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References Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. GRADE 2. Contributing factors include overuse, muscle weakness or tightness, and overtaxing a “cold” muscle. 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. 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. Check with your sports physician if you think your calf strain may need more serious treatment and/or therapy. 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. A grade three calf tear is the most severe calf strain with a complete tearing or rupture of your calf muscle fibers. Calf strain in runners. [1] This article has been viewed 1,116,353 times. The gastrocnemius of the left leg should feel a significant stretch. He is a Diplomat of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and is a member of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, American Orthopaedic Association, American Association of Orthopaedic Surgery, and the North Pacific Orthopaedic Society. Wait at least two to three weeks, and make sure you rest it before applying heat. What will happen if I don't rest a pulled tendon or muscle? 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. 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. While it may sound like some sort of upset stomach problem, the gastrocnemius is a leg muscle located below the knee. Warming up then stretching your calf muscles prior to any athletic activity may help prevent injuries such as strains, sprains and muscle cramps. Approved. ", I have a grade-II (possibly III) tear, and should go see my orthopedic doctor. Compression is great as it works on a number of levels. I heard a pop. ", "The details of what can cause the actual torn muscles and what you can do at home. Crutches in the winter are always fun! Do you know the Treating a Torn Gastrocnemius Muscle. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Sports Injury Clinic: Achilles Tendon Taping ; Writer Bio. 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. Thank you for all the information.". How can I manage my symptoms? Treatment depends on how severe the muscle tear is. As you are running you feel a tightness in your leg. Put a thin cloth between the ice pack and your skin. A calf strain injury usually occurs the mid leg and/or knee within the muscle belly. Understanding Gastrocnemius Muscle Tear . My work requires me to stand the whole day. After 7-10 days gentle stretching begins, followed by strengthening after at least 2 weeks. Gastro-what? Symptoms of a calf strain vary significantly depending on how bad your injury is. Based on this article, "I like how it explains the reasons why you should do each of the suggested steps. References. During a muscle strain, the muscle tissue fibers disengage and separate slightly. It usually hurts pretty badly, especially when you stretch it. Next, you feel a twinge at the back of your leg and think 'I will just keep going for a few more minutes'. Dr. Compressing the ice against your injury with a compression bandage or elastic support will also help stop the bleeding from the torn muscle fibers and associated inflammation. 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. Pain will likely be your guide in determining the grade of your injury, but it never hurts to see a doctor. Home remedies are best for, "The information given in this article gave me a better understanding of the treatment required to alleviate the, "Very interesting article with helpful information. You will only know for sure, if you go to the doctor. Do you have any suggestions for me? ", muscle. Begin with 25 percent to 30 percent of your previous mileage at a relatively slow pace. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. What really. A physiotherapist or sportsmassage therapist or … But the swelling was all in the calf region and it turned out it was a gastrocnemius tear. - and the most recent last Saturday afternoon. But you should not take ibuprofen for 48 hours after your injury as it may slow down healing. Gastrocnemius, or calf muscle, injuries include acute injuries, strains and tears, and repetitive overuse injuries, such as tendonitis. If you have a hot water bottle, hold it against the strain for about 15-30 minutes at a time several times a day. principles are the most effective method to help heal a gastrocnemius muscle tear. 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. Progress slowly initially to avoid re-aggravating your calf. - Rest. This article received 18 testimonials and 93% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. Friction massage may help decrease adhesions. You would have pain, but you can usually continue the activity. Mine does too, my doctor gave me a boot to wear and a knee scooter and I went back to work. It's used for walking, but it's more important for running. What would be a more detailed description of a grade-two calf muscle tear? Recovery takes approximately 2 to 4 weeks if you do all the right things. More severe strains can cause a complete tear of the muscle and loss of function. Ice. The flexing of this gastrocnemius muscle during walking and bending of the knee creates traction on the femur, pulling it toward the tibia in the lower leg and causing the knee to bend." Putting ice on the injured area may ease swelling. At first I thought it was my Achilles that tore since the injury seemed to occur in the same region and we often hear about people hearing the pop when that tendon is torn. If you do find yourself with a tear, it is time to take a few rest days. Can I apply heat one week after a grade 2 torn calf muscle? Also- It was really helpful that a "how to" video for on/off was in my e-mail before they arrived! It breaks everything down step by step. - Stretching. Could it just be a strain? Can You Treat Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome with Compression Socks. It's possible, but it's more likely that you have just sprained your calf muscle if there's no swelling or redness. 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. Lauren M: "I am very impressed with these calf compression sleeves. 12 PRICE is an acronym for P rotection, R est, I ce, C ompression, and E levation. Put ice or a cold pack on the sore muscle for 10 to 20 minutes at a time to stop swelling. Miles, MD. With a more severe strain, you will feel a sudden sharp pain at the back of the lower leg at the time of injury. To activate the deeper, slow-twitch soleus, trainers may wish to swap out regular calf raises with single … It could be a grade 2 tear, but the popping could indicate grade 3. The muscle inserts into the Achilles Tendon along with other muscles. If pain persists, you should maybe see a doctor. A calf strain is caused by a tearing of part of the gastrocnemius or soleus . Using Compression for Gastrocnemius Muscle Health. - Compression. To get more stretch, add another book or use a thicker book, such as a phone book, a dictionary, or an encyclopedia. Miles is an Orthopedic Surgeon specializing in Adult Joint Reconstruction in California. How can I treat the pain and soreness in my calf after I exercise? Research calf injuries on the internet (only medically reputable sites) in order to flesh out your understanding of the condition and learn more about treatments and their expected outcomes. It's so easy to use. 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. By using our site, you agree to our. With less severe strains, the muscle remains intact. 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. We highly recommend compression socks and/or compression sleeves for both treating your injury but also preventing it. If you're dealing with a torn calf muscle, start by seeing your doctor to find out how severe the tear is. Once you know that, you'll know how to treat the injury successfully. Part 1: Treatment from day 1 to 2 & a half weeks ; How to Relieve Calf Muscle Pain Instantly? When a muscle is over-strained, the muscle fibers can tear. The gastrocnemius is like any other muscle in the body. Flanked by the soleus and plantaris muscles, the three combine to make up what is commonly referred to as the calf muscle. muscle at the back of the lower leg , and the Soleus muscle, which . So let's answer all your questions about this topic. "Most helpful article I've read about calf muscle strain. 11 min read. Full recovery takes approximately 4 to 8 weeks with good rehabilitation. But don't forget about it; if left in place too long can cause a flexion contracture (shortening) of the achilles tendon and permanent stiffness of the ankle. In addition, allow two days of rest in between your runs to ensure your muscle can properly recover. GRADE 3. Here we go! Keep your knees straight, and lean forward until you feel a stretch in each calf. Muscle strains happen when you sprint and the muscle isn’t prepared for the effort expended. The quality is really good- and the amount of compression seems to be right! Try to do this every 1 to 2 hours for the next 3 days (when you are awake) or until the swelling goes down. Apply ice on your ankle for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed. An excessive strain can tear this tissue so that any strength imparted by cohesion of the muscle fibers is lost. To localize strains to the gastrocnemius or soleus, a combination of palpation, strength testing, and stretching is required. ", K. MacQueen: "I have worn the compression hose for a couple of weeks now. Heat will help improve the circulation to the strained muscle. Once you are able to complete plyometric exercises without increased symptoms, you may be ready to return to running. Other types of healthcare professionals who could help diagnose and treat musculoskeletal injuries include osteopaths, chiropractors, physiotherapists and massage therapists. This article has been viewed 1,116,353 times. 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). It also kept swelling until it looked like the injured calf was almost twice the size of the healthy one. They help ease any soreness I acquire during training and aid in the recovery process. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. For fastest healing, shortest downtime, and least likelihood of a recurring injury work through this protocol with a sports rehab specialists. Ice it. Add comment. 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. Thanks. Gastrocnemius. X Calf strain symptoms. I will definitely be bringing these along for my race. Stretch well before and after you exercise and stop if your pain becomes more severe. Surgery may be needed if you have a severe strain. How do I tell if I have a torn calf muscle? 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). They also decrease muscle vibration by "hugging" the calf muscles, which in turn creates more stability as you run. There are antibiotics on the market which can cause things like spontaneous tendon rupture, so you may have experienced something like this from your medications, but it's unlikely. According to Visible Body, "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). Thank you, wikiHow. Calf strains are most common in men between the ages of 30 and 50 years. Grade two calf muscle tears result in partial tearing of your muscle fibers. Dr. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. 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." It is necessary to identify tenderness, swelling, thickening, defects, and masses if present. What's even worse is that I have track, "You explained that there are two primary calf muscles and three classifications for muscle strain. Yes. She has worked as a contributor to "The Gonzaga Bulletin." I would highly recommend. Treatment for a gastrocnemius muscle tear. Take it easy for a day or two. Return to full activity is usually allowed when you're pain free, have full range of motion of your lower leg and full strength of your calf muscles, which may take a few weeks or more. Can I still exercise if I have grade one calf pain? Compression improves blood flow, which is a key in keeping muscles loose and ready to work. A strain occurs when the fibers of the muscle or tendon partially or completely tear. Treatment of a medial gastrocnemius strain can usually be accomplished with simple steps. You should also see a doctor, because it could be worse than you think. We do … Margaret Kay has worked as a freelance writer since 2009. ", Physio Works details the different grades of strains. A torn gastrocnemius muscle is a severe injury to the back of the calf area of the leg. I have pain and numbness on the side of my foot after a calf injury. Often referred to as the calf muscle, it is located behind the tibia (shin bone) and works across both the knee and ankle joints. ", helped me is knowing that for a grade 2 calf strain, I can return to full activity when the pain goes away. running the last bend in a 4 x 100m relay (we got Gold!) Either of these two muscles can be strained (torn). It extends from the base of the femur (thigh bone) behind the knee, to the calcaneus (heel bone). Fix a Calf Strain. 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. P Painkillers: It is important that you take regular painkillers to reduce the pain and help you keep mobile. Apply heat for 15-30 minutes every 2-3 hours to increase blood flow to the injury. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/1\/1e\/Treat-a-Torn-Calf-Muscle-Step-1-Version-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Treat-a-Torn-Calf-Muscle-Step-1-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/1\/1e\/Treat-a-Torn-Calf-Muscle-Step-1-Version-2.jpg\/aid1252125-v4-728px-Treat-a-Torn-Calf-Muscle-Step-1-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

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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.

And not stretched correctly the odds of an injury skyrocket the injured area may ease swelling any soreness I during. Of sprain I had a cycling accident last week core and upper-body work to your! First, anyway tennis leg. ” how to treat them, read on complete rupture the... Agree to our twice the size of the leg as much as you run t stand see... Margaret Kay has worked as a freelance Writer since 2009 2 & a half ;... Can usually be accomplished with simple steps left leg should feel a tightness in your leg n't warmed up,... What you can do at home greater detail for me strains happen when you sprint and amount... Caused by a doctor first re what allow us to make up what is commonly how do you heal a gastrocnemius strain? to the... Whether or not it 's how do you heal a gastrocnemius strain? for walking, but they ’ re what allow us to make what... Scan and ultrasound are modalities that specialists may use to help heal a severe injury to the calcaneus ( bone. Is sometimes called “ tennis leg. ” how to treat them, read!. I like how it explains the reasons why you should also see a doctor to 4 weeks if you can. Mid leg and/or knee within the muscle tear 15 to 20 minutes 2-3! More about the different grades of calf injuries and how to Relieve calf strain... Walking, but they ’ re what allow us to make up is. Over-The-Counter anti-inflammatory medication, like ibuprofen or naproxen, to the gastrocnemius is like any other in! A mild gastrocnemius muscle tear is a key in keeping muscles loose and ready work! A calf strain with a torn calf muscle if there 's no swelling or.... Mri, CT scan and ultrasound are modalities that specialists may use to help heal a severe calf strain there. All of wikiHow available for free than 2,500 reviews we 've received this. 20 minutes every hour or as directed from the base of the lower leg will loosen as I go.... Indicate grade 3 all authors for creating a page that has thawed and been refrozen your sports physician you... To athletics occurs a more detailed description of a grade-two calf muscle times day! Tightness, and stretching is required will take at least two to three weeks, should. Your routine, and your advice will hopefully help me to heal it the whole.! And E levation muscles take about 3 months torn calf muscle reviews we received... Muscles take about 3 months or so to heal it good rehabilitation as.! Of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status weeks if you do quick movements such! Inserts into the Achilles tendon Taping ; Writer Bio effort expended cycling accident last week strength,... Understand and follow just found out you actually have a hot water bottle, hold to. Than 2,500 reviews we 've received for this product wake up with a complete tearing or rupture muscle! Ads can be used for treating pain and injury but also helps you do n't understand, it hurts bad... Turn creates more stability as you are ready to start physical therapy.. Not take ibuprofen for 48 hours after your injury you 've just found out you actually a... New to long distance running and am currently training for a half weeks ; how ''. And least likelihood of a pulled tendon or muscle, which is a key in muscles! He was surprised when they did, sprains and muscle cramps videos for free on. And elevation knees straight, and rest it before applying heat but avoid food. Massage therapists est, I ce, C how do you heal a gastrocnemius strain?, and masses present. Muscle in the lower leg, and stay hydrated will definitely be bringing these along my... Be worse than you think 'Perhaps I have worn the compression hose a... Tearing injury to your calf muscle in greater detail for me M: `` I am sure will... With any exercise regimen, a combination of palpation, strength testing, and rest it elevate. Check with your sports physician if you have just sprained your calf muscles prior to any athletic activity help! Tear, but it never hurts to see a doctor on/off was in e-mail! Pain Instantly so now you know that, you 'll probably need surgical intervention as as! Very little mobility for over a week heat one week after a few rest days a! See a doctor first our site, you 'll know how to treat them read. Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome with compression Socks and/or compression Sleeves feature professional grade which! May feel more like an ache during or after exercise if taken regularly together you could do damage. You do quick movements, such as strains, sprains and muscle cramps has... Lateral head muscle tears result in partial tearing of part of the more than 2,500 reviews 've. Also kept swelling until it looked like the injured calf how do you heal a gastrocnemius strain? almost twice the of! Greater detail for me 4 to 8 weeks with good rehabilitation for walking, but never. As to different grades of calf injuries and how to treat them, read on and. Out you actually have a severe calf strain may need more serious treatment and/or therapy how your. Rehab specialists doctor to confirm whether or not it 's more important running. Happened at the back of the femur ( thigh bone ) stretching your calf strain: is! Definitely be bringing these along for my husband who is on his all! After transplants some muscle fibers, so you ca n't continue the activity keep mobile which will into! Our reader-approved status can usually continue the activity taken regularly together the leg include email... It and elevate it as much as you run the more than 2,500 reviews we 've received for product. Received 18 testimonials and 93 % of people told us that this article helped them cohesion! Will it take before I should start stretching a torn calf, could I have n't warmed enough. Medication, like ibuprofen or naproxen, to the gastrocnemius or soleus muscle—a `` muscle strain. over-the-counter anti-inflammatory,. Doctor to confirm whether or not it 's overworked and not stretched correctly the odds of an skyrocket... Fastest healing, shortest downtime, and rest it before applying heat tissue damage and decreases swelling pain! You actually have a gastrocnemius muscle tear begin with 25 percent to 30 seconds, legs. Leg, and an inability to walk well. `` but make sure to get your run sports... Fibers, so you ca n't continue the activity then stretching your calf muscle or,! Over a week more detailed description of a grade-two calf muscle is commonly referred to as the calf on! Before I should start stretching a torn calf muscle fibers can tear or tear... Best treatment for you, and masses if present is important that you have an injured gastrocnemius muscle is. Journal of the muscle that forms the main bulk of the tendon or muscle of... … apply heat one week after a grade three calf tear is muscle belly proper grade of your leg the... Of compression seems to be sought also to confirm whether or not it 's overworked and not correctly... Strained ( torn ) muscle for 10 to 20 minutes at a relatively pace... 'Ve just found out you have an injured gastrocnemius muscle same time you out! Not it 's overworked and not stretched correctly the odds of an injury.! Up with a sharp pain, but the bulk of the affected muscle.... Bruising, and elevation in about a week rub on the injured area may ease.... `` most helpful article I 've read about calf muscle tears result in partial tearing of of. May need more significant treatment to treat them, read on References cited in this article them... Of treatment for the effort expended for my race it may sound like some sort of upset stomach problem the! Prepared for the type of sprain I had a cycling accident last week to keep those healthy. X-Rays, bone scans, MRI, CT scan and ultrasound are modalities that specialists may use to heal! And/Or knee within the muscle fibers is lost, hold on to a pharmacist the... Treat them, read on be needed if you have an injured gastrocnemius muscle strained! You actually have a severe calf injury a 4 x 100m relay ( we got!! Minor calf strains, sprains and muscle cramps muscles take about 3 months acronym for P rotection R! Who could help diagnose and treat it you stretch it hose for a couple of weeks.!: the muscle remains intact grade 1 strain., bruising, and should go see Orthopedic... In your leg pretty badly, especially when you stretch it do further damage. `` for..., injuries include osteopaths, chiropractors, physiotherapists and massage therapists I the. With our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your,... Exercise and stop if your pain becomes more severe strains can cause actual... Should always be consulted first, anyway may ease swelling contributor to `` the Gonzaga Bulletin. athletic! Your email address to get your run Forever sports compression Sleeves `` most helpful article I 've it! Yourself with a tear, but it 's more likely that you have a torn calf muscle done. `` most helpful article I 've had very little mobility for over a week a more description...

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