Calf Strains and Rehabilitation

Calf Strains and Rehabilitation

Calf strain (commonly referred to as a pulled calf muscle) occurs when your calf muscles are overstretched from exercise.

These injuries are commonly seen in sports involving high-speed running, increased volumes of running load or during fatiguing conditions of sport or work.

Calf strains are one of the most common muscle injuries and it is essential to manage it appropriately to avoid the risk of re-injury.

Presentation of calf strain

A calf muscle tear is graded from 1 to 3, with grade 3 being the most severe. Common symptoms include:

  • Sudden sharp pain or a stabbing at the back of the lower leg
  • Tenderness at the calf muscle
  • Redness and bruising at the injury site
  • Inability to stand on balls of feet
  • Stretching of the muscle will reproduce pain

How can you manage Calf strains?

Treatment and rehabilitation depend on the severity of the muscle strain.

Generally, treatment will involve initial acute injury management, followed by restoring strength and flexibility. Finally, returning to sport or work duties through assistance with a functional training program.

Other factors such as footwear, foot biomechanics, muscle balances and training loads can also be assessed to help with management and future injury prevention.