Calf Injuries

Evastar

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With both gastrocnemius and soleus, chronic overuse tension can build up through micro-trauma and a large area, usually on the lateral aspect of the muscles can become congested before any painful symptoms occur. This can be due to bio-mechanical faults such as over-pronation, poor stretching, bad footwear. This chronic micro-trauma can lead to an acute strain of the muscle.
 

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Rupture of the Gastrocnemius Muscle

Ruptures of the calf usually occur where the Achilles tendon merges with the inner belly of the calf muscle. The injury occurs most frequently in impacting sports, jumping sports and acceleration/deceleration sports.


Signs and Symptoms

A sudden pain in the calf. The athlete may think he has been struck on the leg from behind.
Difficulty in contracting the calf muscle and walking on tiptoe
Local tenderness over the injured area
Effusion of blood in the region of the rupture
A gap may be felt in the muscle tissue over the injured area


Treatment

Immediately RICE up to 48 - 72 hours
If intramuscular haematoma suspected go to doctor
AFter 72 hours, sports massage therapy / physical therapy / physiotherapy


Healing

Return to training 3 - 8 weeks after a minor rupture
An untreated muscle rupture leads to scarring which carries with it the risk of a repeated rupture if the muscle is over exerted
 

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Rupture of the Soleus Muscle

On vigorous take-offs or jump-ups the soleus muscle deep in the calf can be overloaded and rupture. Such ruptures are usually partial.


Signs and Symptoms

Pain which is located deep down in the calf and recurs on repeated loading
Pain is triggered when attempting to walk on tiptoe
Deep local tenderness over the rupture
Bleeding and bruising (visible on the inner side of the upper and middle part of the shin)


Treatment

RICE 48 - 72 hours
Athlete may train after 1 week avoiding jumping or overloading muscle
Athlete should not return to his regular training until there is no further pain during movement
Sports massage therapy to include strength training and stretching exercises
 
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