- 1 Why do my calves hurt after working out
- 2 Should I workout if my calves are sore
- 3 How long do calf aches last
- 4 Does calf soreness mean muscle growth
- 5 Should I skip a workout if I’m sore
- 6 Do calf muscles recover fast
- 7 Should I massage a calf strain
- 8 How long should you rest your calves
- 9 What exercise is good for calf pain
Why do my calves hurt after working out
1. Exercise – If you’re an active person, your source of sore calves is probably delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS), caused by intense activity. DOMS tends to peak a day after your workout, lasting up to 48 hours. “Sore calves generally come from overuse, muscle strains, inflammation, or compensations,” Braun says.
Should I workout if my calves are sore
– In most cases, gentle recovery exercises like walking or swimming are safe if you’re sore after working out. They may even be beneficial and help you recover faster. But it’s important to rest if you’re experiencing symptoms of fatigue or are in pain.
How long does sore calf last?
Calf strains: Symptoms and Management What is a calf strain and how can it happen? A strain refers to an injured muscle or tendon that has partially or completely torn. A calf injury is most often caused during sports where you need to push off with your foot quickly for a sudden burst of speed.
- The sudden movement can stretch the muscle beyond its normal limits.
- This can happen suddenly or over time.
- Various sports such as rugby, football, tennis, baseball, soccer, dancing and even simple running are impacted by calf muscle strain injuries.
- Calf strains are common muscle injuries that if not managed appropriately can result in re-injury and prolonged recovery.
The calf muscles: The “calf” refers to the muscles on the posterior aspect of the lower leg. It is composed of three muscles: the gastrocnemius, the soleus and the plantaris. • Gastrocnemius muscle : Main function is plantar flexion of the ankle joint in conjunction with the soleus and the plantaris which provides the propelling force seen when walking.
- • Soleus muscle : Main function is stabilizing the tibia on the calcaneus limiting forward sway while helping the gastrocnemius with plantar flexion.
- • Plantaris muscle : Acts with the gastrocnemius and the soleus as both a flexor of the knee and a plantar-flexor of the ankle.
- These muscles come together to form the achilles tendon and all three muscles insert into the calcaneus.
- How can a calf strain present?
- Patients may feel pain depending on which muscle has being strained:
- Gastrocnemius strain: Can present as a sudden sharp pain or tearing sensation at the back of the lower leg. Patients often report an audible or palpable “pop” in the medial aspect of the posterior calf and tenderness to touch at the point of injury. Swelling and bruising may appear within hours or days of the injury. During examination stretching of the muscle and resisted plantarflexion will reproduce pain.
- Soleus strain: Tend to be less dramatic in clinical presentation and more subacute when compared to injuries of the gastrocnemius. This injury causes pain when activating the calf muscle. On examination stretching the Achilles tendon, walking on tip-toe or applying pressure at the calf muscle aggravates pain.
- Plantaris strain: Injury to the plantaris muscle can present with similar clinical features as those of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscle. Depending on the extent of the injury, the individual may be able to continue exercising although they will have some discomfort and/or tightness during or after activity.
- Typical symptoms for all strains are stiffness, discoloration and bruising around the strained muscle.
- Grading of strains:
- Muscle strains are graded from I to III, with grade III being the most severe.
- Grade I: Partial stretch or tearing of a few muscle fibers. The muscle is mildly tender and painful, but maintains its normal strength. Leg use is not limited, and walking is normal. Average time to return to sports activities is 10 – 12 days.
- Grade II: Moderate stretch or tearing of muscle fibers. The muscle is tender with pain and loss of strength. Sometimes bruising will occur. Leg use is limited and limping when walking is common. Average time to return to sports activities is 16 – 21 days.
- Grade III: Severe tear of the muscle fibers. This can include a complete muscle tear. Bruising and swelling develops within hours of injury. Sometimes a “dent” is noticeable beneath the skin where the muscle is torn. Leg use is extremely difficult and putting weight on the leg is very painful. On examination a positive Thomson’s test may reveal an Achilles tendon rupture. Average time to return to sports activities is up to 6 months if the injury requires surgery.
At the physician’s office: A doctor can diagnose a pulled calf muscle by carrying out a physical examination, during which they will check for swelling, bruising, and redness. They may also ask the person to describe any recent changes to their regular physical activity routine.
Many doctors use Ultrasound imaging to determine the extent of damage and X-rays to asses for fractures or calcifications. They may also use imaging techniques such as MRIs to gather soft tissue detail and assess the severity of the injury. What is the treatment? Treatment depends on the severity of the muscle strain.
The following treatments may provide symptom relief:
- Ice and heat therapy: People can use a cold compress to reduce inflammation and relieve muscle pain during the first 2 days. After 2 or 3 days, you can try alternating cold with heat. (Do not go to sleep with a heating pad on your skin.)
- Wraps and bandages: Wrapping the injured calf in an elastic bandage or compression sock can help prevent swelling and inflammation.
- Elevation of the injured leg: Try to keep it above the level of your heart. This will help reduce swelling.
- Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers: People can take a pain reliever, such as ibuprofen or naproxen to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
- Physical Therapy/Exercise: Some patients respond well to certain exercises.The goals of physical therapy are to improve strength, function, and stability.
- Surgery: Most calf strains will not require surgery and tend to recover well with physical therapy.
Physical Therapy Exercises: Physical therapists treat people with calf strains by reducing pain, restoring muscle strength, restoring muscle flexibility, and increasing recovery speed. Some exercises that aim to strength these muscles are:
- Chair stretches: Sitting in a stable chair, bend and straighten the knee of your affected leg.
- Wall stretches: Face a wall and put your arms out so your hands are firmly against the wall at shoulder level. Straighten your affected leg with your heel pressed firmly into the ground. Then step your other leg forward so it’s at a 90-degree angle. Repeat the process as often as you feel comfortable throughout the day.
- Floor stretches: Sit on the floor with your affected leg straight. Flex your foot and set your heel firmly into the floor. Gently press your toes towards you for 5 seconds in this position.
- Standing stretches. Grip the back of a sturdy chair and lift yourself on the balls of your feet for 5 seconds. Patient can repeat this exercise up to twice a day.
What is the recovery and prognosis? Recovery and prognosis will depend on the extent of the injury. In the less severe cases it usually takes up to three days for a pulled calf muscle to start feeling better. In the most severe cases that don’t require surgery a full recovery may take up to six weeks.
- In the case that the injury requires surgery the recovery period may extend up to six months to a full year.
- Most people who have a pulled calf muscle will not need surgery.
- Promt treatment is important for your overall recovery.
- While it may be difficult to rest your affected leg for a few days, moving around too soon can make the muscle strain worse.
There’s also a risk for a recurring calf muscle strain within one to two weeks of the initial injury. Allowing yourself enough recovery time is critical to your calf muscle treatment. Once you’ve had a pulled calf muscle, you’re at much greater risk for getting another strain of this type in the future.
- Warming up for at least five minutes before exercise
- Stretching your legs before exercising
- Cooling down for five minutes after you work out
- Stretching your muscles again for five minutes after you’ve cooled down
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If your cough lasts for weeks without relief, you might have a chronic cough. Lifestyle medicine physician, Andrea Espinoza, MD, FCCP, at OCSM can help. If you suffer an injury while playing sports or participating in physical activity, sports medicine rehabilitation can speed up the healing process and lower your risk of future complications.
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How long do calf aches last
Most leg cramps occur in the calf muscles and, less commonly, in the feet and thighs. Cramps can last from a few seconds up to 10 minutes. Thigh muscle cramps tend to last the longest. During a cramping episode, the affected muscles will become tight and painful and the feet and toes will be stiff.
Why are my calves so sore 2 days after working out?
Delayed-onset muscle soreness is caused by microscopic muscle damage. It’s perfectly normal—and most common after taking time off or trying something new.
Should I stretch my sore calves?
Tightness in these muscles can cause soreness and pain. People may develop tight calf muscles as a result of overactivity or insufficient stretching. Calf stretches can help relieve associated soreness and pain.
Does calf soreness mean muscle growth
Muscle damage is vital to muscle growth. Muscle soreness is a reliable indicator of muscle damage. Hence, muscle soreness is associated with muscle growth.
How do you stretch sore calves?
While holding on to a chair, keep one leg back with your knee straight and your heel flat on the floor. Slowly bend your elbows and front knee and move your hips forward until you feel a stretch in your calf. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds. Switch leg positions and repeat with your other leg.
Should I skip a workout if I’m sore
Exercising When Your Body Is Sore – If you continue your usual exercise regimen even when you’re sore, you’re not giving your muscles enough time to heal. In fact, pushing yourself during a bout of soreness can eventually lead to an overuse injury. Overall, you’re at risk of causing harm to your body by not resting.
For those trying to get in shape or lose weight through exercise, there’s no need to worry. If you’re experiencing muscle soreness, you may need only two or three days of rest. Another option is to alternate your workouts to avoid overusing certain muscle groups. For example, if your upper body is sore, work out your lower body the next time you exercise instead.
This will allow you to stay on track and not derail your progress.
Do calf muscles recover fast
The best way to recover from a torn calf muscle is by protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation (PRICE). If treated properly, it can take up to three weeks to heal Grade 1 calf pulls, four to six weeks to heal Grade 2 muscle strains, and three to four months to heal Grade 3 tears.
Can’t walk on calves after workout?
DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS is the pain and soreness individuals experience after a strenuous workout. It usually appears almost 24 to 72 hours after exercise. This usually occurs if you’ve just begun or restarted exercising after a long period of inactivity.
It can also happen if you overexert your muscles. Because it can appear almost two days after your workout it is called delayed onset muscle soreness and is often confused for a muscle tear. What does DOMS feel like? Your calf muscle will feel cramped. It will feel weak and the pain may be a dull throb that doesn’t go away.
Dehydration can worsen DOMS. Keeping up hydration can therefore help. However, as you exercise and the muscles adapt to the added stress, it will decrease with time.
Should I massage a calf strain
Acute muscle strains – Massage should not be applied to recent muscle strains. During the first 24 to 72 hours following a calf strain applying massage will make your injury worse, increase bleeding and prevent healing. How long the acute stage lasts will depend on how bad your injury is,
How long should you rest your calves
– In total, it usually takes up to three days for a pulled calf muscle to start feeling better. But a full recovery may take up to six weeks, according to Oxford University Hospitals, Severe swelling can make any pain and discomfort last a bit longer.
What exercise is good for calf pain
Put your affected leg about a step behind your other leg. Keeping your back leg straight and your back heel on the floor, bend your front knee and gently bring your hip and chest toward the wall until you feel a stretch in the calf of your back leg. Hold the stretch for at least 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 2 to 4 times.
Why are my calves still sore after 4 days?
How sore is too sore? – Sometimes, sore feels really sore. Like, too-sore-to-exercise sore. “As mentioned, movement is actually a great way to help relieve sore muscles, so you don’t need to skip your workout just because you’re sore. In fact, light exercise will actually help get your blood flowing and reduce your symptoms,” says Murray.
- But what about when sore feels too sore ? Is there even such a thing? “Typically, muscle soreness peaks around day three and starts diminishing afterwards.
- If your soreness persists beyond three days, it means you overdid it — you pushed your muscles a little too hard.
- But, prolonged muscle soreness can also be a sign of an injury,” warns Murray.
If your soreness persists beyond three days and is accompanied by pain that’s sharp, limits your range of mobility or affects your gait, it might be more than muscle soreness and warrant evaluation by a sports medicine doctor. “The only time soreness means that you should approach exercise with caution is if your pain is more indicative of a serious injury than it is of exercise-induced soreness,” says Murray.
What does a calf strain feel like?
How Does It Feel? – With a calf strain, you may experience:
Sharp pain in the back of the lower leg. The pain can resolve quickly or last for a while. Throbbing pain at rest, with sharp stabs of pain when you try to stand or walk. A feeling of tightness, tenderness, or weakness in the calf area. Spasms (a gripping or severe tightening in the calf muscle). Sharp pain in the back lower leg when trying to stretch or move the ankle or knee. A pulling sensation at the time of injury. A “snapping” or “popping” sound at the time of injury.
Why is my calf hurting so much?
Why Does My Calf Muscle Hurt? Medically Reviewed by on July 24, 2020 There’s a group of muscles on the back of each lower leg that doctors call “calf muscles.” They play a key role in helping you walk and run. Lots of things can make them hurt, from a minor sprain to more serious problems like deep vein thrombosis. If you work your calf muscle too much, you can get a sudden pain in your leg. A muscle cramp can also happen if you hold a position too long or haven’t had enough water to drink. Most cramps are harmless and improve if you massage yourself, do gentle stretching, and apply a warm towel or heating pad. Stretch too far or put too much pressure on your calf, and you can strain your muscle. If so, you’ll have a dull ache that worsens when you move. Swelling, redness, or a bruise are also common, and it may hurt to rise up on your toes. Rest and ice can help. Your Achilles tendon connects your calf muscle to your heel bone. If it gets injured, you’ll feel an ache in the back of your leg that’s worse after you’re active. Your calf could also feel stiff and sore in the morning. Achilles tendinitis often improves with treatment called RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). If not, your doctor may suggest physical therapy. Fluid inside your knee helps it move smoothly, but an injury or arthritis can cause too much to build up in the back of your knee. If you have a Baker’s cyst, you’ll notice swelling and may not be able to straighten your knee. Swelling and redness can also spread to your calf. If the sciatic nerve in your lower back gets pinched or inflamed, you’ll feel a burning pain down one, or both, of your legs. Sciatica pain can come and go. It may also get worse after you stand or sit for a while. Ice packs, applied 20 minutes at a time, can help, as can over-the-counter pain medicine. Inside your legs are pockets of muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. Excessive activity, like too much running, can cause bleeding or swelling inside them. If you have chronic compartment syndrome, a pressure buildup inside your muscles causes your blood flow to go down. If you stand or walk a lot, the pressure on your legs can cause varicose veins in one or both calves. These thick, bulging veins can cause pain, burning, swelling, and itching. Compression stockings can help. So can movement and exercise, which help pump blood from the calf. Sometimes, a blood clot forms deep inside your leg. If so, your calf may ache and feel warm. The skin may also look red. Obesity can put you at risk for DVT. So can pregnancy, smoking, and sitting for long amounts of time. If a clot in your leg breaks loose, it can travel to your lungs and cause severe issues, so if you notice any of these symptoms, contact your doctor right away. Calf pain can be a sign that your leg muscles aren’t getting enough blood. If you have a problem called claudication, your legs will hurt when you’re active, and your feet, thighs, hips, and bottom may also ache. Your doctor can run tests to see how well blood flows to your lower limbs.
Some types of medicine can help ease symptoms and prevent other problems. Talk to your doctor about getting regular exercise to ease the pain. The most common cause of this problem is spinal stenosis – a narrowing of spaces in your spine that puts pressure on nerves. You can have pain, tingling, or cramps in your legs, as well as your hips and bottom.
It could get worse when you stand or walk, but will stop if you sit or lean forward. If you have neurogenic claudication, you may need surgery to ease the pressure on your nerves Up to half of all people with diabetes get nerve damage. Peripheral neuropathy, which is caused by frequent high blood sugar, can bring numbness, pain, weakness, and a burning feeling in your legs.
You may feel it in your feet, arms, and hands, too. Since you may start to lose your balance or find it hard to walk, your doctor can prescribe medicine to treat the pain. Physical therapy can improve your strength. Your shin bone (tibia) helps you bear weight in your lower leg. The bone that runs beside it is your fibula.
If either breaks or cracks, your calf may be tender, swollen, or bruised. Walking may be painful, and your lower leg may look shorter than it should. Your doctor may set the bones together and put on a cast to keep them in place while they heal. Although it’s not common, germs sometimes get into your bones and cause an infection, known as osteomyelitis.
IMAGES PROVIDED BY:1) ibrakovic / Getty Images2) KeremYucel / Getty Images3) Tom Merton / Getty Images4) Medical Body Scans / Science Source5) Dr P. Marazzi / Science Source6) wildpixel / Getty Images7) Brian Evans / Science Source8) Fertnig / Getty Images9) Molly Borman / Science Source10) Living Art Enterprises / Science Source11) WebMD12) nebari / Getty Images13) Sutthaburawonk / Getty Images14) KATERYNA KON / Science SourceSOURCES:Mayo Clinic: “Muscle Cramp,” “Achilles Tendinitis,” “Baker’s Cyst,” “Osteomyelitis,” “Deep Vein Thrombosis,” “Claudication,” “Broken Leg,” “Varicose Vein,” “Spinal stenosis.”OrthoInfo/American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: “Compartment Syndrome.”Cleveland Clinic: “Sciatica,” “Sciatica: Management and Treatment.”NHS Trust/Oxford University Hospitals: “Calf Strain Advice: Information for Patients.”National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: “Peripheral Neuropathy.”Columbia Neurological Surgery: “Neurogenic Claudication,” “Treatments for Neurogenic Claudication.”
: Why Does My Calf Muscle Hurt?
Does calf soreness mean muscle growth?
Muscle damage is vital to muscle growth. Muscle soreness is a reliable indicator of muscle damage. Hence, muscle soreness is associated with muscle growth.
Should my calves hurt after leg day?
After the Workout – Post-workout is when the dreaded soreness becomes a reality and while you can take preemptive steps to help minimize the post-workout soreness, there is no way to completely avoid it. Within the first 48 hours following leg day, you will most likely experience delayed onset muscle soreness ( DOMS ) in the muscles of your legs which may make it hard to walk, sit, or extend your legs.