Calf Strain: Rehab Exercises

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Your Care Instructions

Here are some examples of typical rehabilitation exercises for your condition. Start each exercise slowly. Ease off the exercise if you start to have pain.

Your doctor or physiotherapist will tell you when you can start these exercises and which ones will work best for you.

How to do the exercises

Calf wall stretch (back knee straight)

Picture of how to do calf wall stretch with back knee straight
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slide 1 of 7, Calf wall stretch (back knee straight),
  1. Stand facing a wall with your hands on the wall at about eye level. Put your affected leg about a step behind your other leg.
  2. Keeping your back leg straight and your back heel on the floor, bend your front knee and gently bring your hip and chest toward the wall until you feel a stretch in the calf of your back leg.
  3. Hold the stretch for at least 15 to 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Calf wall stretch (knees bent)

Picture of how to do calf wall stretch with knees bent
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slide 2 of 7, Calf wall stretch (knees bent),
  1. Stand facing a wall with your hands on the wall at about eye level. Put your affected leg about a step behind your other leg.
  2. Keeping both heels on the floor, bend both knees. Then gently bring your hip and chest toward the wall until you feel a stretch in the calf of your back leg.
  3. Hold the stretch for at least 15 to 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Bilateral calf stretch (knees straight)

Picture of how to do bilateral calf stretch with knees straight
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slide 3 of 7, Bilateral calf stretch (knees straight),
  1. Place a book on the floor 8 to 10 centimetres from a wall or countertop, and put the balls of your feet on it. Your heels should be on the floor. The book needs to be thick enough so that you can feel a gentle stretch in each calf. If you are not steady on your feet, hold on to a chair, counter, or wall while you do this stretch.
  2. Keep your knees straight, and lean forward until you feel a stretch in each calf.
  3. To get more stretch, add another book or use a thicker book, such as a phone book, a dictionary, or an encyclopedia.
  4. Hold the stretch for at least 15 to 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Bilateral calf stretch (knees bent)

Picture of how to do bilateral calf stretch with knees bent
slide 4 of 7
slide 4 of 7, Bilateral calf stretch (knees bent),
  1. Place a book on the floor 8 to 10 centimetres from a wall or countertop, and put the balls of your feet on it. Your heels should be on the floor. The book needs to be thick enough so that you can feel a gentle stretch in each calf. If you are not steady on your feet, hold on to a chair, counter, or wall while you do this stretch.
  2. Bend your knees, and lean forward until you feel a stretch in each calf.
  3. To get more stretch, add another book or use a thicker book, such as a phone book, a dictionary, or an encyclopedia.
  4. Hold the stretch for at least 15 to 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Ankle plantarflexion

Picture of how to do ankle plantarflexion
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slide 5 of 7, Ankle plantarflexion,
  1. Sit with your affected leg straight and supported on the floor. Your other leg should be bent, with that foot flat on the floor.
  2. Keeping your affected leg straight, gently flex your foot downward so your toes are pointed away from your body. Then slowly relax your foot to the starting position.
  3. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

Ankle dorsiflexion

Picture of how to do ankle dorsiflexion
slide 6 of 7
slide 6 of 7, Ankle dorsiflexion,
  1. Sit with your affected leg straight and supported on the floor. Your other leg should be bent, with that foot flat on the floor.
  2. Keeping your leg straight, gently flex your foot back so your toes point upward. Then slowly relax your foot to the starting position.
  3. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

Bilateral heel raises on step

Picture of how to do bilateral heel raises on a step
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slide 7 of 7, Bilateral heel raises on step,
  1. Stand on the bottom step of a staircase, facing up toward the stairs. Put the balls of your feet on the step. If you are not steady on your feet, hold on to the banister or wall.
  2. Keeping both knees straight, slowly lift your heels above the step so that you are standing on your toes. Then slowly lower your heels below the step and toward the floor.
  3. Return to the starting position, with your feet even with the step.
  4. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Where can you learn more?

Go to http://www.healthwise.net/ed

Enter S834 in the search box to learn more about "Calf Strain: Rehab Exercises."

Current as of: May 23, 2016