Calf Muscle Tear Although it is extremely painful, calf muscle tears occur often, especially to men ages 40 to 60. How to Care for a Torn Calf Muscle. Further Info Common symptoms of a calf muscle injury A calf strain injury may cause immediate pain and the sensation of being struck or kicked on the back of the calf. With calf muscle tears, the muscles of the Achilles complex are most likely to be damaged. She also received personal trainer certification from NASM and her 200-hour yoga teacher certification from YogaWorks. Bruising. If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately. A mild strain can leave you with pain and feelings of pulling within the lower half of your leg. Managing Director BSc (ExSci) MPT (Physio) DPT (Physio) CSCS APAM MSMA. Treatment depends on how severe the muscle tear is. Calf strain may be minor or very severe. Although he is one of the most experienced and sought after Doctors of Physiotherapy in Australia, Brad makes all his patients feel like they are #1. Refrain from exercise, sports and other strenuous activities until your doctor says it's safe to do so. Symptoms of a gastrocnemius muscle tear. You may see a gap or dent where the muscle is torn.As this type of severe calf muscle tear results in complete loss of function, performing any activity will be challenging if not impossible. He also leads his team of caring reception staff and expert physiotherapists with the same degree of passion, which is why Sydney Physio Solutions has built the outstanding reputation it has. A muscle strain refers to the stretching or tearing of muscle fibers. This will ensure decreased bleeding and swelling in the injured area. All Rights Reserved. The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the human body, and it connects two calf muscles (the gastrocnemius and the soleus) to the heel. If the Soleus muscle is damaged pain might be incurred lower in the leg and when contracting the muscle against resistance with the knee bent. Common Sites of Muscle Tear. 2009;2(2):74-7. doi:10.1007/s12178-009-9045-8. ➜ In a moderate tear, the indicants become intense and the muscles weaken. Full recovery can take 3-4 months and, in some instances, surgery may be needed. Depending on the degree of bruising and swelling, a palpable defect in the muscle may be evident. In this case, it's important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Pain that is throbbing while at rest but sharp and stabbing when you attempt to stand or walk. With a more severe strain, you will feel a sudden sharp pain at the back of the lower leg at the time of injury. Swelling 6. Pain or tenderness 2. There may be mild pain and swelling, but the muscle is otherwise in good condition with no loss of strength or function. Symptoms. Calf strain diagnosis quiz. A sudden change of direction, explosive movement or increase in speed can result in the calf muscles becoming torn or strained. Your doctor may also recommend that you use over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to help reduce pain and swelling. Spasms, or sudden involuntary contractions, of the calf muscle. Full recovery takes approximately 4 to 8 weeks with good rehabilitation. Undertaking training prior to competition to ensure readiness to play. Problems walking or putting weight on the injured leg. A grade II strain is a moderate injury. Calf problems - Muscle, bone and joint injuries | NHS inform Swelling. Problems walking or putting weight on the injured leg Grade 2 calf muscle injury. The severity of the symptoms and the course of treatment depend on the extensiveness of the tear. tennis, squash). Symptoms of a calf strain vary significantly depending on how bad your injury is. Picture of torn biceps muscle. Gradually including weights or additional resistance over time. Although all injuries are different, some of the sensations you might experience include: * Pain that is throbbing while at rest but sharp and stabbing when you attempt to stand or walk. This is an often painful injury that will require immediate medical attention. The symptoms of a pulled calf muscle vary depending on … Grade II tears can take two to three months and grade III tears may take several months. Limited motion 4. It is often confused with an achilles tendon rupture. Insufficient warm up or cool down is a common cause of calf strain. Calf muscle strain- cause, symptoms and treatment. Bruising. A sign of a torn calf muscle is similar to that of an Achilles tendon rupture. If your doctor is still unsure of the extent of the injury, she may order more tests, including X-rays and magnetic image resonance (MRI). Tearing your calf muscle is an injury often sustained when you are building up speed when running or through a sudden change to the direction you are running in. Calf strain symptoms. Your recovery will depend on your individual injury. The pain is typically localized to the affected area. A grade I strain is mild. Symptoms of a torn calf that don't improve after a few days or start to worsen could be a sign of a more severe tear or a gastrocnemius muscle rupture. It can come as a surprise to many, but there are actually three different muscles within the calf muscle, … A tear or rupture of the Achilles tendon causes acute pain at the back of the ankle or lower leg (lower than the calf muscle) and an … Symptoms of a grade 2 calf tear usually last 4-6 weeks Grade 3 Symptoms With a grade 3 there is a large tear where there is complete rupture of the calf muscle i.e. These muscles stretch from the calf down to the Achilles … All our clinics are staffed by highly qualified and expert physiotherapists whose motivation is to find the cause of your problem & return you to pre-injury fitness as soon as possible. Wrap the lower leg in an elastic bandage to reduce swelling and provide support for weakened muscles. Calf muscle strains are graded from 1 to 3, with grade 3 being the most severe. This occurs as the muscle separates in two or as it rips away from the tendon that attaches it to bone. The aim is to reduce the bleeding and damage in the muscle. The most common symptoms from a bruised muscle is pain. all the fibres are torn, or a complete rupture of one of the heads of gastrocnemius When suffering from a completely torn calf muscle, pain will be severe and immediate. Other symptoms include: Pain. Calf muscle tears usually occur during acceleration or changes in direction (e.g. If your doctor is still unsure of the extent of the injury, she may order more tests, including X-rays and magnetic image resonance (MRI). Although all injuries are different, some of the sensations you might experienceinclude: 1. There may be bruising or swelling that develops over the following 24 hours. * Elevation. Refrain from exercise, sports or other strenuous activities, MyHealth.Alberta.ca: Calf Strain: Rehab Exercises, Move Forward: Physical Therapist's Guide to Calf Strain, Bryan Dixon J. Gastrocnemius vs. soleus strain: how to differentiate and deal with calf muscle injuries. We have physiotherapists who are experts in specific areas of the body so if you are searching for a physiotherapist, see an expert, not a generalist. Muscle weakness However, we have known people to tear their calf muscle by simply walking across the road. During recovery, it's important to avoid any activity that might cause reinjury. Working with a physical therapist may be part of your doctor's treatment plan or it may be optional. Return to the starting position so that your heels are on the same level of the step and repeat for a total of eight to 12 repetitions. Read more: The Best Way to Heal a Torn Calf Muscle. 3. The immediate treatment of any soft tissue injury consists of the RICER protocol – rest, ice, compression, elevation and referral to a sports medicine professional. Depending on the severity of the damage to the muscle, symptoms of a torn calf can vary. Stretching of the ankle in an upward direction (dorsiflexion) will produce moderate to severe pain (due to stretching of th… A torn calf muscle is also known as a calf sprain. More muscle fibers are affected and the pain and swelling are more severe. Keeping calf muscles strong so they can absorb the energy of sudden physical stress. When a person says, “I tore a ligament in my calf,” he really means that he tore his Achilles tendon, as this is the primary ligament that controls the calf. Sha… A calf muscle with a grade III strain will be quite painful, swollen and discolored. With a grade I strain, you shouldn't have any trouble walking around and completing daily activities. With a grade II strain, walking may be painful and some activities may be limited. You may think you’ve just been hit in the leg and potentially hear a “pop.” There is sudden pain at the back of the calf. calf raises. Symptoms of a calf injury are usually a sharp pain, followed by swelling or bruising. Calf pain felt in your calf muscle belly is often the result of a pulled or torn calf muscle.A torn calf muscle can sometimes be confused with an Achilles tendon rupture, significant Achilles tendinopathy, leg cramps or even sciatica or referred pain from your lower back. Clinical examination of a calf muscle tear will find acute tenderness upon palpation to the entire inside aspect of the calf muscle (medial gastrocnemius muscle). With a complete tear, your doctor will likely refer you to an orthopedic specialist for further treatment. Pain will be significant and will cause weakness in the lower leg muscle and make walking difficult. Privacy Policy. A partial tear of the calf muscle results in a moderate, or grade 2 calf muscle injury. A Grade III strain is a complete rupture of the muscle body or tendon. A Leg Muscle Tear or Injury is said to occur whenever the leg muscle gets over-stretched or overused beyond its actual capacity. Your doctor will want to know what you were doing when you were injured. Your recovery will depend on your individual injury. Your physiotherapist will grade the injury accordingly: The muscle is stretched causing some small micro tears in the muscle fibres. This can be caused by a sudden, abrupt movement or as a result of over use. 2. It is comprised of two muscles: gastrocnemius (main part) and the soleus. Calf muscle tears usually occur during acceleration or changes in direction (e.g. Other symptoms include: Pain. Muscle strains are categorized based on the extent of the damage and the symptoms you might experience 2. If the tear is not complete, your doctor will send you home with instructions for self-care using the RICE treatment protocol. At the time of injury, you may hear a popping sound or feel a tearing sensation in your calf. It involves significant pain (burning and/or sharp in nature), immediately severe inflammation and bruising, muscle spasms and sometimes an audible "pop" as the muscle is severed. Symptoms of a gastrocnemius muscle tear. Pain and swelling or bruising in the calf muscle. Recovery takes approximately 2 to 4 weeks if you do all the right things. A physical therapy program can help you safely regain strength in your calf muscle and restore flexibility. Redness or bruising 3. tennis, squash). When this occurs and the injury involves the deeper calf muscle, it is known as a calf strain of the soleus muscle. Though muscle tear can occur at any site, yet there are a few sites where muscle tears are frequently encountered: 1) Torn biceps muscle – Popeye’s muscle. She will assess your symptoms, pain, swelling, bruising, range of movement and ability to walk. 2009;2(2):74-77. Symptoms of a pulled calf muscle can depend on the severity of the injury. Depending on the severity of the calf tear, the injury could take up to 6 weeks to heal. Treatment for a gastrocnemius muscle tear. Treatment for torn muscles typically includes immobilization or surgery followed by physical therapy. Jody Braverman is a professional writer and editor based in Atlanta. Even then, return to your former level of activity slowly. This method involves: RICE is most effective when initiated immediately after the injury and continued for at least 48 hours. If you feel a sudden pain in your calf, sometimes likened to if someone has hit it with a bat, you may have torn your calf muscle. Treatment for a torn calf muscle involves using the RICE method and protecting the muscle to avoid further injury. Then you’ll experience pain, swelling or bruising in the calf muscle, and you’ll have difficulty walking properly or standing on your toes. The symptoms will vary depending on the severity of the strain, but most people will experience sudden, sharp pain and tenderness at the calf muscle site. You may see a gap or dent where the muscle is torn. What Are the Treatments for Calf Muscle Pain? Your “calf muscle” is actually made up of three muscles that are attached to the Achilles tendon in the posterior lower leg. The calf muscle is found at the back of the lower leg and is comprised of three muscles: the plantaris, the gastrocnemius, and the soleus. A calf muscle with a grade III strain will be quite painful, swollen and discolored. Typically there is bruising associated with this pain and normally the maximum tenderness or location of tear is higher than the bruised area. Keeping your knees straight, rise slowly up onto your toes, and then lower your heels down slightly below the level of the step until you feel a slight stretch. Drinking water before, during and after play. Grade 3 Tear: Complete tear in the muscle Symptoms of a Torn Calf Muscle Notable symptoms for a strained or torn calf muscle are stiffness, swelling, pain, and bruising. Most of the injuries that occur to the calf are actually injuries to the gastrocnemius, the largest of the three. Copyright ©2019 sydneyphysiosolutions.com.au. What is a Calf Muscle Tear? There is partial tearing of muscle fibres. What are they symptoms of a calf muscle tear injury? These three muscles are the gastrocnemius, the soleus, and the plantaris. 2) Torn finger extensor muscle: Mallet finger. A calf tear is a very common injury for runners as your calf performs a fast and large contraction when you run. Torn Calf Muscle. Copyright © 2021 Leaf Group Ltd., all rights reserved. In such a case, the symptoms last for only a few days. The soreness of the calf muscle lasts for 2 or 3 weeks. Stretching out calf muscles before physical activity, i.e. A calf muscle with a grade III strain will be quite painful, swollen and discolored. When one or both of these muscles are overstretched, the muscle fibers can tear, resulting in various symptoms, including pain and swelling. The leg should be rested in an elevated position with an ice pack applied for 20 minutes every two hours (never apply ice directly to the skin). In a minor tear, the pain is mild and the injury site is slightly taut and tender, but one can carry out activities, like walking, running, or even exercising. There may be mild pain and swelling, but the muscle is otherwise in good condition with no loss of strength or function. However, we have known people to tear their calf muscle by simply walking across the road. Know the causes, symptoms, treatment, recovery period and prevention of leg muscle tear or injury. Undertaking fitness programs to develop strength, balance, coordination and flexibility. Also known as "tennis leg," calf ruptures may require surgical intervention and/or physical therapy. As this type of severe calf muscle tear results in complete loss of function, performing any activity will be challenging if not impossible. Although all injuries are different, some of the sensations you might experience include: Read more: What Are the Treatments for Calf Muscle Pain? Pain on resisted plantar flexion or contracting the muscles against resistance. Picture 3: Mallet finger (source: Wikimedia) 3) Torn calf muscle Signs and symptoms will vary, depending on the severity of the injury, and may include: 1. If the tear is not complete, your doctor will send you home with instructions for self-care using the RICE treatment protocol. Swelling. Typical symptoms of a plantaris muscle rupture include: Sudden pain in the back of the calf A swelling or bunching of the calf muscle Swelling and bruising in the back of the leg A torn calf muscle (gastrocnemius) is similar to an Achilles tendon tear or rupture, but occurs higher up in the back of the leg. Sydney Physiotherapy Solutions is trusted for the knowledge and experience of it’s staff members. This will decrease stress on all muscles, including calf muscles. Understand what can get injured in your calf. Especially if you heard or felt a pop at the time of injury, you should call your doctor right away. This is the most severe calf strain with a complete tearing or rupture of muscle fibres in the lower leg. According to Harvard Health Publishing, mild muscle strains will heal within a few weeks 2. There may be some bruising as well as muscle weakness. While strains often feel like a mild to moderate pulling sensation, complete tears of the calf muscle can feel sharp, often leaving the individual not being able to walk. The calf is the muscle component in the back of a person’s lower leg. Then you’ll experience pain, swelling or bruising in the calf muscle, and you’ll have difficulty walking properly or standing on your toes. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. At the time of injury, you may hear a popping sound or feel a tearing sensation in your calf. In addition to pain, symptoms that may accompany a bruised muscle include: Symptoms of a torn calf muscle include pain, swelling, bruising and weakness or loss of function. Muscle spasms 5. She studied creative writing at the American University of Paris and received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Maryland. This is not intended to diagnose calf pain, only estimate the severity of a calf muscle tear. The symptoms don't really explain how a torn calf muscle feels. A grade III strain is the most serious, resulting in a complete tear. RICE protocol should be followed for 48–72 hours. You can also do some exercises on your own when you are ready: Read more: The Best Way to Heal a Torn Calf Muscle. Gradually increasing the intensity and duration of training. The symptoms don't really explain how a torn calf muscle feels. Allowing adequate recovery time between workouts or training sessions. This pain will build as you continue your activity and there may be obvious swelling and inflammation. Dixon JB. Home » Blog » Muscle tears » Calf Muscle Tears. A calf strain occurs when the calf muscles are over stretched. // Leaf Group Lifestyle, The Pain in My Right Calf Hurts More When I Squat, Knee Pain in the Medial Collateral Ligament When Running, some of the sensations you might experience. Arterial claudication Sharp pain when you move or stretch the ankle or knee. The No HARM protocol should also be applied – no heat, no alcohol, no running or activity, and no massage. Gastrocnemius vs. soleus strain: how to differentiate and deal with calf muscle injuries. Difficulty in contracting the muscle or standing on tiptoe. Only a few muscle fibers are overstretched or torn. Learning the proper technique for exercise and sporting activities. A ruptured calf muscle occurs when a muscle is put under too much strain and the muscle fibers tear completely away from themselves or from the tendons that secure the muscles to bone. Your calf muscle is referred to as a single muscle, but it is actually two separate muscles: the gastrocnemius and the soleus. Typically a torn calf muscle refers to a complete tear, rather than just a muscle strain. A muscle strain refers to the stretching or tearing of muscle fibers. Typically a torn calf muscle refers to a complete tear, rather than just a muscle strain. 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