The calf muscles are comprised of two muscles that start right above the knee joint and conclude at the heel through tendon attachments. A strain to the tendons or muscles can lead to pain and even immobility in some cases. The popping sound or sensation experienced by the individual while climbing stairs can originate from soft tissue tears or ruptures. Mild calf pain and difficulty walking are common symptoms of this injury but the severity tend to differ. It is best to consult a doctor to determine the injury and the appropriate mode of treatment.
The calf muscles are essential to bipedal movement which allows the individual to walk as well as rising onto the toes. The larger muscle or gastrocnemius starts right above the knee joint while the soleus starts below the knee. The two muscles are connected to the heel through the Achilles tendon. Always remember that the calf is in control of plantar flexion or pointing the toes which is required to push the foot from the ground while moving. Additionally, the gastrocnemius also helps bend the leg at the knee.
What is a calf muscle strain?
A common injury to the calf is no other than a strain. A calf muscle strain can range from grade one to a grade three or complete rupture. In a grade one strain, there is minor pain in which a twinge is usually felt but movement is still possible. A grade two strain can cause a sharp pain that can lead to bruising, swelling and difficulty walking up or down the stairs. A grade three strain involves severe pain and immobility. The individual could not contract the muscles and they appear to form a visible knot beneath the skin.
What the popping sensation indicates
The popping sensation or sound in the calf muscle can indicate a tear. This injury is often accompanied by pain and bruising. A tear can involve the Achilles tendon and each contraction of the calf muscle; the Achilles tendon and the heel are pulled upwards. In most cases of an Achilles rupture, it is accompanied by pain and bruising, but mild discomfort and limited movement are also possible.
Diagnosis and treatment
It is important to consult a doctor in order to determine the exact cause of the symptoms. In most cases, an MRI is carried out to determine the extent of the injury. When it comes to the pain and swelling, the application of an ice pack can help reduce the inflammation. The individual must avoid activities that can worsen the symptoms. Additionally, gentle stretching of the calf muscles can reduce the tightness and improve the mobility. You can take up a class on first training in Victoria so that you are prepared to handle not just a calf muscle strain but other types of strains.