Calf strains are synonymous with running sports and activities. The "calf muscle" usually refers to the large muscle that sit on the back of your lower leg, called the gastrocnemius muscle, however there are three muscles that make up the calf muscle complex. The gastrocnemius is the most prominate muscle of the calf, often accentuated in dancers and sprinters. The soleus muscle sits below and underneath the gastrocnemius, close to the back surface of the shin bone. Finally there is a very small muscle, plantaris which assists the other two muscles in bending your knee and pointing your foot.
A strain to the calf can result in a cramp-like feeling or a tearing sensation, which can result in localised swelling and possible bruising to the area. This can make going up and down stairs difficult, walking up an incline and general weight-bearing activities painful.
Treatment typically involves a combination of manaul therapy and exercise based rehabilitation to reduce pain and inflammation, restore normal movement and function and get you fit to return to sport and activity, with a strong focus on prevention of recurrence.
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