These tears most commonly involve the inside portion (medial head) of the gastrocnemius muscle as this region is under the greatest amount of tension. It is a muscle injury and will take a few weeks to resolve," Wolves said. (Eds: Updating with BCCI statement) Melbourne, Dec 28 (PTI) India fast bowler Umesh Yadav hobbled off the field after suffering a calf muscle injury during the third day of … Sudden instances of “pushing off” quickly to change position can … Repeat 3 times a day. This stretches the muscle tissue beyond their limit, resulting in weakness and bleeding in the muscle.7, Dr. William C. Shiel on eMedicineHealth says that sudden acceleration or deceleration often causes muscle injuries to the calves. A calf strain occurs when the calf muscles are over stretched. What Can Help? This injury may be more common in individual who have less consistency in physical activity which can lead to loss of strength and flexibility in the muscles, tendons and ligaments thereby increasing the chance of injury. If your calf muscle is free of pain, you can now begin some gentle stretching to help boost recovery and rehabilitate your lower leg muscles. Calf (Gastrocnemius) muscle tears commonly occur in middle-aged recreational athletes while performing actions that require forceful contraction of the calf muscle (ex: basketball, hill running, tennis, etc.). During this time, you should continue building strength and flexibility in the calf muscle. Repeat 3 times a day. What is the difference between a strained, pulled, and torn calf muscle? Calf (Gastrocnemius) muscle tears can occur in sports related activities. The gastrocnemius is the big muscle at the back of the lower leg. However, the length of time a torn calf takes to heal also depends on the effectiveness of the treatment immediately after injuring the calves. Calf muscle strain: Straining the calf muscle involves a tearing of the calf muscle fibers. A muscle strain occurs when the muscle is stretched too far, which causes tears to occur within the muscle. As a calf muscle tear can mimic an Achilles tendon rupture, a careful physical exam is essential to differentiate between these two injuries. Elevation.Elevate the leg at or above the … Mayo Clinic. Find out about the causes, symptoms and available treatments. Overstretching the calves is usually the most common cause of straining, pulling, or tearing the muscle fibers in your lower leg. Muscle strains can exist along a spectrum from mild cases of light pain and soreness to severe cases of complete tear. Continue the calf muscle strengthening exercise until the muscles in the back of your leg have fully recovered. Significant improvement can be expected within the first two weeks, but full recovery can take up to 6-8 weeks. These torn calf muscle fibers will produce pain if the patient attempts to perform a calf raise or walk on tiptoes. Calf strain diagnosis quiz. There are 2 muscles that make up the calves in the back of your lower leg. Ice.Apply ice to the calf muscle for 10 to 20 minutes at a time once every hour or as often as possible. Depending on the extent of strain in the calf muscles, you may have to apply the ice pack daily for the first few days to help control pain, swelling, and inflammation. In most cases, people can treat a pulled calf muscle at … Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. According to the Boston Sports Medicine & Research Institute, the grades of calf strains are as follows:4. This can cause chronic pain in the area, or render it more likely for future tearing as the fibrotic scar tissue absorbs forces differently than regular healthy muscle tissue. When exercising your calf muscles after an injury, it’s important to make sure that you are always pain-free. Muscle strain. (Previously edited by Paul Juliano, MD and Matthew Buchanan, MD), FootEducation LLC Muscle damage can be in the form of tearing (part or all) of the muscle fibers and the tendons attached to the muscle. It may take weeks or months for a severe calf muscle injury to completely heal. These calf muscles are called the gastrocnemius and soleus. A sudden change of direction, explosive movement or increase in speed can result in the calf muscles becoming torn or strained. Medial gastrocnemius strain – causes. A pulled calf muscle is quite painful, and there may be bruising and swelling. A calf muscle strain occurs when the muscle fibers in the calf tear either partially or … You should also have an adequate warm-up routine before exercising or running to help avoid injury to your calves.14. According to Dr. Anthony Saglimbeni, the first 24-72 hours are critical in initial treatment to ensure a speedy recovery. Light compression with a wrap may be helpful. Umesh Yadav is reportedly out of the Australia tour after suffering a calf muscle injury during the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne. The Muscle, Ligaments and Tendons Journal says that a physical examination 3-5 days after the injury can help to predict how long the calf muscle injury will take to heal.11, Dr. Tero Järvinen from the University of Tampere provides some information on possible timeframes for calf injuries to heal:11. This helps to reduce swelling and pain in the muscles in the back of your leg in the first 72 hours. Dr. Anthony Saglimbeni on Medscape reports that there is usually leg tenderness in the middle of the calf. At Healthy and Natural World, our mission is to empower people to take control of their own health by providing comprehensive, practical and well researched information. Both of the muscles in the calves taper at the bottom and join to your Achilles tendon.1. These are involuntary contractions or spasms of muscles in your legs usually at night during periods of inactivity that causes the calf muscles to feel tight and painful. In most instances, initial treatment includes activity modification (limiting muscle-loading activities), wearing a boot (Cam Walker), and using crutches. eMedicineHealth. Remember I do not replace a real person and always recommend seeking professional advice. Immediately after the injury (first 24-72 hours) treatment should include: Once pain free, the patient should progress from gentle plantar flexion (downward motion) exercises against resistance (use of resistance bands), to gradual introduction of stationary cycling, leg presses, and heel raises. Calf Muscle Tear Explained Muscle tears or strains are caused by undue pressure that usually occurs during physical activity. Bruising and swelling in the calf area will often develop over the next 24-36 hours. … Ice applied to the injured area (10 minutes on, 10 minutes off and then repeat), Compression. Required fields are marked *. For example, by lying on a bed with the foot propped up by a couple pillows. Your physician may recommend placing your leg in a splint (soft cast) or boot to achieve this position. Effective Treatments for Pulled, Strained or Torn Calf Muscle was last modified: June 22nd, 2018 by Jenny Hills, Nutritionist and Medical Writer, Your email address will not be published. However, bad calf strains can happen even in trained athletes if there is a lot of force on the lower leg muscle.9. During this time, you should use ice and compression to reduce swelling and bleeding in the calf tear. A muscle strain is an injury to a muscle or a tendon — the fibrous tissue that connects muscles to bones. Calf tears often occur while performing actions that require forceful shortening (contraction) or sudden lengthening of the calf muscle (ex: basketball, hill running, tennis, “missing a step”, etc.). It may also be impossible to flex your foot, and pushing off from your foot when walking could be very painful. Pain will be significant and will cause weakness in the lower leg muscle and make walking difficult. Grade 2 calf muscle injury. Achilles tendonitis. Calf muscle rupture: Complete tear of the calf muscle, resulting in severe pain and inability to walk. All muscle strains are categorized as either Grade I (tearing of a few muscle fibers), Grade II (more extensive muscle fiber damage) or Grade III (complete rupture of the muscle). You hear the calf muscle pop at the time of injury. DrugsCom. After two or three weeks of applying ice and heat treatments, you can start to use exercises for calf muscle strain. Telling signs of a calf strain depend on the severity of the injury. The degree of this strain is graded from one to three. In this article, you will find out what can cause you to strain, pull, or tear your calf muscle. 269 Chestnut St. #271 They say that generally nocturnal leg cramps are related to muscle fatigue and nerve problems, and that the risk increases with age, when a woman is pregnant or with several health conditions such as kidney failure and diabetes.16 Doctors from WebMD mention several triggers that can cause night calf muscle cramps, such as over exercising the calf muscles, poor blood circulation in the legs, dehydration, magnesium or potassium deficiency, not stretching enough, and side effects of some medications.17. According to the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, injury to your calf muscles can be prevented by avoiding over-straining your calf muscles. Grade 1 calf strain: The muscle stretch causes small micro-tears in the muscle fibers. Gently lean your chest into the wall by bending your uninjured leg. Calf strain advice. Most common and in the 30-50-year-old age range, these injuries can be surprisingly uncomfortable. Significant improvement can be expected within the first two weeks, but full recovery can take up to 6-8 weeks. This method involves: 1. Effective Treatments for Pulled, Strained or Torn Calf Muscle, Jenny Hills, Nutritionist and Medical Writer. Your email address will not be published. 4. Injury to the calf muscle can occur during athletic activities. A gastrocnemius muscle tear is a severe, sudden injury to your calf muscle. Your “calf muscle” is … When applying the ice pack, it’s important to remember not to place ice directly on the skin. Recognizing a Torn Calf Muscle Understand what can get injured in your calf. How long will it take before you can resume physical activity after a calf muscle injury? Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. Apply to your sore calf muscle for 20 minutes to. PRICE is an acronym for Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. While treatment is almost always accomplished with s… J Can Chiropr Assoc. The difference is the location of the injury. An MRI is able to accurately assess the soft tissue and differentiate between an injury to the Achilles tendon and the calf muscle tear. How to use heat to help recover from calf muscle tear: To help the muscle tissue heal quicker and start the rehabilitation process, you should apply heat daily to the injured calf. Pulling, straining, or tearing your calf muscle can leave you in a lot of pain and make walking difficult. India vs Australia: Umesh Yadav sustained a calf muscle injury during the second Test in Melbourne and has now returned to India for rehabilitation, says an ANI report. 2. Radiol Case Rep. 2017 Mar; 12(1): 120–123. NHS. Your calf muscles are located at the back of your lower leg and are needed to move your legs when walking, running, or jumping. WebMD. Treatment of calf muscle tears is non-surgical. Compression.Wrap the lower leg in an elastic bandage to reduce swelling and provide support for weakened muscles. In some cases, the tear is so severe that it causes a ruptured calf muscle. This can result in a partial or complete tear of the calves and cause muscle weakness, swelling, and inflammation.3. Sprains, strains, and other soft tissue injuries. Full recovery from a serious calf muscle strain or tear may take many weeks or even months. Because the calf muscles are used in instances of “burst” or powerful, quick movements, the calf can become overworked and overstretched which can result in a rupture or complete tear of the muscle belly. The tear can occur centrally or on either side of the muscle. All of these injuries to your calves can cause varying degrees of pain and damage to your lower leg muscles. Full recovery takes approximately two weeks. This damage results in a partial or full tear of the muscle fibers and attached tendons. This is about 1/3 high in the calf. Place in the microwave and heat on full power for 1-2 minutes. According to sources who spoke with ANI, the injury is a calf muscle tear and he will now be fit only for the upcoming series against England. A severe tear in the calf muscle may even prevent you from walking at all.1, All types of calf muscle injuries are graded according to their severity. Upper calf strains and lower calf strains may also happen if you quickly stop and pivot or turn direction.8, There are also a number of factors that can increase your risk of suffering from a mild to severe calf strain. It also helps you do quick movements, such as jumping and sprinting. Fill a clean cotton sock with rice and leave about 3 inches clear at the top. Straining, pulling, or tearing a calf muscle can feel like something has hit the back of your leg with force. Hold for 5 seconds. If there is a question as to whether the Achilles tendon is involved, an MRI may be indicated. Home remedies for muscle strain. You may think you’ve just been hit in the leg and potentially hear a “pop.” There is sudden pain at the back of the calf. It can be described as a severe form of strain in the muscle fibers that may cause partial or complete tear in the muscles. Use 3-4 times a day and continue using until you no longer have any pulled calf muscle symptoms. San Francisco CA 94123. If you have suffered a grade 2 or grade 3 calf muscle tear, you should also consult with your doctor to get the extent of the injury assessed properly. Muscles Ligaments Tendons J. Wrap the rice-filled heating pad in a warm moist towel. They usually occur in moderately active individuals around the age of forty while performing actions that put maximal tension on the calf (gastrocnemius) muscle. 2013 Oct-Dec; 3(4): 337–345. Muscle strain. A grade 1 injury to your calf is usually referred to as a “pulled calf.” This is a fairly minor injury with only light stretching and tearing of the calf muscle fibers. Tie a knot in the sock, making sure that there is still some flexibility in the sock. Similar pain will be noted with downward ankle motion (ankle plantar flexion), due to the contraction of the torn muscle fibers. During the initial phase of the injury, patients will walk with a limp. For more information, please read my article on how to get rid of muscle soreness. Grade 1: A mild strain where only a few of the muscle fibers are strained. This can help strained calf muscle injuries heal faster.10. Here are some simple calf injury exercises to increase your range of motion (ROM). Doctors from the National Health Service recommend the following calf exercises to help improve flexibility in your calves.7, Exercise 2 for recovering calf muscle tear. A calf strain occurs when the muscle in the back of the leg sustains this type of injury. Figure 1 shows the typical location of each injury. Night leg cramps. This is how to make your own heating pad at home: In some cases of strained calf muscle injuries, alternating between hot and cold treatments can help the damaged muscle recover quicker. These muscles stretch from the calf down to the Achilles tendon … Picture of the calf muscle. You can feel your calf stretching if you outstretch your leg and point your toes to the floor. According to Dr. Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD, pulled calf muscle injuries happen when the back of the leg muscles are stretched beyond their limit.1 A pulled muscle in the calf may only cause mild pain and it is usually possible to continue walking with a calf pull. The calf muscle may collapse into a lump or ball shape, seen and felt through the skin. Grade 1 calf muscle injury. Hold the back of a chair and gently rise up on your toes. Dr. William Shiel on eMedicineHealth says that this is what you need to do:12. In most instances, initial treatment includes activity modification (limiting muscle-loading activities), wearing a boot (Cam Walker), and using crutches. It may take many more months to regain muscle strength in the calf. Your calf muscles (also known as the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles) simultaneously act as the gas and brake pedal on a run. Did you know our resouces can be found in. Why Is My Leg Cramping? Limit the use of the injured calf, by limiting standing and walking and possibly using crutches if needed. According to doctors from Mayo Clinic, usually the cause for night leg cramps cannot be identified and is often unknown. You will also learn about the best treatment methods for calf muscle injuries and how long they take to heal. How to use PRICE method to treat calf muscle tear: To help speed up recovery time, you should start using the PRICE method as soon as possible after a calf muscle tear injury. If we consider classic Achilles tendon rupture the lower end of Achilles tendon injury, the typical Gastrocnemius tear or calf muscle tear happens to the other or higher end of Achilles tendon. Grade 2 Symptoms. A splint or boot also serves to protect the injury. A partial tear of the calf muscle results in a moderate, or grade 2 calf muscle injury. It may take many more months to regain muscle mass in the calf that had been atrophied (weakened) due to lack of use. Muscle strain. The typical location of this injury is where the muscle belly attaches to the fascia (musculotendinous junctions) of the Achilles tendon. The Symptoms. Physiotherapist Dr. Alex Petruska from the Boston Sports Medicine & Research Institute says that calf strains are common sports injuries in people aged between 30 and 45 year old.4, Dr. Anthony Saglimbeni on Medscape also says that not warming up properly can cause mild to severe calf injuries. Therefore, if you suffer a calf injury, doctors from Harvard Medical say that you should visit your doctor promptly in the following circumstances:15, Article Sources Studies have shown an increased rate of healing with the ankle braced in a neutral position (ex. Due to a tear in the calf muscle, one experiences sharp muscle cramps in the calf area, which makes normal activities like walking very painful. eMedicineHealth. A severe grade 3 calf strain could take as long as 6 months to heal completely and may require surgery to repair the muscle tissue. Wrap the ice pack in a thin towel and hold on the calf area at the back of your leg. The mechanism of injury is very similar to that of an Achilles tendon rupture, which must be ruled out in the diagnosis. A torn calf muscle, also known as a calf strain or pulled calf, is a common and often painful injury. However, even professional athletes can sustain a calf muscle tear. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), calf strains happen when the muscle is overstretched. Medscape. The calf muscles might also feel sore after the cramp goes away. Achilles tendon rupture occurs below the typical location of a calf muscle tear (Figure 1) and is associated with a palpable defect in the actual Achilles tendon. A severe tear in the calf muscle may even prevent you from walking at … You only have a grade 1 calf muscle injury but the pulled calf muscle symptoms don’t improve within 48 hours of using PRICE methods. best essential oils for natural relief from muscle pain, How to Get Rid of Muscle Soreness: Home Remedies That Really Work, Nighttime Leg Cramps: Causes, Prevention & Treatment, The Top 17 Essential Oils for Muscle Pain Relief, 10 Exercises to Tone Your Legs and Butt At Home. Relative rest. This can be caused by a sudden, abrupt movement or as a result of over use. Stretching of the ankle in an upward direction (dorsiflexion) will produce moderate to severe pain (due to stretching of the torn muscle fibers). Pulling or tearing a calf muscle can cause a sudden sharp pain in the back of your leg. To prevent bad calf muscle strains and tears, it is very important to warm up before taking part in strenuous activity. You should increase the length of time you hold your position by 5 seconds every week. 2009 Jun; 2(2): 74–77. A torn muscle in the calf describes a serious muscle injury that causes muscle tissue in the back of your leg to tear away from tendons. You should feel the calf muscle on your extended leg stretch. Typically there is bruising associated with this pain and normally the maximum tenderness or location of tear is higher than the bruised area. According to the journal Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine, injuries to the calves are very common among sports people. The calf muscle group consists of the Gastrocnemius and Soleus muscles. AAOS. Treatment of calf muscle tears is usually non-surgical, and dependent upon the individual’s symptoms. Other symptoms of a muscle tear in the calf could also feel like sharp pain behind the knee as you walk or put pressure on the leg. This kind of bad calf muscle injury usually results in swelling, bruising, and a lot of pain. As the muscle tear heals, physical therapy exercises are utilized to regain full range of motion and muscular strength. In some cases a half inch heel lift to relax the tension behind the calf is appealing to some patients. Achilles tendonitis is caused by overuse, strain, or stress on the Achilles tendon. Achilles tendon ruptures involve the actual Achilles tendon with pain located just … Stand facing a wall and put your hands on that wall at shoulder level. The difference is the location of the injury. Make circles with your foot 20 times. If you have a bad injury to your calf muscle, getting prompt diagnosis and starting a planned course of treatment is the best way to recover quickly. Grade 3 calf muscle injury. Refrain from exercise, sports or other strenuous activitiesand rest the leg as much as possible. A torn muscle in the calf describes a serious muscle injury that causes muscle tissue in the back of your leg to tear away from tendons. Achilles tendon ruptures involve the actual Achilles tendon with pain located just above the back of the heel. A Calf strain is simply a tear of one of the muscles which make up the calf muscle group at the back of the lower leg. Immobilize the ankle in a neutral position. Medscape. This is because cold and unstretched muscles are more prone to snapping or tearing. A sign of a torn calf muscle is similar to that of an Achilles tendon rupture. A torn calf muscle (gastrocnemius) is similar to an Achilles tendon tear or rupture, but occurs higher up in the back of the leg. Knowing how long it takes a calf muscle injury to heal depends on the extent of gastrocnemius tearing in the leg. To help quickly heal a pulled or strained calf muscle, it’s important to treat the injury with ice and compression as soon as possible. Repeat 4 times to strengthen your calf muscles. foot at a right angle to the lower leg). However, you can use some exercises to improve flexibility and strength in the recovering calf muscle.4. Need to slow it up during the descent on the other side? Elevate the leg at, or slightly above, the level of the heart. A second or third-degree calf injury will also cause swelling which causes a bulge in the back of the lower leg.6. As the muscle tear heals, physical therapy exercises are utilized to regain full range of motion and muscular strength. To do the following exercises, you should sit on a chair. Doctors from the National Health Service (NHS) say that calf strains are commonly caused by putting too much force on the calf muscles. Repeat this exercise several times a day and continue until your calf has healed properly. The most effective home treatments for pulled, strained, or torn calf muscles are plenty of rest and avoiding straining the muscle more. Calf strengthening and calf stretching should continue for several months. gas-trok-NEE-mee-us . Insufficient warm up or cool down is a common cause of calf strain. This type of injury is caused when one of the two muscles in the calf is overstretched or forced to contract too quickly. Need to push up a steep hill? If the tear is not complete, your doctor will send you home with instructions for self-care using the RICE treatment protocol. 2013 Dec; 57(4): 327–333. Night leg cramps (also called nocturnal leg cramps or “charley horses”) mostly happen in the calf muscles. The torn calf muscle may also show signs of bruising in your lower leg behind the knee. You should only start using heat to treat the muscle strain in your calf once the swelling has stopped. 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