this stretch three to five times a day for a week.
Step 8: Do not perform these exercises if you have a doctor or physical therapist telling you to, as they can make the situation worse and prolong your recovery.
Warming up and stretching your calf muscles before any athletic activity can help prevent injuries.
Step 9: There is differentiate between the two.
It’s important to distinguish between the deeper soleus and the superficial “heads” of the gastrocnemius with a more serious strain.The location and degree of the injury can be determined with the use of a diagnostic instrument.Up to 85% of the muscle fibers may be torn in a grade II strain.The injuries present with more pain, loss of muscle strength and range of motion.Swelling is more severe because of the internal bleeding from the torn muscle fibers.If you have a Grade II strain, you won’t be able to perform activities like jumping and running, so you’ll be out for a while.The gastrocnemius muscle crosses two joints and has a high proportion of type-2 fast twitch muscle fibers.
Step 10: Use the R.I.C.E.
.If the deeper soleus muscle is the primary site of injury, you may have to keep the ice on your calf for up to 20 minutes at a time.If you have a mild strain, you can use R.I.C.E for a few days, but more severe strains will need more attention.Depending on the amount of muscle fibers involved and the type of treatment sought, most Grade II lower leg strains cause significant discomfort for between one to two weeks after injury.It can take one to two months for these types of injuries to heal.The use of anti-inflammatories should be restricted for moderate to severe muscle strains due to the increased risk of bleeding.
Step 11: Look for physical therapy.
A Grade II strain is a relatively serious injury that most likely involves significant scar tissue formation, as well as noticeably reduced range of motion and strength.Ask your doctor for a referral to a sports medicine specialist or physiotherapist who can offer a variety of tailored strengthening exercises, stretches, massage techniques and therapies to reduce inflammation and break down scar tissue adhesions after the swelling and pain have mostly subsided.When you are pain free, have full range of motion of your lower leg, and have strength in your calf muscles, you can return to full activity.Men between the ages of 30 and 50 years are more likely to have calf strains.
Step 12: Seek immediate medical attention.
A grade III strain is a complete tear of the muscle body.It involves significant pain (burning and/or sharp in nature), immediately severe inflammation and bruising, muscle spasms and sometimes an audible “pop” as the muscle is severed.As the larger severed portion contracts, there is a bulging defect in the calf.An inability to walk is a characteristic of a Grade III calf strain, so assistance is usually needed to get to a hospital or clinic.Even with the help of scar tissue, the muscle fibers can’t be repaired on their own.It feels like someone has shot you from behind or struck you with a sharp object when you have a sudden tendon injury.bruise will settle into your foot and turn it black and blue if you have a severely strained calf.
Step 13: Get the surgery.
The damaged calf muscle and/or tendon may need to be repaired.The longer a muscle is damaged, the harder it is to stretch out and achieve normal muscle tone.It is possible that internal bleeding can cause local necrosis and even lead to anemia from blood loss.Ruptures within the belly of a muscle heal quicker because of the better blood supply.Go to the R.I.C.E.Following surgery, there is a protocol.In the case of complete rupturing, the calf muscles take about 3 months to heal.After surgery, you’ll have to use crutches for a while and wear a supportive compression boot.
Step 14: Take time to rehabilitate.
If surgery is necessary, physical therapy is needed to heal a Grade III sprain.Dynamic training exercises can be added in a consecutive manner as each type of exercise is completed without pain.The exercises strengthen the calf muscles.A return to athletic activity can take 3-4 months, although there is always a risk of re-injury in the future.If you have poor foot posture, you may be able to get custom foot orthotics after your rehabilitation to prevent further calf injuries.