Tearing your calf muscle is painful and serious. Any pressure placed on the injured leg will cause excruciating pain, making walking and any type of mobile activity difficult. Treating a torn calf muscle depends on the extent of the injury and should always start with a doctor's consultation. First-degree tears can heal in approximately two weeks; second-degree tears lasting as long as eight weeks; and third-degree tears taking three to four months to heal.
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R.I.C.E--rest, ice, compression, elevation--is important to remember when caring for any torn muscle. After injuring the calf, get off of it immediately. If you need to walk to get to a safe place to rest, get others to help supporting you in order to reduce the weight put on the injury. Ice the calf every two hours for 20 minutes for the first day. Use an Ace bandage to wrap the calf, and keep it elevated as much as possible.
The first few days after injuring the calf muscle, don't try to do much except reduce the swelling and rest it. After the initial resting period of 48 hours, do passive stretches with the leg that involve moving the toes and ankle gently. Stretches should be done for ten seconds at a time and repeated up to ten times. When the leg is able to sustain some weight, add active stretches to the muscle itself by pulling your toes up and holding that position.
Regaining the strength in the calf will take time. Don't rush this as you will sacrifice flexibility if you try and strengthen too soon. Stand on your toes at the edge of a ledge (stair, curb, etc) and raise your foot in a full range of motion. The ankle should go below the level of the ledge, then raise it as high as possible. Do this slowly and only after stretching to prevent reinjury. Exercise bands are great to use to stretch and strengthen the muscle. These are inexpensive and can be used with less resistance earlier in the healing process.
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