calf pain treatment

After the initial acute period active rest, massage and exercises are important. Any treatment options? Practice calf stretches. "Famous" Physical Therapists Bob Schrupp and Brad Heineck present the absolute best self-treatment one can do for a calf tear, strain, or pain. For a more severe sprain or a broken bone (fracture), apply ice and see your doctor right away. If you  you have calf pain, how do you know which muscle is injured or strained?  Based on the anatomy discussed earlier, when the knee is bent, the soleus becomes the major muscle when resisting plantarflexion.  Meaning, if you do a calf raise with the knee bend, the soleus is the primary muscle working. Go slow as you gradually increase your strength and put weight on the injured leg. See your doctor about other types of treatment if your varicose veins are very painful. Gradually increase movement over time. Most deep-vein blood clots happen in the lower leg or thigh. Medications, support stockings, and weight loss are types of treatments to help you avoid getting clots. Try support stockings to relieve the pain.  So, if you perform a calf raise with the knee straight, the gastrocnemius is providing greater contribution to this movement. Grade 1 calf strain: The muscle stretch causes small micro-tears in the muscle fibers. Ice helps. Doing activity over and over on hard surfaces can bring this on. Treatment for pain in the back of the knee will vary greatly depending on the cause. Calf problems - Muscle, bone and joint injuries | NHS inform Grade 2 calf muscle injury. One of the first warning signs you have an inflamed Achilles tendon is pain in your lower calf, near the back of your heel. And throughout the day, switch between standing and sitting. 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. Some people need surgery to improve blood flow to the area. Cold and heat can help with some symptoms. Mild muscle strains respond well to some light stretching because it relieves muscle tension and promotes blood flow. The first step is to have your calf pain evaluated by … is a common complication of diabetes. They can occur due to nighttime cramps, from a torn or pulled muscle or be a signal of a circulatory problem. Unless otherwise instructed by your doctor, you can take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief. Calf pain is a common problem among athletes, especially runners or any sports that involve jumping, or stop and go.  It occurs in varying degrees of pain and recovery time.  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. You may need a cast or brace. You might be familiar with these, because you can see them at the surface of the skin. Tight calf muscles by themselves can be painful, but they may also be symptomatic of weakness elsewhere in the leg. © 2005 - 2019 WebMD LLC. 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. Merck Manuals Online Medical Library: "Lower Leg Injuries. ", American Academy of Family Physicians: "Leg Problems. Venous insufficiency can be managed though may worsen if you sit or stand up for a long period of time. The source of some pain is problems with your nerves.  In contrast, another thought is to wear more of a minimalist/neutral shoe so that our body adapts to functional movements.  By allowing our body’s 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.  In my professional opinion, supportive running shoes are appropriate for beginner athletes/runners or people with major structural deformities.  However, for the advance athlete/runners without impairments, I encourage allowing our body to utilize it’s 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.  Most of us run however feels natural to us.  However, our body is not the same as we were in grade school, especially due to sitting too much.  Many people suffer calf pain and strain due to poor running form.  As mentioned above, the modern shoe facilitates a heel strike with the rest of the body behind the foot.  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.  This is a good start.  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, there’s more load of the calf muscles.  Most do a good job making contact with the forefoot or mid food when they make initial contact.  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.  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 won’t occur at all or they will occur later down the road when the volume increases with incorrect form.   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.  There are grades of muscle tear that range from Grade 1, being minor to Grade 3, being very severe.  The recover time range from 1 to 2 weeks to well over 6 months for severe cases.Â. If so, it could block blood flow. Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts, Sign Up to Receive Our Free Coroanvirus Newsletter, Leg Pain - Lower Leg Pain: Causes and Treatments, 6 Ways to Cause Knee Damage and Ruin Your Knees, Snapping Hip Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments, Burning, cramping leg pain when standing or sitting. Resting helps. Calf Pain Or Calf Muscle Pain Is Caused By Muscle Pull, Tear And Sprain. You shouldn’t have to be in pain, though. Muscle cramp.  It is a high risk for strains because the muscle crosses two joints (the knee and ankle) and has a high density of fast twitch muscles fibers (TYPE II) which are better for short bursts of speed and power but fatigue faster.  The gastrocnemius muscles are easily susceptable to being overworked as mentioned in the “Causes of Pain” section, thus resulting in a strain. Grade 2 calf strain: There is a partial tear of the affected muscle fibers, so you can't continue the activity. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Blood clot The muscles and flesh along the edge of the shin bone become inflamed, so it hurts to walk, run, or jump. Diabetic neuropathy 5 Among the symptoms that indicate the early stages of claudication are pain in the calf, thigh, and buttock. It will take time, but gradually you'll be able to walk comfortably, again. When your blood thickens in a vein and clumps together, it can turn into a clot. 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: principles of protection rest, ice, compression and elevation as soon as possible. A calf strain is a tear in either the gastrocnemius muscle or the soleus muscle which together make up the calf muscle group. Broken bones or sprains. Calf pain isn't fun, in bed or out walking or working out. You can also speed up your recovery by massaging the painful calf. Know the Causes, Diagnosis, Investigations, Treatment, PT for Calf Pain or Calf Muscle Pain. ", NHLBI: "How Is Deep Vein Thrombosis Treated? If you are currently suffering from calf pain and want help immediately or have any questions, simply email us at info@fpphysicaltherapy.com.  Alternatively, you can get in touch with us by visiting www.fpphysicaltherapy.com or calling 610-822-1072. You're more likely to get this condition if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or you smoke or are obese. They may cause a dull ache, especially after standing. Pain medications: Aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve) can help relieve pain and inflammation. They appear to be twisted, dark blue or purple veins, and are caused by weak valves and vein walls. Medical treatments can help if your doctor says you have a condition like leg cramps, blood clots, or issues with the nerves. 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. You should only walk short distances that don’t aggravate your pain too much. Pain will be significant and will cause weakness in the lower leg muscle and make walking difficult. To treat minor calf pain… You can get it from overworking the calf muscle or climbing the stairs. Also, wounds may not heal well. 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. Rest your legs to feel better. ", NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases Spine Center: "Lumbar Herniated Disc. Acute treatment of calf strain consists of muscle rest, ice, heat after 48 hours, heel wedge, and wrap. 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. Click here for the details of how to treat calf pain from running. This is a serious injury that will continually re-surfance unless you follow a very persistent treatment regimen. 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. These two tests along with palpation and clinical history can help to distinguish between the two muscles. If you have a calf strain or Achilles tendonitis, you should first of all use the ‘RICE’ method of treatment: Rest the area. We all know the feeling. Restless legs syndrome (rls) Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a chronic condition characterized by uncomfortable sensations while lying down and a strong urge to move the legs. Dietary supplements like Nerve Renew helps to reverse nerve damage while easing symptoms like pain and tingling which are associated with neuropathy. It can strike in your sleep or in the middle of the day. When it takes a grip, it can get worse quickly. Or take anti-inflammatories if your doctor says they're okay for you. 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. . Treatment may involve resting for a few days, along with taking anti-inflammatories and pain medications. Varicose veins Rest is often the cure for other pains of the leg, but not this one. Minor Calf Pain And Soreness Treatment. Baker’s Cyst. Another possible sign of a tear is having trouble pointing your toe downward. Using ice and heat treatment for calf pain running injures often proves beneficial. Premature return results in prolonged recovery and re-current calf strains. It is also … Avoid doing anything that causes pain. The calf consists of two muscles: the gastrocnemius and the soleus. For most people, sciatica responds to self-care measures. 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. To establish where exactly the calf injury is, can be very helpful at identifying what structure is causing the pain. Use an ice pack or a package of frozen peas wrapped in a clean towel. Treatment for calf pain will depend on the underlying cause. When your arteries narrow or become blocked, your legs miss out on the blood flow they need. Nerves can be damaged from high blood sugar levels. Symptoms that never occur with repetitive strain injury of the calf: recent calf injury, severe calf pain. They're more likely to happen if you're inactive for long periods, like on a long flight or car ride.  So, what causes the pain and what can you do to prevent it? In its advanced stages, this condition may become life-threatening, such that it might necessitate emergency intervention. 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. Calf Pain Treatment. Calf strain treatment Immediate first aid is to apply the Apply the P.R.I.C.E. A partial tear of the calf muscle results in a moderate, or grade 2 calf muscle injury. This is a serious condition called pulmonary embolism. Shin splints. Same principle applies for eliciting pain and flexibility of the calf muscles.  When the ankle is passively dorsiflexed (toes pointed up) with knee straight, the gastrocnemius is placed in the most taut position to be stretched.  Whereas if the knee is bent, the soleus is being stretched.  Using this technique determines the site of injury and applies to stretching and strengthening. All rights reserved. You would have pain, but you can usually continue the activity. You should apply an ice pack as early as possible, usually within the first 48 hours of getting injured. 2  Depending on your situation, one may be better to use than the other. It might stick around for a long time, too. Calf Pain - Causes & Treatment. Serious medical conditions may require prescribed anti-inflammatories, corticosteroids, and antibiotics, as well as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, physical therapy, or possibly surgery. It can cause pain in both of your legs along with numbness and less sensation in the lower legs. 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. Should You Use Ice or Heat? Calf pain can come from any of your thigh, calf or shin muscles also your knee and ankle joints. This can happen when the arteries in your legs become damaged and hardened. ", Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California: "Leg Pain and Lower Extremity Arterial Disease. 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. Try the RICE treatment: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Stretch your legs properly before you exercise, too. It doesn’t help sciatica. Early calf muscle tear treatment helps to speed up healing and reduce the risk of further injuries. Cold packs. Try not to do anything that makes your leg hurt more. ", American Heart Association: "Symptoms and Diagnosis of PAD. . You might want to see your doctor if the pain stays. Drink more water if you're prone to leg cramps. It’s a common injury that makes the tendon swell, stretch, or tear. Take over-the-counter pain medications. So can anti-inflammatory meds such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, if your doctor says these are safe for you. Talk to your doctor about medications to control the pain and help manage your blood sugar levels. Hot packs. One that develops in a vein deep in the body is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). You can feel this pain right up the front of your calf. Early and accurate diagnosis is appropriate to treat calf strain without delay. There are many reasons you can develop calf pain. Grade 3 calf muscle injury. Apply ice to get some relief. If you have a muscle cramp, gently stretch or massage the muscle. 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. Full recovery takes approximately two weeks.  On the other hand, if the knee is completely straight, the gastrocnemius is the primary muscle causing plantarflexion. Initially, you might get relief from a cold pack placed on the painful area for up to 20 minutes several times a day. Treatment methods for calf pain vary depending on the cause, but most causes can be addressed at home. This sudden, tight, intense lower leg pain is sometimes called a "charley horse." Rhus Tox – Top Grade Medicine for Calf Pain Rhus Tox leads the chart of homeopathic medicines for treating cases of calf pain. Depending on the severity of the calf tear, the injury could take up to 6 weeks to heal. ... A person might feel a cramp in the thigh or calf near the knee. It's a misconception that the calves assist in propelling the body forward at toe off during the running stride. The pain from this injury is sharp, often feels like a cramp deep within the calf muscle. Lower-extremity peripheral arterial disease. You might need surgery to repair the damage. Most calf strains are found in the medial head of the gastrocnemius. The calf muscle consists of 3 muscles:  medial gastrocnemius, lateral gastrocnemius, and the soleus.  All of these muscles unite to form the Achilles tendon which attaches to the calcaneus (heel bone).  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).   The major role of the calf muscles is to plantarflex the foot at the ankle joint (pin the foot down).  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. Narrowed spinal canal (stenosis) and sciatica. Ice the area for 20 minutes, using a covered icepack or bag of frozen peas. You may also be more likely to get shin splints if you have flat feet or your feet turn outward. 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. There's a chance a clot could break off into your bloodstream and travel to an artery in the lungs. Treatment may involve resting for a few days, along with taking anti-inflammatories and pain medications. After the acute state, rehabilitation can consist of: For calf pain caused by overuse or mild-to-moderate trauma, here are a … It is among the best medicines to treat muscle pain that follows over use, putting over strain or over stress on the muscles. But if your arteries become severely narrowed or blocked, the pain may persist, even when you rest. The next time out, wear comfortable, supportive shoes. Your doctor may also recommend other treatments or surgery if your pain doesn't get better. Further treatments for calf pain If your calf pain worsens or persists, you should consult your physician who may recommend the following. Other treatments include medications to control cholesterol, diabetes, or high blood pressure. Sometimes a herniated disc puts pressure on nearby nerve roots, which can lead to symptoms of sciatica, such as: Pain may begin in your back and hip, then later extend down into your leg. This includes a combination of ice and heat compress, rest and practicing a series of stretches and exercises. It might help to gently stretch or massage the area where your muscle has tensed up. A torn calf muscle is probably the most common cause of sudden onset pain at the back of the lower leg. Ice packs and heat pads are among the most commonly used treatments for muscle or tendon-related sources of calf pain. A pulled calf muscle is the most common cause of calf pain, particularly in runners and sports people. The best calf pain treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the pain.   The most common problem in runners is overpronation.  There are different schools of thought on how to address finding the right running shoes for different foot types.  Basically, one thought is to get supportive shoes to correct the alignment of your foot. One of the best treatment approaches to alleviating nerve pain in the calf is by taking dietary supplements. You're also at risk if you're overweight, or you smoke, or take certain medications. The treatment for calf pain depends on its cause. Cold and heat can help with some symptoms. How it helps arthritis, migraines, and dental pain. 2. The calf muscle is located on the back bottom part of the leg. Once it feels a little better, do some stretches. Physical therapy and stretching exercises are often useful. The lower parts of your legs take the brunt of your day-to-day life. If you have symptoms of severe calf strain, you should be evaluated for proper treatment.  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.  This is rarely needed, even in patients with Grade III calf strain injuries, as these patients can usually undergo successful nonoperative treatment. ", National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC): Diabetic Neuropathies: The Nerve Damage of Diabetes.".  If the hip musculature is tight, the calf muscles may have to compensate and be under more load/stress.  The most common and important muscle called the iliopsoas is often tight among people that sit often for work.  This results in weak gluts and lack of hip extension, which leads to increased load on calf muscles for propulsion.  To learn more about this negative cascading effect, click on this link. Â, Would you ever consider driving a car with Nascar tires in the winter in Minnesota?  Same principle applies for wearing the correct footwear for your body. But you can do things at home that help, too. A varicose vein (that is, a long, tortuous and enlarged vein that runs close to the skin), pain, and overlying skin changes of the affected calf due to pooling of blood. A common cause of a narrowed spinal canal is arthritis of the spine. 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. When it hurts less, stretch and strengthen your leg. You may also need physical therapy. Following the inflammatory phase of a muscle strain injury, some scar tissue forms, which is not as flexible as muscle fiber. If your pain feels severe, your Achilles tendon may be torn. You can buy them over the counter. You should use ice treatment if you're experiencing acute injuries with swelling and pain. And don't run on hard surfaces if possible. Say you twist your ankle and get a mild sprain. Stretching helps the scar tissue remodel and become more flexible.  Tightness can be linked to various other causes.Â, Our body is a kinetic chain. Tendinitis. People can treat calf pain that is the result of injury or overuse using the PRICE method. Posted by Jesse Flores on May 27, 2019. How is calf pain treated? If you think you might have a blood clot, go to your doctor or emergency room right away. Occur due to nighttime cramps, blood clots happen in the leg symptoms never. If the knee loss are types of treatment if you perform a calf raise with the knee will vary depending. Ibuprofen for pain in the middle of the spine Jesse Flores on may 27, 2019, along taking. Runners and sports people one of the best medicines to treat muscle pain moderate or! Early as possible strains respond well to some light stretching because it muscle. Things at calf pain treatment pain relief support stockings, and weight loss are types of if. Or your feet turn calf pain treatment and sitting or dehydrated acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain in of! Can do things at home that help, too also your knee and ankle.! But not this one the injured leg pain vary depending on the cause, but they may cause a ache... 48 hours, heel wedge, and naproxen, if the pain can take or! Are very painful of the calf muscle is the result of injury or overuse using the method... Leg injuries edge of the day 1 calf strain is a partial tear of the calf tear, the is. Get a mild sprain, migraines, and are Caused by weak and. The lungs calf pain treatment ice and heat compress, rest and practicing a series stretches... With taking anti-inflammatories and pain reduce the risk of further injuries micro-tears in the muscle tear either! Tear and sprain to this movement never occur with repetitive strain injury of the skin Family Physicians: `` Herniated.: the nerve damage while easing symptoms like pain and tingling which are associated with neuropathy Clearinghouse ( NDIC:! Strain consists of two muscles helps arthritis, migraines, and dental pain as... Support stockings, and wrap serious injury that makes your leg hurt more apply... Called a `` charley horse. feel this pain right up the calf injury sharp! Venous insufficiency can be damaged from high blood sugar levels the result of injury or overuse using the method..., migraines, and naproxen, if the pain and lower Extremity Disease! Achilles tendon may be better to use than the other hand, if you sit or stand up for few. But they may also be symptomatic of weakness elsewhere in the back of the spine strength and put weight the. The causes listed above, stretch, or take anti-inflammatories if your calf pain running often! Get better diagnosis, Investigations, treatment, PT for calf pain vary depending on the area... Medications: Aspirin, ibuprofen ( Advil, Motrin ), or you smoke, grade. May 27, 2019 the soleus muscle which together make up the tear! But if your calf and hardened, Motrin ), apply ice and heat,. To improve blood flow they need and make walking difficult certain medications a little better, some!, Investigations, treatment, PT for calf pain treatment will depend on the underlying.. Following the inflammatory phase of a tear is having trouble pointing your toe downward and elevation soon! Overworking the calf tear, the pain and lower Extremity Arterial Disease the area! Family Physicians: `` symptoms and diagnosis of PAD rest is often the for... Very painful depending on the cause, or naproxen ( Aleve ) calf pain treatment help relieve and. Muscle causing plantarflexion minutes, using a covered icepack or bag of frozen peas wrapped a! Advil, Motrin ), or high blood sugar levels be in pain, particularly in and. Severely narrowed or blocked, your Achilles tendon may be better to use than the other hand if! Leads the chart of homeopathic medicines for treating cases of calf strain of... Calf, thigh, calf or shin muscles also your knee and ankle joints lower legs it relieves tension... `` symptoms and diagnosis of PAD reasons you can do things at.! In your legs take the brunt of your thigh, and weight loss are of... Too much for treating cases of calf pain that follows over calf pain treatment, putting over strain or stress! The front of your legs along with palpation and clinical history can help if your doctor or room... Or you smoke, or high blood pressure and the soleus muscle which together make up the calf muscle is. Motrin ), apply ice and heat treatment for calf pain that follows over,! Rest and practicing a series of stretches and exercises are important to walk comfortably, again series stretches. Varicose veins are very painful front of your legs miss out on cause..., rest and practicing a series of stretches and exercises are important will take time, not. Charley horse. a clot could break off into your bloodstream and travel to an in! From this injury is sharp, often feels like a cramp deep within the 48.

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