Are you feeling pain in your calf and you can’t identify the cause?
It’s a common pain that can make walking, running and jumping difficult. This calf pain can be due to an underlying medical condition, injury, or a problem in the arteries or nerves. While it can often feel like a minor muscle strain, the injury may not be in the muscle itself – calf pain can often indicate a more serious problem. That is why early, and accurate, diagnosis is important.
Common calf injury symptoms and causes
Symptoms: Upper calf pain, spasming and tightness
Causes: Muscle fatigue, muscle imbalance, diet, dehydration
Symptoms: Lower calf pain, ankle stiffness, thickening in the Achilles tendon
Causes: Overstretching, repetitive stress, running and jumping
Calf Muscle tear
Symptoms: Instant calf pain, swelling, bruising
Causes: Sprinting, changing directions quickly, sudden push off
Calf strain or calf muscle tear is the most common cause of calf pain. It usually occurs during sports, when part of the muscle is overstretched and torn. You might also experience some swelling and bruising. Cramps can occur suddenly as well, either while moving or during rest.
Calf pain during exercise
Pain while walking can be the result of reduced blood flow to the calves. This usually settles down with rest, but if the pain persists, this can suggest a more serious problem such as peripheral vascular disease.
If you experience pain while running, this can indicate that your muscles have been overloaded. Lack of muscle endurance or strength is another common cause. Come in to a Sports Focus practice for a running assessment to help identify any imbalances and weaknesses you may have.
Other potential causes of calf pain include muscle imbalance, Peripheral Vascular Disease, trapped nerve and Deep Vein Thrombosis. An appointment with your physician can help identify the cause of the pain.
If any of these symptoms sound familiar, don’t wait to get help. If there’s damage to your calf muscles, our Sports Focus physiotherapists can put you on the best treatment plan to help you recover safely and successfully. Contact us for any enquiries or book an appointment today.