Treatment options include:
The muscle needs time to recover.
Do not engage in activities that cause pain (running, jumping and weight lifting).
If walking causes pain, small steps are recommended.
Before resuming sports activities, consult the doctor, especially if you run or jump during sports (football, volleyball, tennis, etc.).
For a few days after the trauma, put ice on the leg for 15-20 minutes at a time. Do not place the ice directly on the skin, but wrap it in a towel beforehand.
Compression prevents further swelling. The doctor may apply an elastic pressure bandage around the calf. Make sure that the bandage is not applied too tightly.
Raising the limb prevents swelling.
For pain treatment, the doctor may recommend:
- Over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen
- Creams or pain patches applied to the skin
Medications, support stockings and weight loss are the treatments to prevent blood clots.
Physiotherapy and rehabilitation
Rehabilitation for a calf muscle strain depends on the severity of the injury.
- Protection of the muscle. Refrain from sports activities (football, basketball, tennis, athletics, weightlifting). Training break until the pain has completely passed.
- Application of kinesiological tapes to the calf. Some athletes report that Kinesio tape reduces pain and protects against further injury.
Tecar therapy and ultrasound
Tecar therapy and ultrasound reduce contracture and swelling and stimulate the healing of muscle injury.
In subsequent rehabilitation, massage therapy can increase muscle circulation.
After the initial phase, sports medicine massage techniques must be used for the calf muscles. Sports medicine massages increase blood circulation and release contracture.
Stretching exercises Once the initial pain has passed, the stretching of the muscle begins with increasing stretching exercises
until the movement amplitude is reached.
- You start sitting on the floor, then you grasp your toes with your hand.
- Carefully pull on the foot and toes, while the knee remains stretched to stretch the triceps surae.
- Hold this position for 10 seconds and repeat 5 to 10 times.
After recovery, the lower part of the leg must be strengthened to reduce the possibility of muscle strain again.
Muscle strengthening begins with special exercises.
In the first part of the rehabilitation, riding a road bike or mountain bike on the plain is recommended.
For the exercises, the advice of a physiotherapist should be sought, who can put together an exercise program for the gym.
Natural remedies for calf pain
Apply heat before starting training. A warming ointment is recommended before exercise.
Shoes can cause pain in the calf muscles. Incorrect footwear prevents the muscle from healing.
Avoid high heels or shoes that are too flat.
If possible, wear sneakers where the heel is slightly raised compared to the tip of the foot.
If you do not own such shoes, you can buy insoles and put them under your heels.
Massage the aching muscle with arnica ointment. The massage warms the skin and reduces pain.
This medicinal plant is known for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects.
After applying the ointment, be sure to wash hands and avoid contact with eyes, so as not to irritate them.
Creams and ointments based on arnica are available in the drugstore or pharmacy.
How long does recovery take? Prognosis
The recovery time depends on the type of injury.
With proper treatment, a contracture resolves in 4-5 days, while a strain can cause pain for more than a month (depending on the extent).
In the case of deep vein thrombosis, patients need at least 2-3 months for recovery.
If the pain does not pass despite therapy, the doctor should be consulted, who can order additional examinations.