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. All Rights Reserved. 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. Gradually increasing the intensity and duration of training. Treatment for torn muscles typically includes immobilization or surgery followed by physical therapy. Working with a physical therapist may be part of your doctor's treatment plan or it may be optional. 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. Drinking water before, during and after play. Full recovery takes approximately 4 to 8 weeks with good rehabilitation. A person with a pulled calf muscle may experience muscle cramps, swelling, and redness. Problems walking or putting weight on the injured leg. How to Care for a Torn Calf Muscle. With a grade II strain, walking may be painful and some activities may be limited. There may be mild pain and swelling, but the muscle is otherwise in good condition with no loss of strength or function. Depending on the severity of the damage to the muscle, symptoms of a torn calf can vary. These muscles stretch from the calf down to the Achilles … Grade II tears can take two to three months and grade III tears may take several months. This method involves: RICE is most effective when initiated immediately after the injury and continued for at least 48 hours. 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). There is partial tearing of muscle fibres. Bruising. With a complete tear, your doctor will likely refer you to an orthopedic specialist for further treatment. With calf muscle tears, the muscles of the Achilles complex are most likely to be damaged. 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. Only a few muscle fibers are overstretched or torn. This will decrease stress on all muscles, including calf muscles. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 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). Arterial claudication Typically a torn calf muscle refers to a complete tear, rather than just a muscle strain. The symptoms don't really explain how a torn calf muscle feels. Common Sites of Muscle Tear. A calf muscle with a grade III strain will be quite painful, swollen and discolored. A grade II strain is a moderate injury. In addition to pain, symptoms that may accompany a bruised muscle include: Symptoms of a calf strain vary significantly depending on how bad your injury is. A muscle strain refers to the stretching or tearing of muscle fibers. The aim is to reduce the bleeding and damage in the muscle. Picture 3: Mallet finger (source: Wikimedia) 3) Torn calf muscle 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. 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. This will ensure decreased bleeding and swelling in the injured area. A correctly sized compression bandage should be applied to limit bleeding and swelling in the injured area. Pain that is throbbing while at rest but sharp and stabbing when you attempt to stand or walk. Symptoms of a gastrocnemius muscle tear. It is comprised of two muscles: gastrocnemius (main part) and the soleus. Know the causes, symptoms, treatment, recovery period and prevention of leg muscle tear or injury. Keeping calf muscles strong so they can absorb the energy of sudden physical stress. Jody Braverman is a professional writer and editor based in Atlanta. A grade III strain is the most serious, resulting in a complete tear. Torn Calf Muscle. Calf strain may be minor or very severe. Difficulty in contracting the muscle or standing on tiptoe. 2009;2(2):74-77. 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. Your recovery will depend on your individual injury. Even then, return to your former level of activity slowly. Copyright ©2019 sydneyphysiosolutions.com.au. 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). Symptoms. At the time of injury, you may hear a popping sound or feel a tearing sensation in your calf. The calf is the muscle component in the back of a person’s lower leg. Calf strain diagnosis quiz. 2009;2(2):74-7. doi:10.1007/s12178-009-9045-8. 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. Managing Director BSc (ExSci) MPT (Physio) DPT (Physio) CSCS APAM MSMA. With a grade I strain, you shouldn't have any trouble walking around and completing daily activities. Your calf muscle is referred to as a single muscle, but it is actually two separate muscles: the gastrocnemius and the soleus. What is a Calf Muscle Tear? 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 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. 3. She also received personal trainer certification from NASM and her 200-hour yoga teacher certification from YogaWorks. Grade 2 calf muscle injury. 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. Privacy Policy. The most common symptoms from a bruised muscle is pain. She studied creative writing at the American University of Paris and received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Maryland. * Elevation. tennis, squash). 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. This is the most severe calf strain with a complete tearing or rupture of muscle fibres in the lower leg. Sydney Physiotherapy Solutions is trusted for the knowledge and experience of it’s staff members. Typically there is bruising associated with this pain and normally the maximum tenderness or location of tear is higher than the bruised area. What Are the Treatments for Calf Muscle Pain? More muscle fibers are affected and the pain and swelling are more severe. In this case, it's important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Pain and swelling or bruising in the calf muscle. This can be caused by a sudden, abrupt movement or as a result of over use. These three muscles are the gastrocnemius, the soleus, and the plantaris. As this type of severe calf muscle tear results in complete loss of function, performing any activity will be challenging if not impossible. Leg Muscle Tear or Injury can also be called as Leg Muscle Strain. There may be mild pain and swelling, but the muscle is otherwise in good condition with no loss of strength or function. Pain or tenderness 2. A sign of a torn calf muscle is similar to that of an Achilles tendon rupture. 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. At the time of injury, you may hear a popping sound or feel a tearing sensation in your calf. Stretching out calf muscles before physical activity, i.e. Swelling 6. 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 … Dixon JB. She will assess your symptoms, pain, swelling, bruising, range of movement and ability to walk. We have two physiotherapy clinics in Sydney CBD. Symptoms of a torn calf muscle include pain, swelling, bruising and weakness or loss of function. Other symptoms include: Pain. Depending on the degree of bruising and swelling, a palpable defect in the muscle may be evident. The symptoms of a pulled calf muscle vary depending on … A partial tear of the calf muscle results in a moderate, or grade 2 calf muscle injury. Your doctor will want to know what you were doing when you were injured. If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately. The symptoms don't really explain how a torn calf muscle feels. If the tear is not complete, your doctor will send you home with instructions for self-care using the RICE treatment protocol. Calf muscle strains are graded from 1 to 3, with grade 3 being the most severe. Gastrocnemius vs. soleus strain: how to differentiate and deal with calf muscle injuries. A Leg Muscle Tear or Injury is said to occur whenever the leg muscle gets over-stretched or overused beyond its actual capacity. What are they symptoms of a calf muscle tear injury? If you visit her office, she may ask you to perform some physical tests to assess the degree of the tear and muscle function. calf raises. Limited motion 4. Allowing adequate recovery time between workouts or training sessions. It can come as a surprise to many, but there are actually three different muscles within the calf muscle, … This occurs as the muscle separates in two or as it rips away from the tendon that attaches it to bone. A torn calf muscle is experienced through swelling or bruising if the tear is severe. Calf strain symptoms. A Grade III strain is a complete rupture of the muscle body or tendon. You may see a gap or dent where the muscle is torn. Typically a torn calf muscle refers to a complete tear, rather than just a muscle strain. 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. A mild strain may feel more like an ache during or after exercise. A sudden pain at the back of the leg, particularly at the muscular tendinous junction. Full recovery can take 3-4 months and, in some instances, surgery may be needed. 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. A torn calf muscle is also known as a calf sprain. 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. Swelling. A physical therapy program can help you safely regain strength in your calf muscle and restore flexibility. 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. RICE protocol should be followed for 48–72 hours. Then you’ll experience pain, swelling or bruising in the calf muscle, and you’ll have difficulty walking properly or standing on your toes. A calf muscle with a grade III strain will be quite painful, swollen and discolored. 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. The immediate treatment of any soft tissue injury consists of the RICER protocol – rest, ice, compression, elevation and referral to a sports medicine professional. There may be some bruising as well as muscle weakness. tennis, squash). 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. 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. 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. The area around the injury may be tender, and rising up onto the toes or stretching out the calf may be painful. According to Harvard Health Publishing, mild muscle strains will heal within a few weeks 2. When one or both of these muscles are overstretched, the muscle fibers can tear, resulting in various symptoms, including pain and swelling. 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