Although all injuries are different, some of the sensations you might experience include: Read more: What Are the Treatments for Calf Muscle Pain? A strained calf can range from a small partial tear whereby there is minimal pain and minimal loss of function, to a complete rupture of the calf which may require surgical reconstruction. 2009;2(2):74-77. The No HARM protocol should also be applied – no heat, no alcohol, no running or activity, and no massage. Treatment depends on how severe the muscle tear is. Stretching out calf muscles before physical activity, i.e. Symptoms of a gastrocnemius muscle tear. At the time of injury, you may hear a popping sound or feel a tearing sensation in your calf. Jody Braverman is a professional writer and editor based in Atlanta. Symptoms of a pulled calf muscle can depend on the severity of the injury. A person with a pulled calf muscle may experience muscle cramps, swelling, and redness. 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. She also received personal trainer certification from NASM and her 200-hour yoga teacher certification from YogaWorks. A correctly sized compression bandage should be applied to limit bleeding and swelling in the injured area. 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). The aim is to reduce the bleeding and damage in the muscle. Spasms, or sudden involuntary contractions, of the calf muscle. This is an often painful injury that will require immediate medical attention. Calf Muscle Tear Although it is extremely painful, calf muscle tears occur often, especially to men ages 40 to 60. Insufficient warm up or cool down is a common cause of calf strain. Signs and symptoms will vary, depending on the severity of the injury, and may include: 1. Pain and swelling or bruising in the calf muscle. A grade I strain is mild. Full recovery takes approximately 4 to 8 weeks with good rehabilitation. 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. During recovery, it's important to avoid any activity that might cause reinjury. This is the most severe calf strain with a complete tearing or rupture of muscle fibres in the lower leg. 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. 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 Calf muscle strain- cause, symptoms and treatment. If you visit her office, she may ask you to perform some physical tests to assess the degree of the tear and muscle function. Grade 2 calf muscle injury. 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. Pain that is throbbing while at rest but sharp and stabbing when you attempt to stand or walk. Then you’ll experience pain, swelling or bruising in the calf muscle, and you’ll have difficulty walking properly or standing on your toes. A torn calf muscle (gastrocnemius) is similar to an Achilles tendon tear or rupture, but occurs higher up in the back of the leg. A grade III strain is the most serious, resulting in a complete tear. Arterial claudication Gradually including weights or additional resistance over time. You may see a gap or dent where the muscle is torn. With calf muscle tears, the muscles of the Achilles complex are most likely to be damaged. RICE protocol should be followed for 48–72 hours. The area around the injury may be tender, and rising up onto the toes or stretching out the calf may be painful. Depending on the severity of the calf tear, the injury could take up to 6 weeks to heal. As this type of severe calf muscle tear results in complete loss of function, performing any activity will be challenging if not impossible. calf raises. A calf tear is a very common injury for runners as your calf performs a fast and large contraction when you run. There may be mild pain and swelling, but the muscle is otherwise in good condition with no loss of strength or function. Managing Director BSc (ExSci) MPT (Physio) DPT (Physio) CSCS APAM MSMA. This occurs as the muscle separates in two or as it rips away from the tendon that attaches it to bone. Muscle spasms 5. Your doctor may also recommend that you use over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to help reduce pain and swelling. If the tear is not complete, your doctor will send you home with instructions for self-care using the RICE treatment protocol. There might be a stabbing or tearing sensation felt at the time of injury, and there may be pain, tightness or discomfort when weight bearing. Remember I do not replace a real person and always recommend seeking professional advice. She studied creative writing at the American University of Paris and received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Maryland. What Are the Treatments for Calf Muscle Pain? This will decrease stress on all muscles, including calf muscles. A sign of a torn calf muscle is similar to that of an Achilles tendon rupture. The soreness of the calf muscle lasts for 2 or 3 weeks. The pain is typically localized to the affected area. These 3 muscles are referred to as ‘the triceps surae’, and they attach to the Achilles tendon. Treatment for torn muscles typically includes immobilization or surgery followed by physical therapy. Typically a torn calf muscle refers to a complete tear, rather than just a muscle strain. This will ensure decreased bleeding and swelling in the injured area. 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. Picture of torn biceps muscle. Redness or bruising 3. 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. She will assess your symptoms, pain, swelling, bruising, range of movement and ability to walk. 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. Other symptoms include: Pain. These muscles stretch from the calf down to the Achilles … Copyright ©2019 sydneyphysiosolutions.com.au. Symptoms of a torn calf muscle include pain, swelling, bruising and weakness or loss of function. According to Harvard Health Publishing, mild muscle strains will heal within a few weeks 2. What are they symptoms of a calf muscle tear injury? tennis, squash). Problems walking or putting weight on the injured leg A muscle strain refers to the stretching or tearing of muscle fibers. Drinking water before, during and after play. It can come as a surprise to many, but there are actually three different muscles within the calf muscle, … 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. Calf muscle tears usually occur during acceleration or changes in direction (e.g. There may be bruising or swelling that develops over the following 24 hours. Calf strain symptoms. A calf muscle with a grade III strain will be quite painful, swollen and discolored. A mild strain can leave you with pain and feelings of pulling within the lower half of your leg. A sudden pain at the back of the leg, particularly at the muscular tendinous junction. Full recovery can take 3-4 months and, in some instances, surgery may be needed. Your calf muscle is referred to as a single muscle, but it is actually two separate muscles: the gastrocnemius and the soleus. Further Info Undertaking training prior to competition to ensure readiness to play. Most of the injuries that occur to the calf are actually injuries to the gastrocnemius, the largest of the three. 3. Calf strain may be minor or very severe. Sha… Recovery takes approximately 2 to 4 weeks if you do all the right things. Read more: The Best Way to Heal a Torn Calf Muscle. The most common symptoms from a bruised muscle is pain. 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. With a grade I strain, you shouldn't have any trouble walking around and completing daily activities. Depending on the degree of bruising and swelling, a palpable defect in the muscle may be evident. 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. Pain or tenderness 2. 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). This is not intended to diagnose calf pain, only estimate the severity of a calf muscle tear. A torn calf muscle is experienced through swelling or bruising if the tear is severe. Keeping calf muscles strong so they can absorb the energy of sudden physical stress. Then you’ll experience pain, swelling or bruising in the calf muscle, and you’ll have difficulty walking properly or standing on your toes. Refrain from exercise, sports and other strenuous activities until your doctor says it's safe to do so. It is often confused with an achilles tendon rupture. Symptoms of a gastrocnemius muscle tear. Your recovery will depend on your individual injury. Sydney Physiotherapy Solutions is trusted for the knowledge and experience of it’s staff members. This pain will build as you continue your activity and there may be obvious swelling and inflammation. Muscle weakness A calf strain occurs when the calf muscles are over stretched. Depending on the severity of the damage to the muscle, symptoms of a torn calf can vary. Calf muscle tears usually occur during acceleration or changes in direction (e.g. Symptoms of a calf strain vary significantly depending on how bad your injury is. Calf muscle strains are graded from 1 to 3, with grade 3 being the most severe. Common Sites of Muscle Tear. Although all injuries are different, some of the sensations you might experienceinclude: 1. 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. There is partial tearing of muscle fibres. 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). 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. These three muscles are the gastrocnemius, the soleus, and the plantaris. In this case, it's important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. We have two physiotherapy clinics in Sydney CBD. Symptoms. With a grade II strain, walking may be painful and some activities may be limited. 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. Problems walking or putting weight on the injured leg. Bruising. Limited motion 4. Torn Calf Muscle. The symptoms don't really explain how a torn calf muscle feels. Swelling. Treatment for a torn calf muscle involves using the RICE method and protecting the muscle to avoid further injury. A calf muscle with a grade III strain will be quite painful, swollen and discolored. At the time of injury, you may hear a popping sound or feel a tearing sensation in your calf. Even then, return to your former level of activity slowly. The symptoms don't really explain how a torn calf muscle feels. Home » Blog » Muscle tears » Calf Muscle Tears. However, we have known people to tear their calf muscle by simply walking across the road. Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine. A calf muscle with a grade III strain will be quite painful, swollen and discolored. Calf strain diagnosis quiz. All Rights Reserved. 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. Stretching of the ankle in an upward direction (dorsiflexion) will produce moderate to severe pain (due to stretching of th… 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 … Grade 3 calf muscle injury. 2. * Elevation. A torn calf muscle is also known as a calf sprain. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. Swelling. Gradually increasing the intensity and duration of training. The calf is the muscle component in the back of a person’s lower leg. Understand what can get injured in your calf. Swelling 6. 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. A grade II strain is a moderate injury. 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. If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately. Sharp pain when you move or stretch the ankle or knee. A sudden change of direction, explosive movement or increase in speed can result in the calf muscles becoming torn or strained. Your doctor will want to know what you were doing when you were injured. Privacy Policy. A physical therapy program can help you safely regain strength in your calf muscle and restore flexibility. This can be caused by a sudden, abrupt movement or as a result of over use. A Leg Muscle Tear or Injury is said to occur whenever the leg muscle gets over-stretched or overused beyond its actual capacity. 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. Grade II tears can take two to three months and grade III tears may take several months. Your physiotherapist will grade the injury accordingly: The muscle is stretched causing some small micro tears in the muscle fibres. 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. If the tear is not complete, your doctor will send you home with instructions for self-care using the RICE treatment protocol. The severity of the symptoms and the course of treatment depend on the extensiveness of the tear. In such a case, the symptoms last for only a few days. With a complete tear, your doctor will likely refer you to an orthopedic specialist for further treatment. The symptoms of a pulled calf muscle vary depending on … In addition to pain, symptoms that may accompany a bruised muscle include: 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. A muscle strain refers to the stretching or tearing of muscle fibers. Leg Muscle Tear or Injury can also be called as Leg Muscle Strain. Picture 3: Mallet finger (source: Wikimedia) 3) Torn calf muscle Gastrocnemius vs. soleus strain: how to differentiate and deal with calf muscle injuries. Calf problems - Muscle, bone and joint injuries | NHS inform tennis, squash). Copyright © 2021 Leaf Group Ltd., all rights reserved. Especially if you heard or felt a pop at the time of injury, you should call your doctor right away. 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. When one or both of these muscles are overstretched, the muscle fibers can tear, resulting in various symptoms, including pain and swelling. Your “calf muscle” is actually made up of three muscles that are attached to the Achilles tendon in the posterior lower leg. ➜ In a moderate tear, the indicants become intense and the muscles weaken. 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). 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. A Grade III strain is a complete rupture of the muscle body or tendon. 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. 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. 2009;2(2):74-7. doi:10.1007/s12178-009-9045-8. 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. Pain on resisted plantar flexion or contracting the muscles against resistance. Treatment for a gastrocnemius muscle tear. Also known as "tennis leg," calf ruptures may require surgical intervention and/or physical therapy. Bruising. More muscle fibers are affected and the pain and swelling are more severe. Only a few muscle fibers are overstretched or torn. A mild strain may feel more like an ache during or after exercise. 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. A partial tear of the calf muscle results in a moderate, or grade 2 calf muscle injury. Other symptoms include: Pain. How to Care for a Torn Calf Muscle. Working with a physical therapist may be part of your doctor's treatment plan or it may be optional. The immediate treatment of any soft tissue injury consists of the RICER protocol – rest, ice, compression, elevation and referral to a sports medicine professional. Difficulty in contracting the muscle or standing on tiptoe. Symptoms of a calf injury are usually a sharp pain, followed by swelling or bruising. It is comprised of two muscles: gastrocnemius (main part) and the soleus. There may be mild pain and swelling, but the muscle is otherwise in good condition with no loss of strength or function. Undertaking fitness programs to develop strength, balance, coordination and flexibility. When this occurs and the injury involves the deeper calf muscle, it is known as a calf strain of the soleus muscle. Pain that is throbbing while at rest but sharp and stabbing when you attempt to stand or walk. Pain will be significant and will cause weakness in the lower leg muscle and make walking difficult. This may be accompanied by a popping sound or sensation at the time of injury. With a more severe strain, you will feel a sudden sharp pain at the back of the lower leg at the time of injury. Muscle strains are categorized based on the extent of the damage and the symptoms you might experience 2. 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. What is a Calf Muscle Tear? 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. Typically there is bruising associated with this pain and normally the maximum tenderness or location of tear is higher than the bruised area. Know the causes, symptoms, treatment, recovery period and prevention of leg muscle tear or injury. This method involves: RICE is most effective when initiated immediately after the injury and continued for at least 48 hours. Dixon JB. 2) Torn finger extensor muscle: Mallet finger. 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. Typically a torn calf muscle refers to a complete tear, rather than just a muscle strain. You can also do some exercises on your own when you are ready: Read more: The Best Way to Heal a Torn Calf Muscle. There may be some bruising as well as muscle weakness. However, we have known people to tear their calf muscle by simply walking across the road. Your recovery will depend on your individual injury. Allowing adequate recovery time between workouts or training sessions. Learning the proper technique for exercise and sporting activities. // 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. Even if you have not spoken to your doctor yet, you can begin RICE until your doctor gives you further instructions.