How to Treat a Calf Muscle Injury
Hello, my name is Dr. Robert Fenell with handandfootpain.com, and today I'm going to show you how to treat a calf muscle injury. Let's talk about why you might have developed a calf muscle injury. One of the most common reasons is repetitive stress or even direct trauma to the calf muscle. You may stand or walk a lot for your job, maybe you walk on rough terrain or uneven surfaces, or up or down hills a lot, that can definitely cause strain and stress to your calf, causing it to become injured. Maybe you have certain footwear choices you use as well, too, such as women with high heels. That can also cause a calf injury if your calf muscles are not properly conditioned. Now what are some things you can do to reduce the pain in your calf? Number one, apply ice. For the first 72 hours after your symptoms appear, you're going to put ice directly over the point of pain. That's going to reduce swelling and inflammation in that area and really help to get the ball rolling on correcting this calf problem. The second thing you can do, is apply biofreeze. Biofreeze is a prescription type medicinal relief that you can get from your chiropractor. It has menthol as an active ingredient and what it does, it has an anul geasing effect where it's going to really knock out the pain and it's going to reduce that pain to give you comfort so you can enjoy a day of activity without having a continued aggravation. The next thing you can do is stretch the calf. There's a couple stretches we're going to talk about today that's really important to really heal any calf condition. The first one is a general runner's stretch. So you're going to have both feet spread apart. One is going to be in front of the other with the bad calf to the back. You're going to be standing in front of a wall with both hands positioned on the wall. Now as you lean forward into the wall, you're going to move your hips forward and keep that involved knee locked straight until you feel a stretch in your calf muscle. Hold that stretch for five to ten seconds, and you never want to rock or bounce. You always hold this very slow and controlled and then push away from the wall to relax. After a few seconds, do it again, and you can do this for three to five repetitions and you can do this every day. The second stretch is going to work on the deep muscles of the calf. Known as the soleus muscle group. Now you're going to point your foot at a 45 degree angle on the wall, you're going to bend your knee in this one, versus keeping it locked, and as you move your knee closer to the wall, you're going to feel that deep stretch in your calf area. This really helps to stretch that calf and get it to relax. After 72 hours you're going to start applying moist heat to the calf area. We used ice for the first 72 hours, then we switched to moist heat. If you ice this muscle, it's going to bring a lot of circulation and blood flow back into that musculature. Now you can put a moist heating pack or pad directly on the calf, and I like to use moist. Dry heat is fine, but the moistness, the dampness, helps to transmit that heat energy deeper into the muscle. Now after the day three mark has hit, you're going to start to do some resistance training. Toe raises is one of the most popular ways and easiest way to start to work the calf musculature and strengthen it. Simply stand with your feet shoulder width apart, and you're going to raise up on your toes until your heels are in the air, and you're going to hold that for about five seconds are so, real slow and controlled, then go back to the ground. Do that for five to ten repetitions and you can do that daily as part of your rehabilitation for your calf muscle. And then finally, the last thing we're going to talk about is how you can actually get the best relief for a calf muscle problem. How you can actually get the best relief for a calf muscle problem. Usually they're some type of misalignment in the heel or ankle that's related to the calf injury. Chiropractic manipulation on the heel and ankle area and also the knee area, can be very effective on taking the tension and stress off of your calf muscle, giving you long term relief, if this is a problem you've had ongoing. Again, I'm Dr. Robert Fenell with handandfootpain.com, and I want to thank you today for watching this video on how to treat a calf muscle injury.