What is Calf Pain?
The calf is the region at the back of the leg below the knee. It comprises of three important muscles. Commonly, muscle injuries cause calf pain. Other causes include knee joint issues and circulation problems. In this article, we reveal the causes and treatments for calf pain.
Causes of Calf Pain
- Muscle Strain: The calf muscles can get strained during exercise or playing sports. Symptoms of calf strain are bruising, swelling and pain.
- Rupture of Plantaris Muscle: This is a small, thin muscle in the calf which is present in only a fraction of people. If this muscle ruptures, it can cause sudden pain in the calf.
- Achilles Tendonitis: The Achilles tendon connects the calf to the heel. Calf pain can be caused by Achilles ruptures occurring higher on the tendon.
- Baker’s Cyst: This is actually a collection of fluid at the back of the knee. This accumulation can create pain in the calf. If the cyst ruptures, the fluid may enter the calf region.
- Blood Clots: These can form in the leg veins after a surgical procedure or injury. They can block circulation and cause pain and swelling in the calf.
- Cramps: The leg muscles may start cramping and cause calf pain. For relief, you can apply heat and stretch the cramped muscles.
When to See a Doctor
Consult a doctor if you suffer the following calf pain symptoms:
- Calf pain makes it difficult to walk comfortably
- The lower leg becomes deformed due to injury
- Calf pain affects you while resting or at night
- The calf pain does not diminish even after a few days
- The ankle joint or calf becomes swollen
- Signs of infection like warmth, redness and fever
- Watch out also for other symptoms that cause discomfort and pain
Treatments for Calf Pain
Treatment depends on the cause. Some common treatments are listed below:
- Take Rest: Take complete rest and allow the inflammation and pain to subside. If you experience severe symptoms, use crutches to take weight off the painful calf.
- Apply Heat and Ice: Take a doctor’s advice on how to effectively apply heat and ice to treat calf pain.
- Stretch the Muscles: and calf tendons to loosen them and relieve tension.
- Physical Therapy: This is essential to restore mobility and strength to the calf. Consult a physical therapist to learn effective exercises to return to your pre-injury level of competence.
- Medications: Take effective medications to relieve acute inflammation and ease discomfort.
To learn effective yoga poses to relieve calf pain, please watch this video: