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Calf Strain

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A muscle strain in the calf occurs when one of the muscles is stretched beyond its limit or is torn. A calf strain can range from mild to severe, and often limit your ability to move your leg.

Though anyone can strain a calf muscle just doing everyday tasks, athletes and other active individuals are more susceptible to this type of injury. Signs and symptoms of a muscle strain include:

  • Difficulty moving the leg
  • Pain in your calf that increases when you use that muscle
  • Swelling around the calf
  • Weakness in the calf muscle

Treatments

RICE method
You should use the RICE method, which includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation, while you’re at home.

Anti-inflammatory medication
Your doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication – or recommend an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen – to help reduce swelling and pain.

Physical therapy
In some cases, your health care provider will prescribe rehabilitation therapy. Our physical therapists establish a unique plan of care that includes specific interventions for your condition and situation to help alleviate pain and improve mobility.

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is blood plasma that contains concentrated platelets. These platelets contain bioactive proteins that can help heal connective tissues, like bone, tendons, and ligaments. PRP can be injected throughout the body to help heal various sports injuries including calf strains. When paired with a rehabilitation program, PRP can help patients get significant improvement with their injury. PRP can also help eliminate the need for more aggressive treatments like surgery.

Surgery
In rare cases, you may need to undergo surgery to repair your muscle strain. Your sports medicine team will work with you to explain your options, if surgery is needed.

Tests

Physical examination
Your doctor will conduct a complete physical examination and collect your health history to help make a diagnosis.

Why Choose the University of Miami Sports Medicine Institute?

World-class care in an academic health system. As a research and teaching institution, we treat children and adults with proven, leading-edge procedures based on clinical studies performed at the Miller School of Medicine. Our doctors, residents, nurses, and therapists work together to create healthy outcomes.

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