torn calf muscle symptoms

Copyright © 2020 Leaf Group Ltd., all rights reserved. The pain is felt at the back of the lower section of the leg. Your recovery will depend on your individual injury. Typically a torn calf muscle refers to a complete tear, rather than just a muscle strain. Ice packs or compress: following immediate strain/tear, 10-15 minutes. A severe muscle strain is when the muscle is severely torn. Pain or tenderness 2. There may be tea-colored urine or an irregular heartbeat. 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). Symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the 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. Pain at rest. Even if you have not spoken to your doctor yet, you can begin RICE until your doctor gives you further instructions. In this case, it's important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Pain and swelling or bruising in the calf muscle. Gastrocnemius vs. soleus strain: how to differentiate and deal with calf muscle injuries. Calf muscle strains are graded from 1 to 3, with grade 3 being the most severe. 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. Redness or bruising 3. Your doctor will want to know what you were doing when you were injured. Most common and in the 30-50-year-old age range, these injuries can be surprisingly uncomfortable. Typically there is bruising associated with this pain and normally the maximum tenderness or location of tear is higher than the bruised area. Local muscle swelling, black and blue discoloration or both 3. Grade 1 symptoms include a cramping sensation, tightness, and slight pain when the calf muscles … Plantarflexion involves the extension of the ankle joint so the foot points down and away from the leg. Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine. Go to Calf strain diagnosis tool. Because the calf muscles cross two joints (ankle and knee), there is a higher risk of strain and tears, most likely during running activities. The calf also consists of the smaller muscles, the soleus, which is a small flat muscle that lies directly beneath the gastrocnemius muscles. Grade I: Anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks following proper physical therapy and treatment. 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. Symptoms of a torn calf muscle include pain, swelling, bruising and weakness or loss of function. ➜ With the passage of time, inflammation may occur. Small micro-tears or a more severe, complete rupture may occur. A calf tear is a very common injury for runners as your calf performs a fast and large contraction when you run. Symptoms of a gastrocnemius muscle tear. These muscles stretch from the calf down to the Achilles tendon … A grade III strain is the most serious, resulting in a complete tear. The symptoms don't really explain how a torn calf muscle feels. A medial gastrocnemius strain (MGS) is a specific type of injury to the calf muscle in the back of the leg. A muscle tear, however, involves a ripping of a muscle or tendon, with complete separation of muscle fibers. Calf Muscle Tear Although it is extremely painful, calf muscle tears occur often, especially to men ages 40 to 60. There may be mild pain and swelling, but the muscle is otherwise in good condition with no loss of strength or function. Injuries that occur during physical activity can be as minor as a sprain, an abrasion or small laceration. A calf strain occurs when the muscle in the back of the leg sustains this type of injury. 2. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. When one or both of these muscles are overstretched, the muscle fibers can tear, resulting in various symptoms, including pain and swelling. Breathing is an essential part of improving your performance as an athlete. Nevertheless, strains and tears can both cause discomfort for an individual, but the severity of each is very clear cut. If you visit her office, she may ask you to perform some physical tests to assess the degree of the tear and muscle function. Torn muscle or muscle strain refers to a partial or complete rupture of the fibers of the muscle, causing pain or inability to move a particular part of the body. Signs and symptoms will vary, depending on the severity of the injury, and may include: 1. The recovery times for calf tears are as follows: To prevent the pain and set back of a torn calf, taking actions ahead of physical activity will help you maintain performance and avoid a long recovery period. Swelling 6. Either a decrease in muscle strength or (in a Grade III strain) a complete loss of muscle function 4. Your recovery will depend on your individual injury. Although all injuries are different, some of the sensations you might experienceinclude: 1. These 3 muscles are referred to as ‘the triceps surae’, and they attach to the Achilles tendon. A torn muscle in the calf describes a serious muscle injury that causes muscle tissue in the back of your leg to tear away from tendons. Muscle weakness Especially if you heard or felt a pop at the time of injury, you should call your doctor right away. For example leaping up a step, a sudden change in direction or a sudden acceleration (sprint training) A calf tear … Spasms, or sudden involuntary contractions, of the calf muscle. It is comprised of two muscles: gastrocnemius (main part) and the soleus. The primary functions of the calf muscles are plantarflexion at the ankle joint and flexion at the knee joint. The torn calf muscle may also show signs of bruising in your lower leg behind the knee. You may see a gap or dent where the muscle is torn. During a muscle strain, the muscle tissue fibers disengage and separate slightly. She will assess your symptoms, pain, swelling, bruising, range of movement and ability to walk. By introducing a proper routine of warmups, stretches, and recovery techniques, a tear would be less likely to occur and in turn, be less worrisome for you as an athlete. An excessive strain can tear this tissue so that any strength imparted by cohesion of the muscle fibers is lost. Depending on the degree of bruising and swelling, a palpable defect in the muscle may be evident. During the physical exam, your doctor will check for swelling and points of tenderness. Mild muscle strain can cause pain that feels similar to post-workout soreness. Pain usually increases when you move the muscle, but it is relieved by rest. The symptoms of a pulled calf muscle vary depending on the severity of the injury. 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. 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. Grade III: Even without surgical intervention, recovery time for a complete tear of the calf muscle can be 3 to 4 months. However, it is common to experience the following symptoms: Other symptoms include: Pain. Functional Movement for the Soleus. Limited motion 4. Symptoms of muscle strain include: 1. All muscle strains and tears are typically graded on the severity and damage of the muscle. Some other symptoms of calf tears include: Whether you’re suffering from a mild strain to a full-blown tear, treatment afterward is key to your recovery. 2. She studied creative writing at the American University of Paris and received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Maryland. She also received personal trainer certification from NASM and her 200-hour yoga teacher certification from YogaWorks. Read more: The Best Way to Heal a Torn Calf Muscle. Symptoms If … While fractures are more traumatic and not necessarily as common, muscle tears and strains can be wildly more common in endurance training like running, sprinting, etc. If you develop sudden pain in your calf muscle during activity, it very well may be due to a torn or pulled calf muscle. A calf muscle strain occurs when the muscle fibers in the calf tear either partially or … Muscle strain. A grade II strain is a moderate injury. It is usually, but not always, due to a change in force or stress on your leg. A severe tear in the calf muscle may even prevent you from walking at all. With a more severe strain, you will feel a sudden sharp pain at the back of the lower leg at the time of injury. Grade II tears can take two to three months and grade III tears may take several months. A pulled calf muscle is quite painful, and there may be bruising and swelling. Elevation- elevating calf above your heart to limit blood flow to the area, reducing painful throbbing. Muscle swelling, discoloration or both 3. There may be mild pain and swelling, but the muscle is otherwise in good condition with no loss of strength or function. Your doctor will examine your leg and calf muscles, ask questions about your lifestyle and how you might have injured it, and maybe even take X-rays of your lower leg (to rule out a fracture of the tibia and fibula bones). Physical therapy- in more severe cases, calf tears need to be rehabilitated with exercises focusing on regaining strength and flexibility of the muscles. Swelling is typically mild; however, even the simple movements of walking and jogging will likely provoke and exacerbate the symptoms. * Elevation. While the terms strain and tear are used interchangeably, they reflect different states of damage to the muscle. The severity of these strains and tears are determined to be one of three grades: Tears within the calf usually involve the gastrocnemius and soleus, commonly occurring along the medial head of the gastric. However, like most injuries, there are steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of a calf tear. 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. Mild pain may be felt at the time of injury or may not develop until after activity has stopped. Some helpful tips to prevent calf tears include: Doing movements to get the lower extremities moving 5-10 minutes before activity. When you strain a muscle, the tissue and its fibers are overstretched, usually without tearing. Difficulty walking 5. Grade II: Typically, 3 to 6 weeks for full recovery. Follow us on social media for the latest trends and activities. Muscle cramp or spasm 4. If you develop calf pain that won't go away after a few days, then schedule an appointment with your family physician. Bruising. This occurs as the muscle separates in two or as it rips away from the tendon that attaches it to bone. 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). 2009;2(2):74-77. Typically a torn calf muscle refers to a complete tear, rather than just a muscle strain. 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). Physical therapy, strengthening, and treatment need to be heavily utilized. Mechanism of injury and symptoms of a calf muscle tear: A calf tear happens suddenly. Tears of the calf muscles are typically seen in baseball, soccer, tennis, and even running. Symptoms may include muscle pains, weakness, vomiting, and confusion. Muscle Strain Symptoms. Injury to the calf muscle can occur during athletic activities. This may be accompanied by a popping sound or sensation at the time of injury. 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. Torn calf muscles are a common injury linked to physical activity. Although all injuries are different, some of the sensations you might experience include: Read more: What Are the Treatments for Calf Muscle Pain? These muscles are the lateral (outside) and medial (inside) heads of the gastrocnemius. Jody Braverman is a professional writer and editor based in Atlanta. Some of the muscle breakdown products, such as the protein myoglobin, are harmful to the kidneys and may lead to kidney failure.. What Causes Pain to the Back of Your Ankle & Heel When You Walk? In extreme tears, a noticeable deformity in the muscle belly can be observed. A calf muscle with a grade III strain will be quite painful, swollen and discolored. Muscle spasms 5. Muscle pain and tenderness, especially after an activity that stretches or violently contracts the muscle. This pain will build as you continue your activity and there may be obvious swelling and inflammation. A muscle strain refers to the stretching or tearing of muscle fibers. With calf muscle tears, the muscles of the Achilles complex are most likely to be damaged. The gastrocnemius and soleus muscles extend down the back of the lower leg, forming the Achilles tendon behind the heel/ankle joint. Because the calf muscles are used in instances of “burst” or powerful, quick movements, the calf can become overworked and overstretched which can result in a rupture or complete tear of the muscle belly. Baker’s Cyst. Calf problems - Muscle, bone and joint injuries | NHS inform ➜ The first sign of a torn calf muscle is a sudden outbreak of pain. This is called a calf strain, or a calf pull, and it's a common injury, especially in athletes These muscles include hamstrings, quadriceps, and the smaller muscles; the gastrocnemius, or the calf muscle. “I want to show more than 50 seconds out of 4 years of hard work”, Get Fit during the Holidays with this Christmas Workout, Runner’s Heart: Causes, Risks and Health Advice for Athlete Runners. With a grade II strain, walking may be painful and some activities may be limited. 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