Osteopathy for calf strains

calf pain

Osteopathy for calf strains

The calf refers to the group in the lower half of the leg that has the function of pointing the feet and toes, supporting the arch of the foot and enabling movement. A calf strain occurs when one or more of these muscles are torn and become painful and inflamed.

Calf strains may result due to overuse and overstrain of the muscle and can occur as microtears to some of the muscle fibers, with the bulk of the muscle tissue remaining intact. Severe strains can tear the muscle fibers and can even cause a complete tear in the muscle. It is popular for calf strains to occur within the gastrocnemius, soleus, and plantaris muscles of the calf or at the junction of where the calf muscles and Achilles’ tendon meet (approximately halfway between the knee and the heel).

Calf strains commonly present as an onset of acute pain when running or jumping, especially if the muscles are tight and not correctly stretched. Weight-bearing on the leg can be very painful, swelling and bruising will also be evident at the calf. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may also develop a limp.

Diagnosis of a calf strain can be classified into 1 of 3 grades, because there are different degrees of tears that can occur in the muscle and different muscles that can be injured. Thus, it is important for you to get the correct diagnosis and treatment plan.

Classification of Calf Tears:

Grade 1: Sharp pain at the time of injury but you are usually able to continue with the activity, with a minimal loss of strength and/or range of movement. Some spasm and swelling may occur, with a mild localised pain and tenderness to the injured area. Grade 1 tears usually cause about 10% muscle damage. Has a typical recovery period of 1 to 10 days.

Grade 2: Sharp pain will occur at the time of the injury with you being unable to continue with any activity. A clear loss of strength and range of movement will occur. With 10 – 50% damage caused to the muscle. Has a typical recovery period of 4 to 8 weeks.

Grade 3: Immediate severe pain and disability with a complete loss of muscle function and over a 50% tear and damage to the muscle. Has a typical recovery period of up to 3 to 4 months.


Regardless of the degree of the injury, the price method should be followed for the first 3 to 5 days after the occurrence of the injury.

Protection:      Protect the area from further damage.
Rest:                Rest the ankle by avoiding activities that cause pain, swelling and discomfort.
Ice:                  Place an icepack on the injured area for 15 – 20 minutes and repeat every 2 – 3 hours.
Compression:  Compress the ankle with an elastic bandage until the swelling stops, be careful not to stop blood flow.

Elevation:       Elevate the ankle to a level above the heart as gravity will assist in draining the excess fluids.

Osteopathy has a holistic approach to diagnosing, treating and preventing health problems. Osteopathy focuses on the musculoskeletal system (comprising of the bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and tissues of the body) and is a complimentary form of treatment that can be used alongside other forms such as physiotherapy.
Once a diagnosis has been made, your osteopath will create a suitable stretching, strengthening and conditioning programme for you. Other techniques such as massage and lymph drainage will be used to reduce the swelling. Passive movement techniques are needed to increase mobility and reduce the formation of scar tissue. An assessment of surrounding joints including knee, ankle, foot and hip will also be done to ensure there were no other predisposing causes for the calf strain or secondary injuries from the strain.

At OsteoVision, our practitioners are highly skilled in treating wide range of conditions. Please contact us if you would like to discuss your symptoms, book an appointment, or require more information about calf strains and its treatment.

Call: 03303 904 300

Email: info@osteovision.life

You can also book an appointment online at www.osteovision.life