A calf injury can be due to a muscle strain. The calf muscle is comprised of two different muscles – gastrocnemius and soleus muscle. The gastrocnemius is located above the knee and runs beneath the knee joints. As for the soleus muscle, it is situated beneath the gastrocnemius muscle and smaller in size. In case of severe calf muscle pain, it can make walking and sleeping difficult. The symptoms of calf strain are divided into three grade types.
Three grade types of calf strain
- Grade 1 calf strain – this is the least severe in which most individuals can cope with the pain. It means that the tightness in the calf can last for a few days. The first aid care is only rest.
- Grade 2 calf strain is the most common kind of injury. There is swelling on the calf and the inflammation can be severe. There is tightness when walking that will make the individual limp.
- Grade 3 calf strain is more severe in which the individual cannot walk and would require crutches. There is bruising on the calf and medical treatment is necessary. Physical therapy is recommended for this type of calf strain.
Always remember that calf injuries are quite common during sports especially if running is involved. The best way to prevent calf injuries is to stretch properly before any activity. The grade 1 and 2 strains can be treated with first aid measures at home.
Treatment for calf strain
Application of heat and ice packs
Take note that the application of heat on a calf strain will not treat the condition, but will help loosen the muscles. You have to apply heat packs on the injured calf muscle prior to stretching. After stretching or any activity, apply ice packs to minimize the inflammation. You can even instruct the individual to immerse his/her body in an ice bath to reduce the pain.
Exercise the calf muscle
For those who sustained a calf injury, always perform stretching exercises. Avoid overdoing it and if there is severe pain, the calf must be allowed to rest. Always remember that simple stretching can help loosen the muscle.
Observe proper nutrition
Foods that are rich in calcium can help produce stronger bones. Understandably, it will help treat the calf injury. Calcium is required for the muscle and bone density thus it is important to eat carbohydrates, dairy, meats, vitamins and minerals in your diet.
There are some herbal remedies that can help minimize the inflammation. All you have to do is to apply clove oil over the injured calf. You have to dilute the oil with olive oil and apply it on the affected calf. Take note that clove oil is an essential oil that possesses anti-inflammatory properties. There are also turmeric capsules that can be used to treat the pain and inflammation. If you are going to utilize these herbal remedies, it is best to consult your doctor especially if you are taking prescribed medications.