Your calf, or gastrocnemius, tends to become tense during exercise or sports, changing direction quickly, such as basketball or tennis. Muscle strain can be mild, stretching muscle fibers until a slight tenderness, or it can lead to complete muscle tear, resulting in more intense pain and other symptoms. The extent of recovery depends on the severity of the injury and may even require surgery. Please contact your doctor for a diagnosis of your specific injury and specific rehabilitation instructions.
leg muscle tear may have a positive reaction to massage therapy. (image: photos.com/photos.com/getty images)
The symptoms of leg muscle tear
depend on its severity. At first level, only some fibers are stretched or torn, causing slight tenderness and pain, but muscle strength is still intact. Grade II is slightly worse, with slight increases in pain and tenderness, accompanied by additional swelling, weakening of strength and possible bruises. The third level is the most serious. Muscles are torn all the way, and muscular function is completely lost. A dent or gap under the skin can be seen where the muscle is torn and can only be repaired by surgery.
interlihealth.com, and the website of Harvard Medical School Review suggest that if your doctor diagnoses your tears as grade one or two, your immediate treatment starts with rice: rest, ice compress, compression and elevation. Stop standing or walking to rest the affected muscles. According to footeducation.com, a website written by an orthopaedic surgeon, ice is applied every 10 minutes every day, open for 10 minutes and close for 10 minutes. It may be helpful to gently press with elastic bandages while raising calf muscles, which are slightly higher than the heart. Three-stage diagnosis may require X-ray, MRI or Doppler examination.
Other anti-inflammatory drugs, such as paracetamol, ibuprofen or aspirin, can be taken according to packing instructions to relieve swelling and pain. In addition, using splints to keep ankles in a neutral position may accelerate recovery, according to footeducation.com. It's only when it's tolerable that you start to load the affected legs; using crutches may help until you're well enough to walk. After pain subsides, it may be safe to start stretching exercise while massage therapy. Increase your exercise gradually, including cycling, leg pressing and heel lifting. After at least a week's rest, consider the following secret rehabilitation recommendations for runners with calf injuries from John L. Parker, publisher and editor-in-chief of the Running Times. Walk a mile on a runway or treadmill with a flat, controllable surface. Carefully jog a few hundred yards and then walk. Continue to exercise alternately, but stop if your calves become numb or sore. Parker suggests taking a day off before walking or jogging again, then gradually adding the jogging section until you return to your normal exercise habits.