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Your calf muscle is actually two muscles, the gastrocnemius muscle and the soleus muscle. These muscles can be injured if they get overstretched.
Injury to a calf muscle can range from a strain or pull that you can treat at home to a more serious tear that may need a doctor's care.
A calf injury is most often caused during sports where you need to push off with your foot quickly for a sudden burst of speed. Examples include tennis, baseball, soccer, racquetball, and even simple running.
The sudden movement can stress the calf muscle, stretching it beyond its normal limits. This can happen suddenly (acute injury) or over time (overuse injury).
The symptoms depend on how badly you have injured the muscle.
If the injury is only a strain, you may feel a strong pulling in your lower leg. It may be uncomfortable. You may have a twinge of pain.
More serious muscle tears will cause very sharp pain and leave you barely able to walk.
Most calf muscle strains can be treated at home:
For more serious injuries, treatment may include physiotherapy or surgery.
Most calf muscle injuries occur during sports. If you had a calf muscle problem in the past, it is especially important to try to prevent another injury. When you exercise, try to:
Current as ofSeptember 20, 2018
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicinePatrick J. McMahon, MD - Orthopedic Surgery, Sports Medicine
Current as of: September 20, 2018
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Patrick J. McMahon, MD - Orthopedic Surgery, Sports Medicine
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