Strained calf muscles and lower leg muscle injuries generally occur while running or taking part in other strenuous sports activities. These types of sports injuries should be treated with application of an ice pack, elevation of the leg, slight compression, and limited use of the leg muscle. Anyone who suffers from a severe muscle injury or a strained calf that does not improve after following these tips should seek medical attention. The best method of calf strain treatment often depends upon the severity of the muscle injury.
Medial gastrocnemius strain, or a strained calf, results from overstress on the lower leg muscle. This is often due to overstretching or overworking the calf muscles. A muscle injury may also occur as a result of a hard hit to the calf area. Calf strain treatment is best applied as soon as possible in order to prevent further swelling and worsening of the injury.
The first concern with any sports injury or strained muscle is to reduce the swelling so that proper healing may occur. Immediately following the calf injury, an ice pack should be applied and the leg should be elevated. A gentle compression should also be applied to the injured area. This can be achieved by wrapping a bandage around the lower leg. Anti-inflammatory medications may also help to reduce swelling as well as provide some pain relief.
Once the swelling has been reduced, proper calf strain treatment calls for rest. Limited use of the lower leg is necessary in order to prevent further tearing or strain of the calf muscle. Remember that the muscle is weak and needs time to recuperate from the injury. Proper calf strain treatment can help prevent further damage to the muscle.
After a few days of rest, the individual should start a program to gradually begin re-stretching and strengthening the muscle. It is important to remember that stretching routines should be performed prior to strengthening exercises. Simple work-outs should be executed in the beginning to properly ease the muscle back into use. This step should only be implemented if the swelling has subsided and the injury has improved.
It is vital that medical advice be sought in the case of severe injuries, or if the calf strain does not improve after trying the above treatment methods. The degree of the injury often depends on if the muscle has been pulled or if it has torn. In some instances, further calf strain treatment may be necessary. Extreme cases that involve a complete tear of the calf muscle may even require surgery.