A pulled calf muscle is one of the hardest injuries to ignore. The calf is responsible for a lot of our day-to-day activities, not to mention athletic performance. Standing, walking, running, and really any athletic activity is dependent on your calf muscles.
Understanding your injured calf muscle is important to healing correctly and getting you back on the field, court, or even just walking without pain.
The calf muscle stretches from the back of your knee to your Achilles tendon and pulled calf muscles are common in sports such as baseball, basketball, cycling, football, tennis and track and field.
It’s important to identify the severity of the injury. A “pulled” calf muscle is really a tear, it’s just a matter of how severe the tear is. There are three levels of potential tears to your calf muscle:
- A small injury meaning that only a few muscle fibers have been torn and will not hinder normal function
- A moderate injury meaning that there is significant damage to the muscle fibers that may lead to limited movement.
- A major injury meaning there has been severe damage to the muscle fibers that will cause major loss of movement. [Muscle-Pull.com]
After determining what the severity of the injury is, you should start treatment immediately. Ice will help to relieve some of the immediate swelling along with anti-inflammatories.
PRO TIP: Don’t overuse ice. It is meant to reduce swelling and numb pain initially. In order to initiate the healing process, you’ve got to focus on improving circulation. Ice hinders that process.
Eliminating toxins (damaged cells, lactic acid, bruising), improving circulation, eliminating swelling, and rest are important in getting back to full strength. Many physicians will tell you to take it easy and use it as little as possible, but in order to get circulation moving, replace scar tissue with new muscle tissue, and get the injury healing quickly, you’ve got to keep it at least somewhat active. Performing some small exercises and stretches will help promote healing.
We do NOT recommend continuing to participate in your sport with this injury as it will damage the muscle tissue further and cause longer recovery times.
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