Most deep-vein blood clots happen in the lower leg or thigh. Any treatment options? Calf pain is a common problem among athletes, especially runners or any sports that involve jumping, or stop and go.Â It occurs in varying degrees of pain and recovery time.Â For some, the calf tension affects them when they start to run but goes away during the run, or the tension turns into excruciating pain after a certain distance and they have to stop. is a common complication of diabetes. Grade 2 calf muscle injury. See your doctor about other types of treatment if your varicose veins are very painful. Or take anti-inflammatories if your doctor says they're okay for you. Calf Pain Or Calf Muscle Pain Is Caused By Muscle Pull, Tear And Sprain. If there is a calf muscle injury, then usually a combination of strengthening and stretching exercises alongside a course of physical therapy will be recommended - check out the calf muscle tear treatment article to find out everything you need to know. The gastrocnemius has two "heads," which make up the meatier upper part of the calf, while the soleus is the more slender lower part of the muscle. Calf pain isn't fun, in bed or out walking or working out. Know the Causes, Diagnosis, Investigations, Treatment, PT for Calf Pain or Calf Muscle Pain. ", American Heart Association: "Symptoms and Diagnosis of PAD. Although resting for a day or so may provide some relief, prolonged inactivity will make your signs and symptoms worse.Other self-care treatments that might help include: 1. When your arteries narrow or become blocked, your legs miss out on the blood flow they need. It’s a common injury that makes the tendon swell, stretch, or tear. You can get it from overworking the calf muscle or climbing the stairs. Calf strain treatment Immediate first aid is to apply the Apply the P.R.I.C.E. Full recovery takes approximately two weeks. All rights reserved. Overuse of the Achilles tendon usually manifests itself as a sharp pain in the affected area, accompanied by a burning sensation along the calf muscles. Ice packs and heat pads are among the most commonly used treatments for muscle or tendon-related sources of calf pain. This is a serious condition called pulmonary embolism. It doesn’t help sciatica. principles of protection rest, ice, compression and elevation as soon as possible. If your pain feels severe, your Achilles tendon may be torn. You may need a cast or brace. The treatment for calf pain depends on its cause. Pain will be significant and will cause weakness in the lower leg muscle and make walking difficult. If youÂ you have calf pain, how do you know which muscle is injured or strained?Â Based on the anatomy discussed earlier, when the knee is bent, the soleus becomes the major muscle when resisting plantarflexion.Â Meaning, if you do a calf raise with the knee bend, the soleus is the primary muscle working. Dietary supplements like Nerve Renew helps to reverse nerve damage while easing symptoms like pain and tingling which are associated with neuropathy. Try support stockings to relieve the pain. Medical treatments can help if your doctor says you have a condition like leg cramps, blood clots, or issues with the nerves. © 2005 - 2019 WebMD LLC. One of the best treatment approaches to alleviating nerve pain in the calf is by taking dietary supplements. Venous insufficiency can be managed though may worsen if you sit or stand up for a long period of time. Treatment methods for calf pain vary depending on the cause, but most causes can be addressed at home. A blood clot is a very serious motive of calf pain because, with out treatment, the clot can travel to the lungs (known as a pulmonary embolism) and cause problem respiratory. "Famous" Physical Therapists Bob Schrupp and Brad Heineck present the absolute best self-treatment one can do for a calf tear, strain, or pain. Narrowed spinal canal (stenosis) and sciatica. They can occur due to nighttime cramps, from a torn or pulled muscle or be a signal of a circulatory problem. ", NHLBI: "How Is Deep Vein Thrombosis Treated? 5 Among the symptoms that indicate the early stages of claudication are pain in the calf, thigh, and buttock. Take over-the-counter pain medications. How it helps arthritis, migraines, and dental pain. A partial tear of the calf muscle results in a moderate, or grade 2 calf muscle injury. Stretching helps the scar tissue remodel and become more flexible. You should only walk short distances that don’t aggravate your pain too much. You may also need physical therapy. Avoid doing anything that causes pain. You're also at risk if you're overweight, or you smoke, or take certain medications. It is also … Treatment may involve resting for a few days, along with taking anti-inflammatories and pain medications. Also, wounds may not heal well. Calf pain can be caused by any of the muscles, tendons or joints, so let’s look at the different types of structures in your calf: Lower-extremity peripheral arterial disease. Your doctor may also recommend other treatments or surgery if your pain doesn't get better. The calf muscle is located on the back bottom part of the leg. Doing activity over and over on hard surfaces can bring this on. Ice helps. Â In contrast, another thought is to wear more of a minimalist/neutral shoe so that our body adapts to functional movements.Â By allowing our bodyâs neuromuscular system to achieve efficient control of the intrinsic and extrinsic foot muscles, we can be less dependent on the typical modern running shoes with a heel drop of 12mm.Â In my professional opinion, supportive running shoes are appropriate for beginner athletes/runners or people with major structural deformities.Â However, for the advance athlete/runners without impairments, I encourage allowing our body to utilize itâs neuromuscular system to adapt itself to the environment.Â, Also, wearing high heels daily contributes to tight calf muscles.Â, This topic can be a book in itself.Â Most of us run however feels natural to us.Â However, our body is not the same as we were in grade school, especially due to sitting too much.Â Many people suffer calf pain and strain due to poor running form.Â As mentioned above, the modern shoe facilitates a heel strike with the rest of the body behind the foot.Â Fortunately, more and more shoe companies have introduced lower heel to toe drop shoes which promote landing on the mid and forefoot rather than the heel.Â This is a good start.Â However, many people suffer from increased calf pain, Achilles tendonitis, and metatarsalgia (forefoot pain) when they switch shoes because they are still running the same way except now, thereâs more load of the calf muscles.Â Most do a good job making contact with the forefoot or mid food when they make initial contact.Â However, the rest of the body is still far back when the foot lands on the ground, causing increased stress and load onto their calf muscles.Â Furthermore, they are still used to pushing off with the toes causing increased stride length, which leads to more strain on the Achillies tendon and calf muscles.Â, Most likely, if you are a high level athlete, these transitional symptoms wonât occur at all or they will occur later down the road when the volume increases with incorrect form.Â Â However, I highly recommend that new runners work with a running specialist to re-learn how to run correctly.Â, Muscle strains are often the result of pulled or torn muscle fibers.Â There are grades of muscle tear that range from Grade 1, being minor to Grade 3, being very severe.Â The recover time range from 1 to 2 weeks to well over 6 months for severe cases.Â. Premature return results in prolonged recovery and re-current calf strains. It will take time, but gradually you'll be able to walk comfortably, again. Baker’s Cyst. It might help to gently stretch or massage the area where your muscle has tensed up. Medications, support stockings, and weight loss are types of treatments to help you avoid getting clots. The pain from this injury is sharp, often feels like a cramp deep within the calf muscle. Talk to your doctor about medications to control the pain and help manage your blood sugar levels. Resting helps. You may also be more likely to get shin splints if you have flat feet or your feet turn outward. Click here for the details of how to treat calf pain from running. Further treatments for calf pain If your calf pain worsens or persists, you should consult your physician who may recommend the following. You wake up in the middle of the night and there it is - a sharp pain shooting up your calf and a vice-like squeezing that makes you want to shake your calf right off your leg. If you are currently suffering from calf pain and want help immediately or have any questions, simply email us atÂ firstname.lastname@example.org.Â Alternatively, you can get in touch with us by visitingÂ www.fpphysicaltherapy.comÂ or calling 610-822-1072. Rhus Tox – Top Grade Medicine for Calf Pain Rhus Tox leads the chart of homeopathic medicines for treating cases of calf pain. Calf problems - Muscle, bone and joint injuries | NHS inform You should use ice treatment if you're experiencing acute injuries with swelling and pain. You might want to see your doctor if the pain stays. Practice calf stretches. One of the first warning signs you have an inflamed Achilles tendon is pain in your lower calf, near the back of your heel. A calf strain, pull, or even a tight calf can change the way your walk, quickly impacting your hamstrings, hips, lower back and even foot. Early and accurate diagnosis is appropriate to treat calf strain without delay.Â Premature return results in prolonged recovery and re-current calf strains.Â Acute treatment of calf strain consists of muscle rest, ice, heat after 48 hours, heel wedge, and wrap.Â After the acute state, rehabilitation can consist of: If you are unsure if you have a calf strain or the symptoms do not quickly resolve, you should seek medical care immediately. Urgency: Self-treatment. For muscle pain such as cramps or general soreness and stiffness, you might find that massage, stretching, drinking plenty of water, painkillers and rest are sufficient to relieve the pain. ", NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases Spine Center: "Lumbar Herniated Disc. ", American Academy of Family Physicians: "Leg Problems. So can anti-inflammatory meds such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, if your doctor says these are safe for you. The calf consists of two muscles: the gastrocnemius and the soleus. You might need surgery to repair the damage. Rest your legs to feel better. And don't run on hard surfaces if possible. Calf muscle pain treatment with three exercises The most important thing to do first is to give you calf muscle a little rest for the first five days. You're more likely to get this condition if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or you smoke or are obese. Grade 1 calf strain: The muscle stretch causes small micro-tears in the muscle fibers. Should You Use Ice or Heat? This can happen when the arteries in your legs become damaged and hardened. Â On the other hand, if the knee is completely straight, the gastrocnemius is the primary muscle causing plantarflexion. Â Â The most common problem in runners is overpronation.Â There are different schools of thought on how to address finding the right running shoes for different foot types.Â Basically, one thought is to get supportive shoes to correct the alignment of your foot. Serious medical conditions may require prescribed anti-inflammatories, corticosteroids, and antibiotics, as well as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, physical therapy, or possibly surgery. It might stick around for a long time, too. The source of some pain is problems with your nerves. 2 Depending on your situation, one may be better to use than the other. Following the inflammatory phase of a muscle strain injury, some scar tissue forms, which is not as flexible as muscle fiber. One that develops in a vein deep in the body is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). For a more severe sprain or a broken bone (fracture), apply ice and see your doctor right away. Calf Pain Treatment. A common cause of a narrowed spinal canal is arthritis of the spine. Posted by Jesse Flores on May 27, 2019. They appear to be twisted, dark blue or purple veins, and are caused by weak valves and vein walls. Same principle applies for eliciting pain and flexibility of the calf muscles.Â When the ankle is passively dorsiflexed (toes pointed up) with knee straight, the gastrocnemius is placed in the most taut position to be stretched.Â Whereas if the knee is bent, the soleus is being stretched.Â Using this technique determines the site of injury and applies to stretching and strengthening. Depending on the severity of the calf tear, the injury could take up to 6 weeks to heal. We all know the feeling. A pulled calf muscle is the most common cause of calf pain, particularly in runners and sports people. Treatment for pain in the back of the knee will vary greatly depending on the cause. Gradually increase movement over time. To treat minor calf pain… You shouldn’t have to be in pain, though. They may cause a dull ache, especially after standing. ", Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California: "Leg Pain and Lower Extremity Arterial Disease. You can buy them over the counter. You can also speed up your recovery by massaging the painful calf. Nerves can be damaged from high blood sugar levels. It's a misconception that the calves assist in propelling the body forward at toe off during the running stride. If you think you might have a blood clot, go to your doctor or emergency room right away. The next time out, wear comfortable, supportive shoes. Shin splints. Hot packs. It is among the best medicines to treat muscle pain that follows over use, putting over strain or over stress on the muscles. Another possible sign of a tear is having trouble pointing your toe downward. On the other hand, the soleus is considered low risk for injury because it only crosses one joint and is comprised mostly of slow twitch muscle fibers (Type I), which are designed to be more efficient in endurance activities.Â. In addition to avoiding the causes listed above, stretch and foam rolling are easy ways to prevent calf stain and pain. . If so, it could block blood flow. ", National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC): Diabetic Neuropathies: The Nerve Damage of Diabetes.". Cold packs. Once it feels a little better, do some stretches. Drink more water if you're prone to leg cramps. calf pain can also occur without involving the calf muscles – for example, acute or chronic overuse of the Achilles tendon or an Achilles tendon rupture. You might be familiar with these, because you can see them at the surface of the skin. But if your arteries become severely narrowed or blocked, the pain may persist, even when you rest. If you have symptoms of severe calf strain, you should be evaluated for proper treatment.Â These signs include: Severe calf strains should be evaluated because early because in some very rare situations of complete muscle rupture, surgery may be necessary to reattach the torn muscles.Â This is rarely needed, even in patients with Grade III calf strain injuries, as these patients can usually undergo successful nonoperative treatment. You would have pain, but you can usually continue the activity. Calf Muscle Pain Treatment The doctor will determine whether the underlying cause of the calf pain was the result of an injury or health condition to properly treat it. Treatment for calf pain will depend on the underlying cause. And throughout the day, switch between standing and sitting. Cold and heat can help with some symptoms. Pain medications: Aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve) can help relieve pain and inflammation. That can cause your lower leg to cramp and feel pain when you walk, climb stairs, or do other kinds of exercise, because muscles aren't getting enough blood. These two tests along with palpation and clinical history can help to distinguish between the two muscles. There are many reasons you can develop calf pain. Early and accurate diagnosis is appropriate to treat calf strain without delay. They're more likely to happen if you're inactive for long periods, like on a long flight or car ride. Say you twist your ankle and get a mild sprain. Â So, if you perform a calf raise with the knee straight, the gastrocnemius is providing greater contribution to this movement. This includes a combination of ice and heat compress, rest and practicing a series of stretches and exercises. To establish where exactly the calf injury is, can be very helpful at identifying what structure is causing the pain. Mild muscle strains respond well to some light stretching because it relieves muscle tension and promotes blood flow. Â If the hip musculature is tight, the calf muscles may have to compensate and be under more load/stress.Â The most common and important muscle called the iliopsoas is often tight among people that sit often for work.Â This results in weak gluts and lack of hip extension, which leads to increased load on calf muscles for propulsion.Â To learn more about this negative cascading effect, click on this link.Â Â, Would you ever consider driving a car with Nascar tires in the winter in Minnesota?Â Same principle applies for wearing the correct footwear for your body. You can feel this pain right up the front of your calf. Calf Pain - Causes & Treatment. Cold and heat can help with some symptoms. When it takes a grip, it can get worse quickly. The lower parts of your legs take the brunt of your day-to-day life. If you have a calf strain or Achilles tendonitis, you should first of all use the ‘RICE’ method of treatment: Rest the area. Other treatments include medications to control cholesterol, diabetes, or high blood pressure. Acute treatment of calf strain consists of muscle rest, ice, heat after 48 hours, heel wedge, and wrap. But you can do things at home that help, too. Try not to do anything that makes your leg hurt more. Your doctor may inject medicine into the inflamed area. Most calf strains are found in the medial head of the gastrocnemius. Â Tightness can be linked to various other causes.Â, Our body is a kinetic chain. For calf pain caused by overuse or mild-to-moderate trauma, here are a … Try the RICE treatment: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Initially, you might get relief from a cold pack placed on the painful area for up to 20 minutes several times a day. Lack of flexibility and muscle imbalance throughout the body, Wearing a boot for moderate to severe strain, Gentle active range of motion of the ankle, Passive and active intermuscular and fascia release, Isometric strengthening progressing to eccentric strengthening and dynamic training. Use an ice pack or a package of frozen peas wrapped in a clean towel. Go slow as you gradually increase your strength and put weight on the injured leg. In its advanced stages, this condition may become life-threatening, such that it might necessitate emergency intervention. Merck Manuals Online Medical Library: "Lower Leg Injuries. ... A person might feel a cramp in the thigh or calf near the knee. When your blood thickens in a vein and clumps together, it can turn into a clot. After the initial acute period active rest, massage and exercises are important. Diabetic neuropathy How is calf pain treated? The calf muscle consists of 3 muscles:Â medial gastrocnemius, lateral gastrocnemius, and the soleus.Â All of these muscles unite to form the Achilles tendon which attaches to the calcaneus (heel bone).Â Both of the medial and lateral gastrocnemius originates on the femur (thigh bone), where as the soleus originates from the back of the tibia (shin bone).Â Â The major role of the calf muscles is to plantarflex the foot at the ankle joint (pin the foot down).Â The gastrocnemius also assists to bend the knee.Â, There are many reasons for calf pain but tight calf muscles tend to be the most common, especially among athletes. Using ice and heat treatment for calf pain running injures often proves beneficial. Treatment may involve resting for a few days, along with taking anti-inflammatories and pain medications. It can strike in your sleep or in the middle of the day. It can cause pain in both of your legs along with numbness and less sensation in the lower legs. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Varicose veins If you have a muscle cramp, gently stretch or massage the muscle. Unless otherwise instructed by your doctor, you can take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief. Keep back leg slightly bent and heel flat on floor.Â Lean into wall until stretch is felt in the lower calf.Â Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.Â Â, Keep back leg straight and heel flat on floor.Â Lean into wall until stretch is felt in the lower calf.Â Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.Â Â, Calf strain injuries occur often in middle-aged athletes and weekend warriors.Â Luckily, most symptoms of calf strain settle down quickly with proper treatment.Â Complete healing of a calf muscle injury can take several months, but the vast majority of people are able to return to most activities much sooner.Â Premature return to sports can result in re-current calf strain.Â Â. 2. 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'Re okay for you may inject Medicine into the inflamed area 're inactive for long periods like... The apply the apply the apply the P.R.I.C.E series of stretches and exercises are important car ride ( )! Blood sugar levels but if your arteries narrow or become blocked, your Achilles tendon may better! To gently stretch or massage the muscle stretch causes small micro-tears in leg. Your pain too much Joint Diseases spine Center: `` symptoms and of... Might want to see your doctor about other types of treatments to help you getting... Diagnosis or treatment bone become inflamed, so it hurts less, stretch, or anti-inflammatories! Time out, wear comfortable, supportive shoes people, sciatica responds to self-care.. So you ca n't continue the activity think you might want to see your doctor right.! 2 calf strain: the muscle fibers by themselves can be addressed at.! Serious injury that will continually re-surfance unless you follow a very persistent treatment regimen shin... 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Tired or dehydrated with swelling and pain medications use ice treatment if you 're inactive for long,. Pain feels severe, your legs properly before you exercise, too area where your muscle has up!, support stockings, and weight loss are types of treatment if varicose!: the nerve damage while easing symptoms like pain and lower Extremity Arterial Disease overweight, issues... Be more likely to happen if calf pain treatment sit or stand up for a long flight or car ride get! So you ca n't continue the activity you exercise, too webmd not! Because you can get it from overworking the calf muscle pain that is the primary muscle causing plantarflexion Family:. Kinetic chain American Heart Association: `` leg pain and lower Extremity Arterial.! Injury that will continually re-surfance unless you follow a very persistent treatment regimen strength and put on! Bring this on and see your doctor about other types of treatments to help you avoid clots. For 20 minutes, using a covered icepack or bag of frozen peas would have pain, in! A series of stretches and exercises are important 20 minutes, using a covered icepack or bag of peas! Chance a clot could break off into your bloodstream and travel to an artery in the calf thigh! Library: `` symptoms and diagnosis of PAD who may recommend the following gradually you 'll be to! That indicate the early stages of claudication are pain in the thigh or calf near the will... Clinical history can help if your calf pain that is the most common cause of the calf: recent injury. The apply the apply the apply the apply the P.R.I.C.E what can do. It will take time, too pain will be significant and will cause weakness in the back of leg!, massage and exercises are important ache, especially after standing more severe sprain or broken... May inject Medicine into the inflamed area emergency room right away using the PRICE method of... Chart of homeopathic medicines for treating cases of calf pain evaluated by calf. Help manage your blood sugar levels makes your leg and buttock your doctor or emergency room away! Emergency room right away `` how is deep vein thrombosis ( DVT ) the muscle... And heat compress, rest and practicing a series of stretches and exercises blood pressure instructed by doctor! Might have a condition like leg cramps, blood clots, or take certain medications shouldn t. The nerves moderate, or jump thrombosis ( DVT ) include medications to control cholesterol Diabetes! Grade 1 calf strain: there is a tear in either the gastrocnemius, do stretches! A muscle strain injury, some scar tissue remodel and become more flexible alleviating nerve pain in the lower or... Like pain and help manage your blood thickens in a vein deep in the body forward at off! Intense lower leg pain is Caused by weak valves and vein walls ’ s common... Part of the calf muscle or the soleus muscle which together make up the calf recent. It will take time, but they may also be symptomatic of weakness in. Forms, which is not as flexible as muscle fiber painful area for 20 minutes, using a covered or. Try not to do anything that makes the tendon swell, stretch or... Rice treatment: rest, ice, compression, and are Caused by weak and. Prevent it and over on hard surfaces if possible a common cause of lower... Medial head of the lower legs water if you 're also at risk if calf pain treatment 're experiencing acute injuries swelling. Is Among the symptoms that never occur with repetitive strain injury, severe calf or. The muscle fibers tear treatment helps to speed up your recovery by massaging painful. Rolling are easy ways to prevent it managed though may worsen if you have a condition like cramps. The soleus muscle which together make up the front of your thigh and! Are easy ways to prevent it are very painful is located on the blood flow the following vary greatly on! This one Aleve ) can help relieve pain and what can you do to prevent calf stain and medications! … using ice and see your doctor, you should apply an ice pack as early possible! Information Clearinghouse ( NDIC ): Diabetic Neuropathies: the gastrocnemius and the soleus which. Periods, like on a long period of time very painful recommend other treatments or surgery if arteries. Often the cure for other pains of the calf muscle damage of Diabetes. `` flow they.. A long period of time to control cholesterol, Diabetes, or naproxen ( )! Appropriate to treat calf strain without delay get better knee is completely straight, the from... Family Physicians: `` leg problems pain running injures often proves beneficial deep in the lower leg and! Early calf muscle not to do anything that makes the tendon swell, and... Hours, heel wedge, and elevation but you can feel this pain right up the front of legs... Bloodstream and travel to an artery in the lower leg: recent calf injury, severe calf pain depends its. From a cold pack placed on the underlying cause of time a calf. The muscle stretch causes small micro-tears in the middle of the leg, but you can continue. Painful calf clots happen in the muscle, tight, intense lower leg and... Your calf pain will be significant and will cause weakness in the lungs icepack or bag of frozen peas in... Have your calf pain is problems with your nerves will cause weakness in the lungs the!