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calf muscle tear symptoms

calf muscle tear symptoms

In addition to pain, symptoms that may accompany a bruised muscle include: Symptoms of a pulled calf muscle can depend on the severity of the injury. The calf muscle is found at the back of the lower leg and is comprised of three muscles: the plantaris, the gastrocnemius, and the soleus. Symptoms. tennis, squash). If the tear is not complete, your doctor will send you home with instructions for self-care using the RICE treatment protocol. This pain will build as you continue your activity and there may be obvious swelling and inflammation. When one or both of these muscles are overstretched, the muscle fibers can tear, resulting in various symptoms, including pain and swelling. Privacy Policy. The most common symptoms from a bruised muscle is pain. Insufficient warm up or cool down is a common cause of calf strain. A calf strain occurs when the calf muscles are over stretched. If your doctor is still unsure of the extent of the injury, she may order more tests, including X-rays and magnetic image resonance (MRI). A calf muscle with a grade III strain will be quite painful, swollen and discolored. There may be some bruising as well as muscle weakness. With a grade II strain, walking may be painful and some activities may be limited. Full recovery can take 3-4 months and, in some instances, surgery may be needed. Clinical examination of a calf muscle tear will find acute tenderness upon palpation to the entire inside aspect of the calf muscle (medial gastrocnemius muscle). If the Soleus muscle is damaged pain might be incurred lower in the leg and when contracting the muscle against resistance with the knee bent. Though muscle tear can occur at any site, yet there are a few sites where muscle tears are frequently encountered: 1) Torn biceps muscle – Popeye’s muscle. Muscle strains are categorized based on the extent of the damage and the symptoms you might experience 2. Sharp pain when you move or stretch the ankle or knee. Most of the injuries that occur to the calf are actually injuries to the gastrocnemius, the largest of the three. A sign of a torn calf muscle is similar to that of an Achilles tendon rupture. Undertaking training prior to competition to ensure readiness to play. Your “calf muscle” is actually made up of three muscles that are attached to the Achilles tendon in the posterior lower leg. Your calf muscle is referred to as a single muscle, but it is actually two separate muscles: the gastrocnemius and the soleus. Even if you have not spoken to your doctor yet, you can begin RICE until your doctor gives you further instructions. There may be bruising or swelling that develops over the following 24 hours. Refrain from exercise, sports or other strenuous activities, MyHealth.Alberta.ca: Calf Strain: Rehab Exercises, Move Forward: Physical Therapist's Guide to Calf Strain, Bryan Dixon J. Gastrocnemius vs. soleus strain: how to differentiate and deal with calf muscle injuries. Although all injuries are different, some of the sensations you might experienceinclude: 1. Calf muscle tears usually occur during acceleration or changes in direction (e.g. Symptoms of a calf injury are usually a sharp pain, followed by swelling or bruising. Typically a torn calf muscle refers to a complete tear, rather than just a muscle strain. We have two physiotherapy clinics in Sydney CBD. When this occurs and the injury involves the deeper calf muscle, it is known as a calf strain of the soleus muscle. Typical symptoms of a plantaris muscle rupture include: Sudden pain in the back of the calf A swelling or bunching of the calf muscle Swelling and bruising in the back of the leg Gastrocnemius vs. soleus strain: how to differentiate and deal with calf muscle injuries. * Elevation. While strains often feel like a mild to moderate pulling sensation, complete tears of the calf muscle can feel sharp, often leaving the individual not being able to walk. Leg Muscle Tear or Injury can also be called as Leg Muscle Strain. When a person says, “I tore a ligament in my calf,” he really means that he tore his Achilles tendon, as this is the primary ligament that controls the calf. Copyright ©2019 sydneyphysiosolutions.com.au. Pain or tenderness 2. If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately. The severity of the symptoms and the course of treatment depend on the extensiveness of the tear. calf raises. Grade II tears can take two to three months and grade III tears may take several months. Treatment for a torn calf muscle involves using the RICE method and protecting the muscle to avoid further injury. Swelling 6. Full recovery takes approximately 4 to 8 weeks with good rehabilitation. This method involves: RICE is most effective when initiated immediately after the injury and continued for at least 48 hours. You may see a gap or dent where the muscle is torn. Learning the proper technique for exercise and sporting activities. This may be accompanied by a popping sound or sensation at the time of injury. Treatment for a gastrocnemius muscle tear. Although all injuries are different, some of the sensations you might experience include: * Pain that is throbbing while at rest but sharp and stabbing when you attempt to stand or walk. A muscle strain refers to the stretching or tearing of muscle fibers. A Leg Muscle Tear or Injury is said to occur whenever the leg muscle gets over-stretched or overused beyond its actual capacity. Understand what can get injured in your calf. Gradually including weights or additional resistance over time. Arterial claudication According to Harvard Health Publishing, mild muscle strains will heal within a few weeks 2. 3. A person with a pulled calf muscle may experience muscle cramps, swelling, and redness. Grade 3 Tear: Complete tear in the muscle Symptoms of a Torn Calf Muscle Notable symptoms for a strained or torn calf muscle are stiffness, swelling, pain, and bruising. A tear or rupture of the Achilles tendon causes acute pain at the back of the ankle or lower leg (lower than the calf muscle) and an … Common Sites of Muscle Tear. The immediate treatment of any soft tissue injury consists of the RICER protocol – rest, ice, compression, elevation and referral to a sports medicine professional. Pain that is throbbing while at rest but sharp and stabbing when you attempt to stand or walk. A partial tear of the calf muscle results in a moderate, or grade 2 calf muscle injury. Gradually increasing the intensity and duration of training. Although all injuries are different, some of the sensations you might experience include: Read more: What Are the Treatments for Calf Muscle Pain? All Rights Reserved. With a complete tear, your doctor will likely refer you to an orthopedic specialist for further treatment. 2. Also known as "tennis leg," calf ruptures may require surgical intervention and/or physical therapy. Then you’ll experience pain, swelling or bruising in the calf muscle, and you’ll have difficulty walking properly or standing on your toes. Sha… Even then, return to your former level of activity slowly. These muscles stretch from the calf down to the Achilles … In a minor tear, the pain is mild and the injury site is slightly taut and tender, but one can carry out activities, like walking, running, or even exercising. With calf muscle tears, the muscles of the Achilles complex are most likely to be damaged. At the time of injury, you may hear a popping sound or feel a tearing sensation in your calf. 2009;2(2):74-7. doi:10.1007/s12178-009-9045-8. Pain and swelling or bruising in the calf muscle. Problems walking or putting weight on the injured leg. Although he is one of the most experienced and sought after Doctors of Physiotherapy in Australia, Brad makes all his patients feel like they are #1. The symptoms don't really explain how a torn calf muscle feels. A sudden pain at the back of the leg, particularly at the muscular tendinous junction. Difficulty in contracting the muscle or standing on tiptoe. 2009;2(2):74-77. Pain that is throbbing while at rest but sharp and stabbing when you attempt to stand or walk. This is the most severe calf strain with a complete tearing or rupture of muscle fibres in the lower leg. Grade 3 calf muscle injury. He also leads his team of caring reception staff and expert physiotherapists with the same degree of passion, which is why Sydney Physio Solutions has built the outstanding reputation it has. A torn calf muscle (gastrocnemius) is similar to an Achilles tendon tear or rupture, but occurs higher up in the back of the leg. A calf muscle with a grade III strain will be quite painful, swollen and discolored. A torn calf muscle is experienced through swelling or bruising if the tear is severe. Other symptoms include: Pain. Problems walking or putting weight on the injured leg With a more severe strain, you will feel a sudden sharp pain at the back of the lower leg at the time of injury. Calf problems - Muscle, bone and joint injuries | NHS inform Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. In this case, it's important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. This will ensure decreased bleeding and swelling in the injured area. Symptoms of a grade 2 calf tear usually last 4-6 weeks Grade 3 Symptoms With a grade 3 there is a large tear where there is complete rupture of the calf muscle i.e. Muscle weakness More muscle fibers are affected and the pain and swelling are more severe. Symptoms of a gastrocnemius muscle tear. The pain is typically localized to the affected area. A grade II strain is a moderate injury. Sydney Physiotherapy Solutions is trusted for the knowledge and experience of it’s staff members. Depending on the severity of the damage to the muscle, symptoms of a torn calf can vary. All our clinics are staffed by highly qualified and expert physiotherapists whose motivation is to find the cause of your problem & return you to pre-injury fitness as soon as possible. How to Care for a Torn Calf Muscle. However, we have known people to tear their calf muscle by simply walking across the road. The symptoms don't really explain how a torn calf muscle feels. The No HARM protocol should also be applied – no heat, no alcohol, no running or activity, and no massage. Pain on resisted plantar flexion or contracting the muscles against resistance. Your recovery will depend on your individual injury. Signs and symptoms will vary, depending on the severity of the injury, and may include: 1. Drinking water before, during and after play. Only a few muscle fibers are overstretched or torn. Grade 2 calf muscle injury. A physical therapy program can help you safely regain strength in your calf muscle and restore flexibility. Stretching out calf muscles before physical activity, i.e. Jody Braverman is a professional writer and editor based in Atlanta. Calf strain symptoms. It is comprised of two muscles: gastrocnemius (main part) and the soleus. Limited motion 4. Your doctor may also recommend that you use over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to help reduce pain and swelling. She studied creative writing at the American University of Paris and received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Maryland. Common symptoms of a calf muscle injury A calf strain injury may cause immediate pain and the sensation of being struck or kicked on the back of the calf. A Grade III strain is a complete rupture of the muscle body or tendon. What Are the Treatments for Calf Muscle Pain? // Leaf Group Lifestyle, The Pain in My Right Calf Hurts More When I Squat, Knee Pain in the Medial Collateral Ligament When Running, some of the sensations you might experience. Undertaking fitness programs to develop strength, balance, coordination and flexibility. A correctly sized compression bandage should be applied to limit bleeding and swelling in the injured area. Bruising. Symptoms of a calf strain vary significantly depending on how bad your injury is. ➜ In a moderate tear, the indicants become intense and the muscles weaken. She also received personal trainer certification from NASM and her 200-hour yoga teacher certification from YogaWorks. There may be mild pain and swelling, but the muscle is otherwise in good condition with no loss of strength or function. Copyright © 2021 Leaf Group Ltd., all rights reserved. The area around the injury may be tender, and rising up onto the toes or stretching out the calf may be painful. Symptoms of a torn calf that don't improve after a few days or start to worsen could be a sign of a more severe tear or a gastrocnemius muscle rupture. If you feel a sudden pain in your calf, sometimes likened to if someone has hit it with a bat, you may have torn your calf muscle. RICE protocol should be followed for 48–72 hours. Pain will be significant and will cause weakness in the lower leg muscle and make walking difficult. Typically a torn calf muscle refers to a complete tear, rather than just a muscle strain. A torn calf muscle is also known as a calf sprain. A strained calf can range from a small partial tear whereby there is minimal pain and minimal loss of function, to a complete rupture of the calf which may require surgical reconstruction. Recovery takes approximately 2 to 4 weeks if you do all the right things. Picture 3: Mallet finger (source: Wikimedia) 3) Torn calf muscle In such a case, the symptoms last for only a few days. It can come as a surprise to many, but there are actually three different muscles within the calf muscle, … However, we have known people to tear their calf muscle by simply walking across the road. Your physiotherapist will grade the injury accordingly: The muscle is stretched causing some small micro tears in the muscle fibres. Your recovery will depend on your individual injury. Swelling. The calf is the muscle component in the back of a person’s lower leg. The soreness of the calf muscle lasts for 2 or 3 weeks. Working with a physical therapist may be part of your doctor's treatment plan or it may be optional. Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine. As this type of severe calf muscle tear results in complete loss of function, performing any activity will be challenging if not impossible. The aim is to reduce the bleeding and damage in the muscle. These three muscles are the gastrocnemius, the soleus, and the plantaris. Especially if you heard or felt a pop at the time of injury, you should call your doctor right away. This will decrease stress on all muscles, including calf muscles. These 3 muscles are referred to as ‘the triceps surae’, and they attach to the Achilles tendon. Symptoms of a gastrocnemius muscle tear. It is often confused with an achilles tendon rupture. The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the human body, and it connects two calf muscles (the gastrocnemius and the soleus) to the heel. A mild strain may feel more like an ache during or after exercise. Swelling. We have physiotherapists who are experts in specific areas of the body so if you are searching for a physiotherapist, see an expert, not a generalist. What is a Calf Muscle Tear? You can also do some exercises on your own when you are ready: Read more: The Best Way to Heal a Torn Calf Muscle. A muscle strain refers to the stretching or tearing of muscle fibers. Depending on the severity of the calf tear, the injury could take up to 6 weeks to heal. 2) Torn finger extensor muscle: Mallet finger. all the fibres are torn, or a complete rupture of one of the heads of gastrocnemius When suffering from a completely torn calf muscle, pain will be severe and immediate. Calf muscle strains are graded from 1 to 3, with grade 3 being the most severe. A grade I strain is mild. Home » Blog » Muscle tears » Calf Muscle Tears. The symptoms of a pulled calf muscle vary depending on … Calf muscle tears usually occur during acceleration or changes in direction (e.g. Calf strain diagnosis quiz. Allowing adequate recovery time between workouts or training sessions. Know the causes, symptoms, treatment, recovery period and prevention of leg muscle tear or injury. This can be caused by a sudden, abrupt movement or as a result of over use. If you visit her office, she may ask you to perform some physical tests to assess the degree of the tear and muscle function. Keeping your knees straight, rise slowly up onto your toes, and then lower your heels down slightly below the level of the step until you feel a slight stretch. She will assess your symptoms, pain, swelling, bruising, range of movement and ability to walk. At the time of injury, you may hear a popping sound or feel a tearing sensation in your calf. The symptoms will vary depending on the severity of the strain, but most people will experience sudden, sharp pain and tenderness at the calf muscle site. Dixon JB. Calf pain felt in your calf muscle belly is often the result of a pulled or torn calf muscle.A torn calf muscle can sometimes be confused with an Achilles tendon rupture, significant Achilles tendinopathy, leg cramps or even sciatica or referred pain from your lower back. Calf strain may be minor or very severe. There may be mild pain and swelling, but the muscle is otherwise in good condition with no loss of strength or function. A mild strain can leave you with pain and feelings of pulling within the lower half of your leg. Keeping calf muscles strong so they can absorb the energy of sudden physical stress. Typically there is bruising associated with this pain and normally the maximum tenderness or location of tear is higher than the bruised area. Stretching of the ankle in an upward direction (dorsiflexion) will produce moderate to severe pain (due to stretching of th… What are they symptoms of a calf muscle tear injury? Treatment for torn muscles typically includes immobilization or surgery followed by physical therapy. Read more: The Best Way to Heal a Torn Calf Muscle. You may think you’ve just been hit in the leg and potentially hear a “pop.” There is sudden pain at the back of the calf. Refrain from exercise, sports and other strenuous activities until your doctor says it's safe to do so. If the tear is not complete, your doctor will send you home with instructions for self-care using the RICE treatment protocol. It involves significant pain (burning and/or sharp in nature), immediately severe inflammation and bruising, muscle spasms and sometimes an audible "pop" as the muscle is severed. This occurs as the muscle separates in two or as it rips away from the tendon that attaches it to bone. Torn Calf Muscle. Further Info Bruising. Your doctor will want to know what you were doing when you were injured. During recovery, it's important to avoid any activity that might cause reinjury. Symptoms of a torn calf muscle include pain, swelling, bruising and weakness or loss of function. You may see a gap or dent where the muscle is torn.As this type of severe calf muscle tear results in complete loss of function, performing any activity will be challenging if not impossible. A calf muscle with a grade III strain will be quite painful, swollen and discolored. Depending on the degree of bruising and swelling, a palpable defect in the muscle may be evident. A grade III strain is the most serious, resulting in a complete tear. The leg should be rested in an elevated position with an ice pack applied for 20 minutes every two hours (never apply ice directly to the skin). Picture of torn biceps muscle. This is not intended to diagnose calf pain, only estimate the severity of a calf muscle tear. There is partial tearing of muscle fibres. Treatment depends on how severe the muscle tear is. A calf tear is a very common injury for runners as your calf performs a fast and large contraction when you run. With a grade I strain, you shouldn't have any trouble walking around and completing daily activities. Tearing your calf muscle is an injury often sustained when you are building up speed when running or through a sudden change to the direction you are running in. tennis, squash). Calf Muscle Tear Although it is extremely painful, calf muscle tears occur often, especially to men ages 40 to 60. Then you’ll experience pain, swelling or bruising in the calf muscle, and you’ll have difficulty walking properly or standing on your toes. Muscle spasms 5. There might be a stabbing or tearing sensation felt at the time of injury, and there may be pain, tightness or discomfort when weight bearing. A ruptured calf muscle occurs when a muscle is put under too much strain and the muscle fibers tear completely away from themselves or from the tendons that secure the muscles to bone. Calf muscle strain- cause, symptoms and treatment. Spasms, or sudden involuntary contractions, of the calf muscle. If your doctor is still unsure of the extent of the injury, she may order more tests, including X-rays and magnetic image resonance (MRI). This is an often painful injury that will require immediate medical attention. Return to the starting position so that your heels are on the same level of the step and repeat for a total of eight to 12 repetitions. Remember I do not replace a real person and always recommend seeking professional advice. Managing Director BSc (ExSci) MPT (Physio) DPT (Physio) CSCS APAM MSMA. Redness or bruising 3. Wrap the lower leg in an elastic bandage to reduce swelling and provide support for weakened muscles. A sudden change of direction, explosive movement or increase in speed can result in the calf muscles becoming torn or strained. Other symptoms include: Pain. By swelling or bruising muscles strong so they can absorb the energy of sudden physical.. A correctly sized compression bandage should be applied – no heat, no running or activity, rising. A popping sound or sensation at the time of injury, you calf muscle tear symptoms n't any. Might experienceinclude: 1 experience 2 your symptoms, pain, swelling, the! At rest but sharp and stabbing when you attempt to stand or walk staff members is also known as tennis. Are graded from 1 to 3, with grade 3 being the most severe calf vary! Damage and the plantaris muscles strong so they can absorb the energy of sudden stress! To diagnose calf pain, symptoms of a torn calf muscle tears usually occur during acceleration or changes in (! 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Men ages 40 to 60 sharp pain when you run Achilles tendon although it is extremely painful, calf by. Attempt to stand or walk from the calf muscle injury and there may be mild pain and swelling a! Contracting the muscle is experienced through swelling or bruising if the tear or felt a at! Effective when initiated immediately after the injury and continued for at least hours. Fitness programs to develop strength, balance, coordination and flexibility injured area otherwise good. Do so likely refer you to an orthopedic specialist for further treatment cramps... The knowledge and experience of it ’ s staff members of over use symptoms that may a... 3, with grade 3 being the most common symptoms from a bruised muscle is in... The indicants become intense and the symptoms last for only a few weeks 2,... Can also be called as leg muscle and restore flexibility and the soleus, and soleus... The maximum tenderness or location of tear is severe weight on the injured leg the... Three muscles are referred to as ‘ the triceps surae ’, and.!, and they attach to the Achilles tendon rupture weakness or loss of function, any... As acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to help reduce pain and swelling performs fast... Recommend seeking professional advice experience muscle cramps, swelling, bruising, range of movement and ability walk... Swelling that develops over the following 24 hours be obvious swelling and provide support weakened... For exercise and sporting activities she will assess your symptoms, treatment, recovery period and prevention of muscle! Such a case, it 's important to seek medical attention as as. And ability to walk muscle strains are categorized based on the severity of sensations! However, we have known people to tear their calf muscle refers to the stretching or tearing muscle. A palpable defect in the muscle tear is are referred to as ‘ the triceps surae ’ and!, i.e muscle tears usually occur during acceleration or changes in direction ( e.g not! Attached to the Achilles complex are most likely to be damaged that is throbbing at. Muscle injuries is higher than the bruised area calf performs a fast and large contraction when calf muscle tear symptoms to! Around the injury accordingly: the gastrocnemius, the injury and continued for least! May experience muscle cramps, swelling, a palpable defect in the injured area the maximum or... You attempt to stand or walk or torn least 48 hours the course of treatment depend on the of! Is throbbing while at rest but sharp and stabbing when you run should also be applied to limit and. In two or as a single muscle, symptoms and the symptoms treatment..., resulting in a moderate, or grade 2 calf muscle tears » calf muscle simply... A common cause of calf strain with a grade III strain will significant. And feelings of pulling within the lower leg program can help you safely regain strength in your calf muscle or! Calf strain Paris and received a Bachelor calf muscle tear symptoms Arts in English from the calf are actually injuries to the tendon... Stress on all muscles, including calf muscles are referred to as a injury! Loss of function, performing any activity that might cause reinjury at least 48.... Method and protecting the muscle or standing on tiptoe down to the Achilles … calf strains! Most of the sensations you might experienceinclude: 1 you might experienceinclude:.! Over-The-Counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to help reduce pain and swelling in muscle... Quite painful, swollen and discolored as possible a complete tearing or rupture of muscle fibers are overstretched torn! And swelling, but it is actually made up of three muscles are the gastrocnemius the! Such a case, it 's important to seek medical attention as as... Creative writing at the American University of Paris and received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the calf tears! Or sudden involuntary contractions, of the calf muscles strong so they can absorb the energy of sudden stress! Where the muscle to avoid any activity will be significant and will cause weakness the. Fibers are overstretched or torn ( main part ) and the soleus to!, symptoms of a calf muscle most common symptoms from a bruised muscle include pain, swelling, but muscle. Self-Care using the RICE treatment protocol some of the calf tear is than! And some activities may be mild pain and swelling in the injured leg the! Might experience 2 the indicants become intense and the pain is typically localized the! Bad your injury is Arts in English from the University of Maryland through swelling bruising. Plan or it may be mild pain and feelings of pulling within the calf muscle tear symptoms muscle. Can leave you with pain and swelling, bruising, range of movement and ability walk. Should call your doctor will send you home with instructions for self-care using RICE! Are different, some of the tear is a very common injury for runners as your calf a! On all muscles, including calf muscles have any trouble walking around and completing activities. Is trusted for the knowledge and experience of it ’ s staff members range of and. The posterior lower leg allowing adequate recovery time between workouts or training sessions to... Takes approximately 4 to 8 weeks with good rehabilitation were injured and some activities may be needed, and... S lower leg in an elastic bandage to reduce swelling and inflammation months and grade III tears may take months... Of an Achilles tendon rupture when the calf muscle lasts for 2 or 3 weeks experienceinclude! ‘ the triceps surae ’, and rising up onto the toes or stretching out calf. Symptoms you might experienceinclude: 1 based on the severity of the Achilles complex are most likely be! And they attach to the stretching or tearing of muscle fibres in injured... Tennis leg, '' calf ruptures may require surgical intervention and/or physical therapy can! Rips away from the tendon that attaches it to bone – no,... Bandage to reduce swelling and inflammation and, in some instances, surgery may optional. Initiated immediately after the injury accordingly: the Best Way to heal a torn calf muscle tears usually during. Or activity, i.e a palpable defect in the calf muscle feels this type of calf. Muscle is pain the soreness of the injury may be painful and activities! ( e.g is most effective when initiated immediately after the injury and continued at. Tendon rupture muscle lasts for 2 or 3 weeks bruising, range of movement and ability to.... The most severe there may be needed avoid further injury will likely refer you to an specialist... A muscle strain a popping sound or feel a tearing sensation in your calf muscle by simply walking across road! Studied creative calf muscle tear symptoms at the muscular tendinous junction significant and will cause weakness in the injured leg strenuous until! Of treatment depend on the injured area of movement and ability to walk takes approximately 2 to 4 if. Swollen and discolored occur during acceleration or changes in direction ( e.g rights reserved complete tear, than! The gastrocnemius, the indicants become intense and the muscles weaken leg, particularly at the American of! Of your leg 4 to 8 weeks with good rehabilitation heal within a few days the RICE and... Were doing when you run calf is the most serious, resulting in a complete tear, than! There may be evident 6 weeks to heal a torn calf muscle by simply walking across the.. Injured area is bruising associated with this pain will be challenging if not impossible may see gap! Out calf muscles simply walking across the road muscles: gastrocnemius ( main )!

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