Sore calf muscle: How is it managed?

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A sore calf muscle can be brought about by various conditions and injuries. This muscle is positioned on the rear part of the lower leg. The calf muscle can end up pulled or strained due to overuse, engaging in strenuous physical activity or sustaining a direct strike to the leg.

The seriousness of a sore calf muscle tends to vary from minor to severe, but the symptoms generally involve weakness, pain or tenderness of the muscle.

Apply an ice pack or cold compress on the calf muscle. The application should be done at 15-minute sessions every 4 hours.

Measures in caring for a sore calf muscle

  • Allow the affected leg to rest. If the individual has a sore calf muscle, he/she should avoid using the muscle. It is recommended to take a break from exercise or other physical activities or until the calf muscle has fully recuperated.
  • Apply an ice pack or cold compress on the calf muscle. The application should be done at 15-minute sessions every 4 hours. The cold works by reducing the swelling in the muscle.
  • Wrap the calf muscle for added support if necessary. If the muscles are severely sore, utilize crutches or a cane so that the individual can continue to walk while at the same time allowing the muscle to rest.
  • Over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be given if needed. Make sure that the dosage instructions are carefully followed.
  • Apply a heating pad or warm compress on the calf muscle once the swelling has settled. Take note that heat is beneficial after the individual has returned to normal activity. The application should be done several times throughout the day particularly before the muscle is used or stretched.
  • The individual should start a stretching routine with emphasis on the calf muscle once the soreness has settled.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on a sore calf muscle is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage the injury, register for a first aid and CPR course with Victoria First Aid.

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