An injury to the muscle or tendon of muscle at the back of lower leg is referred to as Calf Strain. Nine separate muscles together makeup the calf muscle and any of these muscles can be injured individually or together. High-speed motions like running or jumping or any uncoordinated movement can cause calf-strain. This condition is common among runners, soccer and basketball players, gymnasts and dancers.

What do we mean by Calf-Strain?

Calf-Strain occurs due to over-stretching or tearing of any of the nine calf-muscles. It may occur suddenly or gradually overtime and makes the activities like walking, climbing stairs or running difficult or painful. The calf-strain can be graded according to damage caused to the muscles:

Grade1: It involves mild to partial stretch or few of the muscle fibers are torn out. Muscle becomes tender and painful to touch but person can walk properly and no impairment in the use of leg is caused.

Grade 2: It involves moderate stretch and a greater number of muscle fibers may be torn out. At the time or after the injury, you may experience a snapping or pulling sensation. There is a noticeable loss of strength and more pain and tenderness can be found out.

Grade 3: A severe tear of muscle fibers is involved and at times you may experience a complete tear. A popping sound can be heard at the time of injury. At times, you may also notice a dent where the muscle is ruptured or torn under the skin. It becomes extremely painful to use leg.

What are the potential symptoms of Calf-Strain?

The symptoms of Calf-strain vary depending upon the extent of injury and the individual. The common symptoms of Calf-Strain may involve:

Sudden and sharp pain at the back of the lower leg
Affected muscle may be tender to touch.
Inflammation, swelling or bruising may appear at sight of injury.
Feeling of tightness or weakness at the calf area
Feeling of sharp pain while stretching or moving the ankle and toe
Limping while walking
Difficulty while standing or walking
Unable to run or jump on the affected leg
What are the treatment options suggested to treat Calf-Strain?

The physical therapist will develop a specialized and individualized treatment program depending upon your needs. This customized regime will involve exercises and treatments focused on your recovery which will help you to return to your work as early as possible. During first 24 to 48 hour:

Avoid any activity that exaggerates pain and rest the injured area.
Apply ice-packs to the affected area.
Affected area may be compressed with elastic bandage wrap.
Heel lift pads may be inserted into both of your shoes.
Treatment Plan After 24-48 hours:

Therapist may use different treatments and technologies including; exercises, taping, ultrasound, hand-on therapy etc. to control and reduce pain.
To restore movement in your ankle and knee, therapist will use from passive to active exercises and stretches that will also increase your flexibility.
Your physical therapy will choose appropriate exercises and equipments like cuff- weights, cardio-exercise equipments, stretching bands, weight-lifting equipments to restore your strength and agility.
Your therapist will work with you and decide your recovery goals. He will apply hands- on therapy and make you practice exercises, sport specific drills and techniques & drills which in turn help you to achieve your goal in the safest and fastest way.
To prevent future injury, your therapist may develop a home-exercise program after your recovery which will further strengthen the muscles around your ankle and knee.
Contact Accessible Physical Therapy for the proficient and state-of-art treatment of any of your musculoskeletal or neurological pain or discomfort. Our patient-proven and customized treatment procedures assist you to regain your functionality and get you back to your normal life as healthy as before.

Author's Bio: 

Accessible Physical Therapy Services provide fast recovery from accident, sports, work related injuries, lower back, neck, leg pain (sciatica), strains, sprains, fractures, arthritis, burns, amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and conditions such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida (split spine) and musculoskeletal problems through physical therapists that are highly trained and experienced in physical therapy, aquatic therapy, hand therapy and industrial rehabilitation.