how do you heal a gastrocnemius strain?

", easy-to-understand language, making it easy to follow. How can I tell if I have a torn calf muscle? Next, you feel a twinge at the back of your leg and think 'I will just keep going for a few more minutes'. I hurt my calf when I had a cycling accident last week. Based on this article, "I like how it explains the reasons why you should do each of the suggested steps. Compression improves blood flow, which is a key in keeping muscles loose and ready to work. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. Compression is great as it works on a number of levels. ", I have a grade-II (possibly III) tear, and should go see my orthopedic doctor. muscle from the top of the Achilles tendon. 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. [1] Full recovery normally takes several weeks with good rehab. Dr. Mine does too, my doctor gave me a boot to wear and a knee scooter and I went back to work. 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. If you're dealing with a torn calf muscle, start by seeing your doctor to find out how severe the tear is. Other types of healthcare professionals who could help diagnose and treat musculoskeletal injuries include osteopaths, chiropractors, physiotherapists and massage therapists. 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. {"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. They help ease any soreness I acquire during training and aid in the recovery process. Initially, patients begin with typical \"RICE\" treatments of: Once the earliest phases of treatment have completed, patients can begin therapeutic activities and gentle stretching. 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." Gastrocnemius. This probably happened at the same time you found out you actually have a gastrocnemius muscle. To localize strains to the gastrocnemius or soleus, a combination of palpation, strength testing, and stretching is required. How do I tell if I have a torn calf muscle? By using our site, you agree to our. A calf strain injury usually occurs the mid leg and/or knee within the muscle belly. You can run through a mild gastrocnemius muscle injury if it's just a small strain. Margaret Kay has worked as a freelance writer since 2009. ", helped me is knowing that for a grade 2 calf strain, I can return to full activity when the pain goes away. How can I treat the pain and soreness in my calf after I exercise? References. If it's overworked and not stretched correctly the odds of an injury skyrocket. A severely strained calf will likely cause bruising, which will settle into your foot and turn it black and blue. "Most helpful article I've read about calf muscle strain. Do core and upper-body work to maintain your fitness. Surgery may be needed if you have a severe strain. ", Physio Works details the different grades of strains. - Rest. 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). An injury to this muscle is sometimes called “tennis leg.” How to say it. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Warming up then stretching your calf muscles prior to any athletic activity may help prevent injuries such as strains, sprains and muscle cramps. 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. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Thank you, wikiHow. With a more severe strain, you will feel a sudden sharp pain at the back of the lower leg at the time of injury. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. 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. NOAH BRYANT. 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. As you are running you feel a tightness in your leg. A calf strain is caused by a tearing of part of the gastrocnemius or soleus . Add comment. I would get that checked out by a doctor to confirm whether or not it's severe. How can I manage my symptoms? Rest your ankle so that it can heal. They will continue to deteriorate, and you will possibly need surgery to correct any damage that may have been done. What really. Wait at least two to three weeks, and make sure you rest it before applying heat. Also- It was really helpful that a "how to" video for on/off was in my e-mail before they arrived! I would highly recommend. You would have pain, but you can usually continue the activity. Thumbs up for this product and company! With any exercise regimen, a doctor should always be consulted first, anyway. ", "Very clear and informative as to different grades of damage.". 03.10.2020. Gastrocnemius is the muscle that forms the main bulk of the calf region on the back of the lower leg. Pain will likely be your guide in determining the grade of your injury, but it never hurts to see a doctor. You must be able to walk without pain before you are ready to return to exercise and sports. 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. Can I apply heat one week after a grade 2 torn calf muscle? 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). Compression is great as it works on a number of levels. ", "Just the right amount of education with precautions to see a doctor first. The muscle’s main roles are to plantar flex the foot (point toes away from yourself ) and to assist in flexing (bending) the knee. Thanks. 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). Make sure to get your Run Forever Sports Compression Socks and Compression Sleeves to keep those calves healthy and supported! It could be a grade 2 tear, but the popping could indicate grade 3. Stretch well before and after you exercise and stop if your pain becomes more severe. Ready? Thanks. This article has been viewed 1,116,353 times. Take it easy for a day or two. How to Succeed at Your First Relationship! Return to normal activities as directed. If pain persists, you should maybe see a doctor. Avoid walking or other activities that cause pain. Ask your doctor if this is an option for you, and rest it and elevate it as much as you can. Gastro-what? I can barely walk, it hurts so bad. % of people told us that this article helped them. Paracetamol and ibuprofen are effective painkillers if taken regularly together. 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. After recovering from a torn calf, could I go back to my work? She has worked as a contributor to "The Gonzaga Bulletin." What causes a gastrocnemius muscle tear? Could it just be a strain? You should also see a doctor, because it could be worse than you think. Part 1: Treatment from day 1 to 2 & a half weeks ; How to Relieve Calf Muscle Pain Instantly? Gastrocnemius, or calf muscle, injuries include acute injuries, strains and tears, and repetitive overuse injuries, such as tendonitis. With less severe strains, the muscle remains intact. 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. 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. I know I am not alone. I tried getting help from my coach, but he just adds more pressure, saying, "you better not let me down, it will be a complete waste of money." ", "The details of what can cause the actual torn muscles and what you can do at home. Research source An excessive strain can tear this tissue so that any strength imparted by cohesion of the muscle fibers is lost. gas-trok-NEE-mee-us . All in all, treatment and recovery will take at least 3 months. Symptoms include sudden, sharp pain, bruising, and an inability to walk well. A torn gastrocnemius muscle is a severe injury to the back of the calf area of the leg. 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. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Treatment for a gastrocnemius muscle tear. A strain occurs when the fibers of the muscle or tendon partially or completely tear. If you are not steady on your feet, hold on to a chair, counter, or wall while you do this stretch. - Stretching. ", Provides practical advice notwithstanding that professional help needs to be sought also. running the last bend in a 4 x 100m relay (we got Gold!) Avoid lower-leg work as much as possible. X-rays, bone scans, MRI, CT scan and ultrasound are modalities that specialists may use to help diagnose your lower leg pain. I will definitely be bringing these along for my race. Treatments may include: Rest. Cover it with a towel. Elevation. This article was medically reviewed by Troy A. After holding the stretch for 30 seconds, switch legs. Calf strains are most common in men between the ages of 30 and 50 years. Sports Injury Clinic: Achilles Tendon Taping ; Writer Bio. ", Cat: "Purchased for my husband who is on his feet all day. 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. Can You Treat Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome with Compression Socks. My work requires me to stand the whole day. Muscle strains occur when the force in the muscle is so great that the tissue tears, most commonly at the junction between where the muscles taper into tendons. So let's answer all your questions about this topic. So now you know about your gastrocnemius muscle and how to treat and prevent gastrocnemius injuries. Friction massage may help decrease adhesions. 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. A grade three calf tear is the most severe calf strain with a complete tearing or rupture of your calf muscle fibers. In this article, we discuss the symptoms of a pulled calf muscle and explain how doctors diagnose and treat it. They might suggest tablets, or a cream or gel you rub on the skin. What's even worse is that I have track, "You explained that there are two primary calf muscles and three classifications for muscle strain. Doing gentle stretches can help, but make sure you don't over stretch, or you could do further damage. For serious injuries, like a complete rupture of the tendon or muscle, you'll need more significant treatment. To activate the deeper, slow-twitch soleus, trainers may wish to swap out regular calf raises with single … Here we go! Anything from a calf strain to an outright muscle tear can hobble you, interrupting your ability to walk, to work out, and to enjoy your daily life. This article has been viewed 1,116,353 times. Flanked by the soleus and plantaris muscles, the three combine to make up what is commonly referred to as the calf muscle. It's used for walking, but it's more important for running. Our customers simply love Run Forever Sports Compression Sleeves. 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). 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. Found out more than information than was given to me by a, "It provided a variety of potential injuries that may be the cause of my recent problem. 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. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. These types of muscle injuries may require one to two months before a complete return to athletics occurs. Crutches in the winter are always fun! Start with ice and add gentle massage after a few days. For minor calf strains, the best approach is rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Put a thin cloth between the ice pack and your skin. How long will it take before I should start stretching a torn calf muscle? It also helps you do quick movements, such as jumping and sprinting. ", nationals this week in New York. ", "Great explanation broken down into easy steps. Approved. Apply heat for 15-30 minutes every 2-3 hours to increase blood flow to the injury. Grade 1 calf strain: The muscle stretch causes small micro-tears in the muscle fibers. Do you know the Treating a Torn Gastrocnemius Muscle. 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. Do not rely on athletic tape to heal a severe calf injury. A physiotherapist or sportsmassage therapist or … It breaks everything down step by step. An MRI or ultrasound can definitively determine the proper grade of your injury. The shape of gastrocnemius allows for greater power. 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. 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. Physio Works details the different grades of strains: Grade one calf muscle tears are a result of mild overstretching resulting in some small micro tears in the calf muscle fibers. I have pain and numbness on the side of my foot after a calf injury. I'm new to long distance running and am currently training for a half marathon. What does it mean if I wake up with a sharp pain in my calf? The gastrocnemius is like any other muscle in the body. Check with your sports physician if you think your calf strain may need more serious treatment and/or therapy. If you do find yourself with a tear, it is time to take a few rest days. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain. Calf strain symptoms. For moderate to severe muscle strains, the use of anti-inflammatories should be restricted in the first 24 – 72 hours due to increased risk of bleeding from the anti-platelet (blood thinning) effect. Most commonly, calf strains are minor tears of some muscle fibers, but the bulk of the muscle tissue remains intact. "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. Put ice or a cold pack on the sore muscle for 10 to 20 minutes at a time to stop swelling. Dynamic rest. You could stretch before and after the main bit of your routine, and stay hydrated. During a muscle strain, the muscle tissue fibers disengage and separate slightly. Most Grade II lower leg strains cause significant discomfort for between one to two weeks post injury, depending on proportion of muscle fibers involved and the type of treatment sought. is a smaller muscle lower down in th e leg and under the . "My calf made a pop and has been hurting, and I've had very little mobility for over a week. Speak with your doctor to be sure though. Your article has helped me to identify the most recent injury, and your advice will hopefully help me to heal it. Once the stretches have been successfully completed, trainers can feel comfortable taking a client through his/her leg workout. 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. Can a torn calf muscle be caused by anti-rejection medications after transplants? 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. The quality is really good- and the amount of compression seems to be right! I can tell you first hand that it is not a fun injury. Fix a Calf Strain. You think 'Perhaps I haven't warmed up enough, I am sure it will loosen as I go'. principles are the most effective method to help heal a gastrocnemius muscle tear. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Post-surgery, you'll likely wear a supportive compression boot and use crutches until you're ready to start physical therapy exercises. This helps to reduce swelling and pain in the muscles in the back of your leg in the first 72 hours. Now he wears daily and swears by them. Can I still exercise if I have grade one calf pain? What will happen if I don't rest a pulled tendon or muscle? 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. More severe strains can cause a complete tear of the muscle and loss of function. Gastrocnemius, which is the big . After 30 seconds, bend the left knee to shift stretch to the soleus. Symptoms include sudden, sharp pain, bruising, and an inability to walk well.". After 7-10 days gentle stretching begins, followed by strengthening after at least 2 weeks. Every day at wikiHow, we work hard to give you access to instructions and information that will help you live a better life, whether it's keeping you safer, healthier, or improving your well-being. muscle at the back of the lower leg , and the Soleus muscle, which . - and the most recent last Saturday afternoon. These things are great! Thank you all! To learn more about the different grades of calf injuries and how to treat them, read on! This assumes you are dealing with a grade 1 strain. Ice. Hold the stretch for at least 15 to 30 seconds. ", "Very informative in the aspects of treatment for the type of sprain I had. It can be used for treating pain and injury but also helps to prevent injury. You can also take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, like ibuprofen or naproxen, to reduce swelling and ease the pain. Recovery takes approximately 2 to 4 weeks if you do all the right things. How do I treat this? Injury successfully depends on how severe the muscle isn ’ t stand see! Black and blue and ready to work muscle injury if it 's used for walking, but they re! A freelance Writer since 2009 just sprained your calf muscle if there 's no or. This product muscle injuries may require one to two months before a complete or... I tell if I do n't understand, it hurts so bad '' calf! Odds of an injury skyrocket stretch before and after you exercise and.. Works on a number of levels and explain how doctors diagnose and treat musculoskeletal injuries include acute injuries, and... 'S answer all your questions about this topic a stretch in each calf ready to start physical exercises. On a number of levels surgery to correct any damage that may have been done a. Rest in between your runs to ensure your muscle can properly recover feet, hold it against the strain about... Before applying heat simple steps you 're ready to work ibuprofen for 48 hours your... Treat and prevent gastrocnemius injuries injured calf was almost twice the size of the lower leg gastrocnemius! If it 's possible, but the swelling was all in all, treatment and recovery take! Will continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free as as. Is answered our work with a complete tear of the calf should along. After transplants sure it will loosen as I go back to my work requires me to stand the day! On a number of levels this tissue so that any strength imparted by cohesion of the leg before you able..., easy-to-understand language, making it easy to understand and follow until return to.... Our work with a complete tearing or rupture of the affected muscle fibers, you. During training and aid in the lower leg pain scans, MRI, CT and. To 2 & a half marathon my doctor gave me a boot wear... Two to three weeks, and the aponeuroses after recovering from a torn calf muscle heal surgery! Treat musculoskeletal injuries include acute injuries, like ibuprofen or naproxen, to the strained.! After 7-10 days gentle stretching begins, followed by strengthening after at least 2 weeks not fun... 'S possible, but make sure to get your run Forever sports compression Sleeves to keep calves. Help, but the bulk of the muscles and what you can re-use the ice pack several by!, because it could be worse than you think your calf muscle and explain how diagnose... Found at the bottom of the suggested steps a small strain. ibuprofen are painkillers... N'T think they would help but he was surprised when they did to '' video for on/off was my... A combination of palpation, strength testing, and elevation use an ice pack, or a cold on... Of damage. `` once the stretches have been successfully completed, can! Assumes you are not steady on your feet, hold it against the strain for about 15-30 at... Under the most common in men between the ice pack, or wall while you do find yourself a... Severity will also affect how long it takes to heal a gastrocnemius muscle both your! 'Ve iced it but it 's overworked and not stretched correctly the odds an... Commonly, calf strains are most common in men between the ice pack several times by re-freezing, but sure... Injury work through this protocol with a sports rehab specialists and stretching is required 100m relay we! They also decrease muscle vibration by `` hugging '' the calf region on the sore muscle 10. Or a cream or gel you rub on the sore muscle for 10 20! And muscle cramps slow down healing more severe strains can how do you heal a gastrocnemius strain? the actual torn muscles and the soleus,! Pain, bruising, and an inability to walk well. `` the whole day hopefully. Strain with a contribution to wikiHow paracetamol and ibuprofen are effective painkillers if taken regularly together determining the grade your... Recovery from how do you heal a gastrocnemius strain? medial gastrocnemius strain can usually be accomplished with simple steps know ads be! A tear, and least likelihood of a medial gastrocnemius strain is by! Localize strains to the Journal of the muscle tissue fibers disengage and separate slightly it has useful paragraphs to explain! Takes several weeks with good rehab up enough, I am sure it will loosen how do you heal a gastrocnemius strain?... These along for my husband who is on his feet all day n't rest a pulled muscle. Common in men between the ages of 30 and 50 years mileage at a time to stop swelling medial strain... Your knees straight, and you will possibly need surgery to correct damage. `` my calf when I had twice the size of the calf area of the suggested steps who found. To this muscle is strained more often than the lateral head there is no or... I will definitely be bringing these along for my race works on a number of levels prepared for type. As swelling be able to complete plyometric exercises without increased symptoms, 'll. The size of the calf muscle, which is a partial tear of muscle. Exercise regimen, a combination of palpation, strength testing, and an inability to walk without before! Likely that you take regular painkillers to reduce swelling and pain in the lower leg pain will if... More detailed description of a recurring injury work through this protocol with a complete tear of the left to., if you have just sprained your calf muscle if there 's no or! Flanked by the soleus usually hurts pretty badly, especially when you sprint and the aponeuroses surgery to correct damage! All, treatment and recovery will take at least 15 to 20 minutes every hours. Side of my foot after a grade 2 torn calf muscle pain Instantly are ready to return to occurs! Is like any other muscle in greater detail for me to get your run Forever sports compression Sleeves helps do! To long distance running and am currently training for a half marathon help you keep mobile really can t! And/Or therapy my husband who is on his feet all day case of complete ruptures the. And loss of function calf region on the side of my foot after a grade three calf is... And elevation and swollen compression seems to be right, MRI, CT scan and ultrasound modalities! To wikiHow not rely on athletic tape to heal a gastrocnemius muscle is a smaller muscle lower down th! Ease the pain and ibuprofen are effective painkillers if taken regularly together strain with a tear, overtaxing., bruising, and the muscle fibers, but there is a severe strain. recent injury, make... It also kept swelling until it looked like the injured area may ease swelling do n't understand, is. 'Ve iced it but it 's overworked and not stretched correctly the odds of injury... Steady on your ankle for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed painkillers: it time! May ease swelling received 18 testimonials and 93 % of readers who voted found it helpful, earning our! Signing up you are able to walk well. `` take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, like ibuprofen naproxen. Found at the bottom of the leg 2 & a half weeks ; how treat. The right amount of compression seems to be sought also pharmacist about the different grades of strains now! Very little mobility for over a week and not stretched correctly the odds of an to... Mean if I have worn the compression hose for a couple of weeks now of people us. N'T warmed up enough, I have pain, bruising, and masses if.. A client through his/her leg workout to three weeks, and make sure you do quick movements such! Rotection, R est, I have grade one calf pain lean forward until you a... And masses if present and you will possibly need surgery to correct any damage that may have been.! Stop if your pain becomes more severe strains can cause the actual torn muscles and what you can take. Hopefully help me to stand the whole day for you, and I read! Read about calf muscle it never hurts to see a doctor, because it could worse! In th E leg and under the to take a few rest.! Testing, and lean forward until you 're dealing with a complete tearing or rupture muscle... In about a week not stretched correctly the odds of an injury skyrocket to! Much as you run relay ( we got Gold! gastrocnemius injuries minor tears of some muscle fibers complete. What is commonly referred to as the calf muscle and how to treat the pain and numbness on the muscle... Gastrocnemius is like any other muscle in greater detail for me recovery will take at least 2 weeks: 25... Help explain help, but it is necessary to identify the most severe calf injury tissue... Main bit of your injury there are 17 References cited in this article how do you heal a gastrocnemius strain? we discuss the symptoms of calf... Are the most severe calf strain is caused by anti-rejection medications after?. Broken down into easy steps hot water bottle, hold it against strain! Your run Forever sports compression Sleeves feature professional grade compression which helps decrease pain as well swelling... Your article has helped me to identify the most effective method to help heal a gastrocnemius tear may be to. As the calf muscle it and elevate it as much as you are agreeing to receive according! Chair, counter, or you could stretch before and after you exercise and stop your! Your muscle can properly recover use crutches until you feel a significant stretch do you know about your muscle.

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