Strained Muscle Calf Treatment
The initial treatment for a calf strain includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Usually, an elastic wrap will help to reduce swelling. Those with severe calf strains may require a splint, in order to keep the calf muscle still so that it can heal. After the initial swelling and pain has resolved, range of motion exercises and stretching will help restore full motion in the leg. Massage therapy may also help reduce pain and swelling. As heeling continues, physical therapy helps restore normal strength and balance.
Treatment for a calf strain includes:
- Rest the extremity:
- Avoid activities that cause pain
- Leg elevation
- Elastic wrap
- Cold compresses:
- Apply for the first 72 hours following injury
- Apply for 20 minutes at a time, 2 to 3 times per day
- Warm compresses:
- Do not apply until at least 72 hours following injury
- Early range of motion exercises and gentle stretching
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain:
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, NeoProfen)
- Ketoprofen (Actron, Orudis, Oruvail)
- Naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, Aleve)
- Narcotic pain medication:
- For moderate to severe pain
- For short term use only
- Massage therapy for calf strain
- Physical therapy for calf strain
Strained Muscle Calf Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of a calf strain.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- Is surgery an option for me?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- Do I need to stay in the hospital?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Do I need to change my diet?
- Do I need to lose weight?
- Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
- When can I resume my normal activities?
- When can I return to work?
- Do I need a special exercise program?
- Will I need physical therapy?
- Will I need occupational therapy?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk for having this injury again?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Strained Muscle Calf Specialist
Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat a calf strain:
Continue to Strained Muscle Calf Home Care
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- Beiner JM, Jokl P. Muscle contusion injury and myositis ossificans traumatica. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2002 Oct;(403 Suppl):S110-9. 
- Kirkendall DT, Garrett WE Jr. Clinical perspectives regarding eccentric muscle injury. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2002 Oct;(403 Suppl):S81-9. 
- Russell GV Jr, Pearsall AW 4th, Caylor MT, Nimityongskul P. Acute compartment syndrome after rupture of the medial head of the gastrocnemius muscle. South Med J. 2000 Feb;93(2):247-9.