Osteopathy treats Calf Strain. The pain in the calf can be characteristic of a lot of conditions but a calf strain is where the muscles and fascia at the back of the lower leg are stretched beyond their limit of flexibility resulting in micro tears or tears within the muscle. This strain occurs when a muscle becomes overused or overstretched during a rapid movement, causing the muscles to contract vigorously and tear.
Most calf strains are minor tears of some muscle fibres, but the bulk of the muscle tissue remains intact. Severe strains tear the muscle fibres and can even cause a complete tear of the muscle. In most cases, micro tears form and muscle spasm follows as a protective measure. In cases with repetitive strains, the condition may be considered chronic and is usually from overuse.
Calf strains may occur within the gastrocnemius, soleus, plantaris muscles of the calf or at the junction of where the muscle and the Achilles tendon meet (muscular tendinous junction), half way between the knee and heel.
Pain is usually sharp in the muscle and depending on the severity you may limp. If you have torn the muscle there will be very sharp pain when you contract the muscle.
Treatment: RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) treatment. Rest requires you to stop activity, and limiting the amount of weight you put through your leg. Ice should be applied at the site of injury. This will help limit the amount of haemorrhaging and swelling. Compression involves the application of a firm elastic bandage around your ankle.
You should continue the RICE regime until you consult your osteopath. The osteopath will then treat you so you make a fuller recovery sooner and give advice on how badly you are injured and how long it would require for you to return to your normal activities. Osteopaths use massage and specific rehabilitative exercises to assist in your recovery.
If left untreated this could lead to a complete tear of the calf muscle, scar tissue may also form. Scar tissue can be very difficult to remove and also painful to have treated.
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