Calf Strain

Calf Strain

What is Calf Strain?

Calf strain is a common injury of the calf muscles that results in posterior leg pain. It commonly affects sports athletes or enthusiasts participating in activities such as football, tennis, or sprints.

Like other muscle strains, such as hamstring strain, a calf strain requires proper management to minimise recurrence risk.

Calf Strain Explained

Causes of Calf Strain

The calf muscle group are made up of 3 different muscles, namely gastrocnemius, soleus, and plantaris. The calf’s primary function is to plantarflex the ankle, or “push the ankle down”, and this is important in generating power for propulsion.

A calf strain occurs when the muscle is contracted and stretches beyond its limits, causing muscle fibres to tear. The most commonly affected muscle is the gastrocnemius.

Calf strain can be classified into 3 gradings:

  • Grade 1 – Mild, usually only cause pain during activity
  • Grade 2 – Moderate, significant pain and swelling even when walking
  • Grade 3 – Severe, significantly torn muscle or full rupture

Risk Factors of Calf Strain

Risk factors of calf strain include:

  • Old age
  • History of a calf injury
  • History of Achilles tendon injury
  • Tight calf muscles
  • Sudden increase in training intensity
  • Inadequate recovery
  • High-impact sports enthusiast or athletes
Calf Strain Signs and Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms of Calf Strain

Signs and symptoms of calf strain include:

  • Posterior leg pain, unable to run or jump
  • Pain may affect walking if moderate-to-severe
  • Palpable tender spot in the calf
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty moving the ankle up and down
  • Bruising or ecchymosis may be present

Calf Strain Treatment

The treatment of calf strain involves treating the injured muscle fibres and rehabilitation. It is important to undergo proper rehabilitation to minimise the risk of recurrence.

Treatment options for calf strain include:

Contact Us