Back of the lower leg. The calf muscle is made up of three muscles. The two heads of the gastrocnemeius and the soleus. Usually runners complain of a dull aching pain and in severe cases a sharp intense pain.
If you have a partial tear or complete rupture of the calf muscle then running will be impossible for 4-12 weeks depending on the injury. If you are suffering from inflammation of the muscle then you can resume training after 7-10 days.
Ineffective warm up and warm down routines can lead to calf strains. Excessive hill work and a sudden increase in mileage can cause a calf strain. Many runners carry on running even after the initial signs of a calf strain. They adjust their running stride to increase the forefoot foot slap and decrease heel strike. This further exacerbates the condition.
Calf strains can be caused by dehydration. Many runners don’t adequately hydrate. Deficiencies in calcium, trace minerals and magnesium can also lead calf strains. Therefore we would recommend to ensure adequate water intake and multi minerals.
One of the most common causes is a condition called over pronation. Over pronation basically means that your feet are rolling over too much as you run which causes excessive pressure on the calf muscle and achilles tendon. View the Dr Foot Sports Insoles in the recommended products section for further information.
Initial treatment should consist of an ice pack. Some runners prefer to use a wet towel that has been in the fridge. We recommend you use commercially available ice packs for focused pain relief. An anti-inflammatory such as Ibuprofen will help to reduce the swelling. Please note this should be taken with meals and never before running.
We would recommend complete rest for 5 days for a mild calf strain and then a gradual increase in mileage. Spenco heel cushions, sports orthotics all speed up the process and prevent future occurrences of the condition. A one piece calf sleeve provides support and compression to the calf muscle to aid recovery.
Massaging the calf also helps to speed up recovery. View the calf Massager with four free rolling heads it’s particularly good at giving yourself a deep calf massage to speed up recovery.
Stand with your hands against a wall and your injured leg behind your other leg. With your injured leg straight, your heel flat on the floor and your foot pointed straight ahead, lean slowly forward, bending the other leg.
You should feel the stretch in the middle of your calf. Hold the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds. Repeat the stretch six to eight times. This stretching exercise may be helpful for Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis and calcaneal apophysitis.
The Pro Stretch Step Stretch stretching device is recommended as a way to both treat and prevent Calf pain, Achilles tendonitis, heel pain and foot arch discomfort. While many people do remember to stretch both before and after exercising, many people are not stretching properly, and that’s where the Pro Stretch Step Stretch device is helpful.
The Pro Stretch Step Stretch device helps you properly do stretches so you don’t injure yourself. Developed by sports professionals, the Pro Stretch Step Stretch stretching device has a patented rocker design that automatically holds the foot in the optimal position for proper stretching. If you use the Pro Stretch Step Stretch stretching device three times, holding each stretch for 30 seconds, you will find relief fast.
Increased muscle flexibility reduces the risk of athletic injury. The more pliable a muscle becomes, the less likely you are to tear that muscle. With a proper ProStretch flexibility program, muscles and tendons actually begin to lengthen.
In many sports, longer (Gastroc/Soleus) calf muscles improve the ability to increase stride length, and longer stride lengths translate into increased performance. Improved muscle flexibility also reduces the risk of back pain, muscle pulls, cramping and overuse injuries such as Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis. Click here to view the instruction booklet for the Pro Stretch.