Your calf muscle is injured when it gets stretched beyond its limit. This condition is also called pulled calf muscle. Any type of activity can cause pulled calf muscle. However, this condition is often common in athletes and people who play sports. Especially it occurs when the person avoids warm up exercises before starting an athletic event.
To make it simpler, it is a type of injury where calf muscle fibers are torn. This injury is characterized by sudden pain in calf while doing any activity, especially sports activity. The injury can lead to small microscopic tear in calf muscle.In severe cases the muscle fibers get completely torn. Calf injury takes time to heal, but with prescribed treatment it may hasten the healing process.
Causes Of Pulled Calf Muscle
A calf muscle often pulls while running when the athlete accelerates the speed or changes the direction. As soon as the muscle gets torn, it contracts and goes into spasm. The toes will point downwards. Pulled calf muscle injury can be divided into three types, mild, moderate and severe. Or it is also categorized into grade 1, grade 2, and grade 3.
- In grade 1, which is a mild injury, the person may experience the symptoms of pulled muscles only after the activity is finished. The person may experience cramp and tightness in his calf muscles. This happens especially when the leg is contracted or stretched.
- In grade 2, the person immediately gets pain in his calf muscle as soon as it is pulled or stretched beyond its limit. The calf area becomes tender and sore.
- Grade 3 is severe injury of calf. Here the muscle fiber is completely ruptured. Patient is unable to walk or remain on his leg immediately after the injury. Burning and stabbing pain is a common symptom. There is peculiar popping sensation as soon as the muscle is pulled.
Pulled Calf Muscle Symptoms
If the injury is mild and there is only microscopic tear in calf muscles, the patient may experience pain and stiffness in the lower leg some time after the injury has occurred.
In more severe injury, when there is rupture of muscle fiber, the patient may experience immediate pain and burning sensation in his leg. He will not be able to move his leg. Contraction and stretching of leg can lead to extreme pain and discomfort.
There is popping sensation when there is complete rupture of the muscle. The area becomes tender and sore to touch. Bruising and collection of blood is common when there is complete tear. There is swelling at the injured site.
Home Remedies For Pulled Calf Muscle
Pulled calf muscle is usually treated at home if it is not severe.
- Ice fomentation: Apply ice on the affected calf muscle. Take few cubes of ice in the ice bag or in a clean cloth. Now place the bag or the cloth over the affected painful and swollen area for 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat it after every 2 to 3 hours.
- Rest: Give rest to your leg. Avoid activities which require putting weight on your leg. Avoid jumping, running, weight lifting etc. This you have to do till the pain has gone away.
- To reduce swelling in your calf muscles, keep your leg raised, for first 24 hours, above the heart level.
- Medications: Anti-inflammatory medications may be useful in relieving pain and swelling.
- Compression bandage helps to prevent hematoma formation.
- Take 1 teaspoon of honey and a pinch of turmeric powder. Mix it well and take it two times in a day. Turmeric has properties to reduce swelling and ease pain. Honey is also considered a natural anti- inflammatory remedy.