The calf is located in the back of the leg, just below the knee, and is made up of three major muscles – the two gastrocnemius muscles (medial and lateral), and the soleus muscle, as well as a fourth smaller muscle, known as the plantaris. A calf strain is an injury to these muscles.
A calf strain is similar to an Achilles tendon injury, but occurs higher up the leg, and is usually caused by being stretched beyond its ability during physical activity. Injury is usually accompanied by a sudden sharp pain in the back of the lower leg, together with swelling, bruising, and even an audible popping sound. A calf injury will make it difficult to tolerate weight on the injured side of the body or stand on your toes.
Treatment can include one or more of the following:
- Stretching exercises
- Strengthening exercises
- Taping the calf
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Ice and heat treatment
How can we help you?