Calf injuries are very common in sporting events. It is important to confirm the extent of a calf injury to ensure it has appropriate time to heal.
The back of the leg (calf) consists of two layers of muscles. These connect from the knee joint down to the bottom bone in the foot.
During walking, running, or jumping, the calf muscle pulls the heel up to allow forward movement..
An injury to the superficial calf muscles can be caused by:
- overstretching of the calf muscle – e.g. lunging in badminton
- over-loading of the calf muscle – e.g. sprinting or jumping What do I feel?
- Stabbing pain/pull at back of lower leg
- Swelling and tenderness
- Walking may be painful and difficult
What can I do?
- ICE the calf (Ice, Compression and Elevation)
- Pain Relief
- Rest – stop exercising, avoid excessive walking
- See a physiotherapist for rehabilitation and exercises
It normally takes six weeks for the calf muscle to repair itself after a tear. After this period of time, you should continue to strengthen the calf to regain maximum function.
It is important that you consult a health professional if you have a calf tear or if you have on-going minor calf strains.