Do you think you have a calf muscle injury?
The skeletal muscle system makes up around 45% of our total body weight. It also works hard all day round so we can do simple things like basic locomotive movement and it also helps us in maintaining our postures.
Among these muscles, the calf muscle is one of the hardest working ones. It supports our weight and is one of the main muscles we use for walking. This is why there’s a high probability that you’ll have a pulled calf muscle along the line.
The only problem is that people are often unaware that they have a strained calf muscle. This can lead to the injury getting worse.
To know whether you have a calf injury, read what we have below. Learn how you can alleviate and prevent calf injuries, too.
One of the more common pulled calf muscle symptoms is swelling. A pulled calf will appear larger than the rest of your leg. This is because the body is working to try and heal the injured calf.
This means that there are more fluids and white blood cells going to the area. The body also releases different chemicals in the same area to aid in healing, further causing it to swell. The nerves are also compressed, which is why it’s painful when you touch the swelled area.
The bigger the injury, the bigger the swelling will be. A strained calf will have minimal swelling around them. If you tore the muscle, though, there will be major swelling around the calf muscle tear.
2. Redness and Soreness Around the Leg
Often, you may find that your calves are painful, but you notice no swelling on them. Instead, you will find redness when you take a look. These are often caused by sudden sports injuries.
They frequently happen right after a sports activity or while you’re exercising. Poor execution of certain activities can cause you to pull your calf muscle.
In this immediate case, you’ll feel pain similar to a sharp piercing or tearing sensation around your calf. Immediate relief is important at this stage. If you manage to relieve the pain, you may prevent the calf injury from getting worse.
3. Frequent Muscle Cramps
If you feel a sudden, intense pain in your calves, you may be experiencing muscle cramps. These are often painful enough that they can cause you to fall and take a moment before you can resume your activities again.
When calf cramps happen, your calves suddenly contract and tighten, causing the pain that you feel. What’s great is that this can only last for a moment. The soreness from the sudden contraction may last for quite a while, though.
You may even see that there’s a visible knot on your leg when this happens. It can be alarming, but it’s important to keep yourself calm when this happens. Panicking may only cause you to try and massage the muscle yourself, which will always lead to more pain.
4. Bruising Around the Affected Area
Bruising has a similar sensation to the redness mentioned above. However, redness and soreness are different because they’re fresh. Bruises are much older, and are often much less painful.
Bruises are blood vessels that broke under your skin. The blood that rises to the top is what makes the blue/blackish patch.
These often happen when you bump your calf hard on something. The impact breaks your capillaries, causing the blood to pool under your skin. This can be a sign of a strained calf muscle because these muscle injuries can also rupture your capillaries.
5. Decreased Mobility
Decreased mobility is the most obvious sign that you have a problem with your calf muscle. This can come in different forms. Often, most people find themselves limping when they try to walk on the injured leg.
This can also come in the form of weakness when trying to do walk, climb, or even stand. This is because the calf supports most of your weight, as mentioned above. Any injury to it can cause you to have trouble doing anything that involves your legs.
How to Treat a Calf Injury
If you notice that you’re experiencing one of the symptoms above, you’re sure to have a calf muscle injury. What’s great is that there are tons of ways for you to treat it.
One way to do so is by taking it easy. Resting your leg for a day or two gives it enough time to heal itself. It’s best that you minimize the movements that you make that use your calf muscles when doing this.
If you’re experiencing bruises or swelling, cold compresses can help. This can reduce the swelling and can also slow down the blood flow to the area. It can prove useful in minimizing the pain you feel from the injury.
For extreme cases, like that of decreased mobility, it’s best that you get professional help. Learn more about professional help to see which services can help you with your pulled calf.
How to Prevent Calf Injuries
While a pulled calf muscle can be serious, it’s easy to prevent them. The best way to do so is by stretching your calf muscles regularly. This helps reduce the likelihood of pulling them when doing strenuous activities.
Cooling down is also important. It’s a great way to ensure regular blood flow goes back to your muscles. This decreases the chances of the overactive muscle pulling itself when doing a simple task like jumping or walking.
You should also keep yourself hydrated. Doing so gives your muscles more electrolytes, which help reverse the effects of cramps.
Learn the Common Signs of a Pulled Calf Muscle Today
A pulled calf muscle can be a big problem if left alone without tending to it. Use the guide above to determine if you have a pulled calf and to know what you can do to deal with it. Help your body recover today!
Do you want to learn more about your body and possible injuries? Check out the rest of our articles today!