If you’ve ever experimented with a new type of exercise or dialed up the intensity of your workout, you’ve likely experienced delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). The blood travelling from the tissues to the heart can collect and cause swelling. And, in most cases of muscle cramps and DOMS, stretching can help alleviate pain in the calf. The lateral compartment of the lower leg contains the peroneus longus, also known as the fibularis longus and the peroneus brevis, which allows us to turn the foot outward. Self-diagnose with our free Buoy Assistant if you answer yes on any of these questions. Apply a cold or ice compress to the affected calf to treat the inflammation, pain, and swelling. While you wait for an appointment, Melepura recommends employing the RICE protocol. The gastrocnemius muscle is the large, diamond-shaped bulging muscle on the back of the lower leg. Move the foot in a large circular motion 10 times both clockwise and counterclockwise. Stretch before and after exercising and stay hydrated — electrolyte imbalance is believed to trigger calf muscle cramps. Prevention is key here. In the calf area there are also nerves, arteries and tendons. Another conjoining muscle is the plantaris, which connects at the lower end of the fibula to the Achilles tendon and into the calcaneus. It is much more common at night and may lead to sleep disturbances that impair functions during the day. Was there a popping or cracking sound when the pain began? Diagnosis is made through patient history, physical examination, blood tests, and sometimes a treadmill test, MRI, and arteriogram. This muscle connects with the shin muscles of fibula and tibia, as well as to the calcaneus via the Achilles tendon. Once the swelling has gone down, apply heat compresses to the calf to continue pain management. Numbness, cramping, and calf pain worsens with activity, but can also be severe when the body is at rest with the progression of the disease. This type of strain is often called tennis leg, originating from a 1883 reported case of a tennis injury. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. “Calf Muscle,” WebMD, March 13, 2017; http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/picture-of-the-calf-muscle#1, last accessed August 14, 2017. There are two major muscles essential to the movement of the leg—the gastrocnemius muscle and the soleus muscle. “Rheumatoid Arthritis,” MedlinePlus, January 16, 2016; https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000431.htm, last accessed August 14, 2017. Issues among the structures that allow for normal calf functioning may result in calf pain. This thickening of the blood is one of the most serious causes of calf muscle pain, explains Melepura. Create your best upper-body workout yet by incorporating these nine upper body dumbbell exercises into your... Ready to get in your best lower body workout ever? Serious health conditions such as deep vein thrombosis can present this form of pain, and, left untreated, can lead to a stroke or heart attack. This condition is characterized by leg pain, weakness, and numbness due to an injury or damage to the sciatic nerve that runs from the lower back down through the legs. They also help us with movements such as turning, bending, jumping, and walking. When it comes to exercise, she’s a bit of a dabbler, but she always comes back to running, CrossFit and yoga. And, of course, if you show any signs of a blood clot in your calf, seek medical attention immediately. Top Symptoms: achilles tendon pain, constant foot pain, sports injury, recent ankle injury, swollen achilles, Symptoms that always occur with achilles tendon rupture: achilles tendon pain. Your answers will help us provide you with medical information and identify services that may be relevant to your health.Buoy Health uses reasonable physical, technical, and administrative safeguards (such as firewalls, encryption, identity management, and intrusion prevention and detection) to protect your information. Also known as a popliteal cyst, it is a bulging fluid-filled lump that develops behind the knee. This common condition can occur in the legs when narrowing arteries restrict blood flow. Resting the calf muscles can alleviate the pain, reduce any swelling, and speed up the recovery time whether it is a mild or major calf issue. In some cases, a large blood clot can be painful and create a tender area on the calf. Overuse of the muscles and injury can create an environment of swelling and bleeding within the muscle compartment. The calf of the leg holds blood vessels, nerves, tendons, ligaments, and muscles, which all can lead to calf pain as a result of trauma or damage. strenuous exercise, a long hike, a fall, etc.). Commonly known as RA, this condition sees inflammation and swelling of the joints resulting in pain, stiffness, and tenderness. If your calf pain worsens or persists, you should consult your physician who may recommend the following. Treatment involves medication and surgery to open or bypass blocked arteries, and lifestyle changes regarding diet, exercise, and smoking cessation. DOI: 10.1007/s12178-009-9045-8, last accessed August 14, 2017. Calf Muscle Pain Treatment. A leg with a dangerous clot, called a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), may be warmer than usual with redness or tenderness to the touch. Did you suffer an injury from a direct blow at the time? Calf pain may be felt upon movement after extended rest periods, especially first thing in the morning. “Contusion Of the Lower Leg,” Sports Injury Clinic; http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sport-injuries/ankle-achilles-shin-pain/contusion-lower-leg, last accessed August 14, 2017. Rhabdomyolysis refers to damaged muscle fibers collapsing because of an injury to the muscle. Our calf muscles move us forward and absorb the impact when we move.
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