Calf strain and physical therapy

It’s an injury that affects the lower back muscles. Below the knee, it is caused mostly by minor wear and tear of muscle fibers. The bulk of the tissue usually remains intact.It can happen in extreme cases, where the muscle becomes completely torn or its function is lost. But it happens very rarely.

Calf Strain Symptoms

Calf strains are easy to spot. When you stretch your calves or try to walk, you will feel a sudden, sharp pain at your back. In addition to the muscle strain area, you can also notice swelling and tenderness.

It can be very painful and you may find it impossible to walk. If you’re in the area, visit the best San Diego Physical Therapy Clinic.

Types and severity of injury

Grade I calf strain

The leg can be moved with little or no disability, even mild pain.

Grade II calf strain

A moderate amount of discomfort and pain. You may experience some swelling and pain while running or jumping is restricted. Walking can still be performed in this condition.

Grade III calf strain

Many people feel unable to walk due to severe bruising and muscle spasms.

Anatomy and Physiology of Calf Strains

Calf muscles run from the knee to your ankle, and the Achilles tendon connects to your heel bone to your calf muscles.

The calf muscle consists of two major muscles.

  • Two-headed gastrocnemius muscular muscle
  • The soleus muscle

A calf strain can be a tear to one of these two muscles. Most commonly, this injury happens in the gastrocnemius muscular; this muscle is located on the inner side of our leg muscle. Overstrained muscles can cause fibers to tear, but only some fibers are strained so the whole muscle does not become brittle. We can help! Visit the #1 Del Mar Physical Therapy Clinic.

Calf strain treatment


Rest after an injury. This will aid in muscle healing.

Stretching the calves

Calf muscle can be gently stretched, but not to the point that it becomes more painful. Excessive stretching could cause more damage and slow down healing.

The injury can be iced

Ice packs can be applied immediately after an injury.

Physical therapy

A physical therapist is able to help you through the treatment and speed your recovery process. Exercise-based therapy can be very helpful in calves and sprains. Your physical therapist can also use modalities such as ultrasound or proper hand massaging if your injury has a grade 3.

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