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Calf Muscle Strain
(Pulled Calf Muscle; Gastrocnemius Strain; Gastrocnemius Tear; Gastrocnemius Muscle Injury)
|The Calf Muscles|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
- Stretching the calf muscles beyond the amount of tension they can withstand
- Suddenly putting stress on the calf muscles when they are not ready for the stress
- A direct blow to the calf muscles
- Participation in sports that require bursts of speed. This includes track sports like running, hurdles, or long jump. Other sports include basketball, soccer, football, or rugby.
- Previous strain or injury to the area
- Muscle fatigue
- Tight calf muscles
- Poor conditioning
- Pain and tenderness in the calf
- Stiffness in the calf muscles
- Weakness of the calf muscles
- Pain when pushing off the foot or standing on tiptoe
- Bruising on the calf
- Popping sensation as the muscle tears
- Grade 1—Some stretching with micro-tearing of muscle fibers
- Grade 2—Partial tearing of muscle fibers
- Grade 3—Complete tearing of muscle fibers; this may also be called a rupture or avulsion
- Rest—Activities will need to be restricted at first. Normal activities will be reintroduced gradually.
- Ice—Ice therapy may help relieve swelling. Heat or cold may be advised throughout recovery if they provide benefits.
- Compression—Used for a limited time, compression bandages can provide gentle pressure to help move fluids out of the area.
- Elevation—Keeping the area elevated can help fluids drain out or prevent fluids from building up.
- Keep your calf muscles strong and flexible, so they can absorb the energy of sudden physical stress
- Learn the proper technique for exercise and sporting activities to decrease stress on all your muscles
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 02/2016
- Update Date: 03/18/2013