Calf Injury

Calf Injury

Article by John Miller

Calf Injury

Calf injury or pain is common in sports, including running, jumping, hopping, and landing. Your calf muscle group primarily consists of two muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus) attached to your Achilles tendon. Achilles tendinopathy or ruptured Achilles tendons are commonplace but successfully treated.

Calf injuries can occur in both muscle and tendon structures. Excessive forces commonly cause damage during explosive contraction, eccentric control loading or when your calf muscles fatigue. Calf muscle tears are prevalent.

calf injury

Your calf muscles protect your shin bone from the rear and both sides. However, excessive load through your shin bone (tibia) can result in shin pain and related injuries. Shin pain and injury is prevalent in loading bearing sports.

For specific information regarding your calf pain, please seek the advice of your physiotherapist.

Referred Calf Pain

Calf pain is a  common symptom of referred pain, e.g. Sciatica.

Sciatica is a condition caused by a pinched nerve in your lower back. Fortunately, Your physiotherapist can usually treat it successfully with physiotherapy. The occasional patient requires spinal surgery.

Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT)

DVT’s are the most severe concerns and can result in pulmonary embolism (PE), stroke or potentially death! Your calf assessment should exclude the possibility of a DVT as an URGENT PRIORITY.

Symptoms and signs of Calf DVT include:

  • Calf swelling & pain
  • Redness & Warmth to the touch
  • Worsening leg pain when bending the foot and toes backwards.
  • Leg cramps (especially at night or in the calf)
  • Skin discolouration

Risk factors for DVT/PE include:

  • Prolonged sitting or immobility
  • Recent surgery
  • Recent trauma to the lower body
  • Obesity
  • Heart attack or heart failure
  • Pregnancy or recent childbirth
  • High Altitudes
  • Oestrogen therapy or birth control pills
  • Cancer
  • Advanced age
  • Medical conditions that affect the veins

If you suspect a DVT or PE, please urgently consult your doctor or physiotherapist to assess and exclude a DVT or PE.

Calf Pain Treatment

With accurate assessment and early treatment, most calf pain responds quickly to physiotherapy treatment, allowing you to resume pain-free and healthy daily living activities promptly.

Please ask your physiotherapist for their professional calf assessment and treatment advice.