Pulled calf muscle is a common kind of an injury in a number of sports. It is important to seek the right treatment, so that recovery from the injury is faster and to ensure that no complications arise from it.
The calf muscle is made up of two muscles, known as gastrocnemius and soleus. The gastrocnemius is the bigger muscle located at the back of the leg behind the sheen bone. While the soleus muscle is a smaller muscle and it is located near the gastrocnemius. These muscles help in pointing and flexing of the foot. At the same time, the gastrocnemius is also required to bend the knee, as it is located closer to the knee joint. When the soleus muscle is injured, the muscle pain radiates in the lower part of the leg closer to the ankle joint. For the right pulled calf muscle treatment, it is important to know the symptoms of the condition.
There are different kinds of injuries, that are caused to the calf muscle. The relatively minor kind of calf injury is when there is a twinge of pain in the affected muscle. Generally on that day the person may be able to carry out normal activities. Often there may be a feeling of tightness and dull ache about 2 to 3 days after the injury. When the injury is of moderate severity, there will be sharp pain radiating in the calf muscle.
The person often experiences pain while walking and mild to moderate swelling of the calf muscle and bruising may be seen. Often these symptoms are also accompanied by tightness in the calf muscle and feeling of dull ache approximately for 7 to 10 days. If the injury is severe, there will be shooting pain in the calf.
The pain starts off immediately after the injury. Contracting the muscle will become extremely difficult as well as painful. There may be bruising and you will see swelling of the calf muscle immediately. If the muscle ruptures, the muscles may gather up closer to the knee. After having understood the symptoms, how to treat an injured calf muscle is the question, that arises. We will see the treatment now.
Like I have previously mentioned, the treatment for an injured calf muscle depends on the severity of the calf injury. Whatever be the severity, the first thing you will want to do is Rest the leg. This however does not mean you have to be confined to bed. You can continue to do activities, that do not aggravate the condition. Resting the strained muscle is important, as resting helps to heal the muscle. If you do not rest the muscle, you will realize, it is taking longer than required to heal.
As soon as possible apply Ice for relief from calf muscle strain. Continue to rub ice on the area every 2 to 3 hours for the first two days. Ice helps in reducing inflammation, and at the same time, also stimulates additional blood flow to the area to quicken the healing process.
The next part of the treatment is to make use of Compression. Swelling does not aggravate when the area is compressed. It is recommended, that you start wrapping the toes and continue to wrap till the injured area. If you wrap in the opposite direction, you will note that it will cause swelling around the foot area. At the same time, make sure, you do not wrap the compression very tightly. Tightly wrapping the bandages may cause hindrance in the supply of blood to the affected area and affect the healing process.
Keeping the injured foot on an Elevation will prove to be beneficial for treating calf pain. If possible you may want to lie down and keep the leg on a pillow. This will also help in reducing inflammation and swelling.
Using Heat on the affected part can also prove to be beneficial. You will have to use gentle heating methods for the same. When you want to use ice therapy and heat therapy together, then heat the muscle first gently before you use ice therapy. Keep alternating for a few minutes, but always end with ice therapy.
When the leg is gradually recovering from the injury, you may start Stretching it. Do not stretch excessively. Too much of stretching can also prove to be harmful for the condition you are in. In severe cases, you may need to seek help from the chiropractors for the right calf muscle exercises for your condition.
The duration of the treatment for this condition will vary according to the severity of the condition. If it is a mild injury, then the recovery time is about 8 to 10 days. For moderate kind of an injury, it will take about 3 to 5 weeks to heal, whereas for a severe kind of an injury, it may take as long as 10 to 12 weeks. If after the basic home treatment, there is no change in the condition, then it is best to seek medical opinion.