A torn calf muscle can cause a lot of pain but it is not a big deal in most cases. Nevertheless, it will take some time and patience before it can properly heal. If you suspect that an individual has a torn calf muscle, it must be assessed by a doctor to ensure that it is not actually a severe injury. It is important to provide appropriate first aid care and treatment immediately in order to hasten the healing process.
How to treat a calf muscle that is torn
- Instruct the individual to stop the activity right away. If the individual complains about pain, popping sound in the calf, pulling sensation, any activity must be stopped. If not, it will only aggravate the injury.
- As a first aid measure, apply ice or a cold compress over the affected area that is causes a lot of pain. You can wrap the ice in a damp towel before applying it on the skin to prevent it from becoming cold too quickly. The ice is applied for 20 minute intervals, allowing the affected area with a 20 minute break between the sessions. Continue to apply ice to minimize the swelling for the initial 48 hours if needed.
- The calf must be wrapped by using an elastic bandage in a light yet firm manner. This will help minimize the swelling and can ease the pain. Avoid wrapping the calf too loosely but establish gentle pressure on the area. Make sure that the wrap will not increase the pain experienced by the individual.
- The affected area must be elevated by using a pillow to prop up the calf. The individual can sit on a bed or sofa if possible and position the leg on top of the pillows. Take note that this is vital when the individual is going sleep. In case the affected leg is not elevated, it will start to throb during the night and will likely swell.
- A mild pain reliever such as ibuprofen can be given every eight hours. For individuals who do not usually take over-the-counter pain medications, it is best to consult a doctor first. Take note that the pain reliever can also help prevent inflammation.
- The injured calf muscles must be rehabilitated with sports massage. If approved by the doctor, the affected calf muscle is no longer at risk for inflammation or further irritation as well as speeding up the recovery process.
Proper stretching for the calf muscles
It is a known fact that the ankle and foot are common sites of injury since it is the initial area of impact when running. The elastic calf muscles can moderate the shock, thus preventing certain injuries such as Achilles tendinitis and plantar fasciitis. Proper stretching exercises are required in order to prevent injuries to the calf muscles.
Understandably, proper stretching exercises are vital for sports, especially those that involve running. If an individual does not perform stretching exercises, it will surely lead to injuries to the calf muscles.