Treatments & Exercises For Calf Strain That Actually Work
In this blog, we explain everything about calf strain, also known as a tennis leg. We will discuss how a calf strain occurs, which factors influence it, how you can prevent a calf strain, and also how you can accelerate the recovery process. Additionally, we will discuss how the socks from STOX Energy Socks can help prevent and contribute to the recovery process of a calf strain.
What is a Calf Strain?
A calf strain is an acute tear in the muscle that often occurs in active people between the ages of 25 and 65. A calf strain is usually about 1 to 3 centimeters in size. In the Netherlands, just over half a percent of the population suffers from this annoying injury every year, which translates to more than 85,000 people. Men are one and a half times more likely to suffer from a calf strain than women.
Both muscle tissue and connective tissue can be damaged in a calf strain. This results in swelling and possibly bruises. These symptoms can subside over time. Although most calf strains occur in the calves, this type of injury can occur in any muscle, including the back, arms, or neck. It usually takes 3 to 6 weeks to fully recover from a calf strain before you can start (carefully) exercising again.
How does a calf strain occur? The causes and factors that increase the risk of a calf strain
A calf strain usually occurs during sports when there is a sudden strong contraction of a muscle, such as during a sprint or when pushing off while jumping. The increased tension can cause a tear to occur.
Additionally, a calf strain can be caused by a hard fall or by exerting too much force on the muscle by accident. Factors that contribute to the occurrence of a calf strain include overuse of the muscle, too short or poor warm-up (especially in combination with cold weather), a hard surface, or wearing shoes without support. By identifying these risk factors, you can reduce the chance of a calf strain.
Moreover, people with standing professions are at a higher risk of calf strain. This is because in a standing profession, the calf muscles are constantly stressed, causing the muscles to become fatigued. If a sudden, powerful movement is then made, this can lead to a calf strain.
Treatment of a calf strain: what to do and what not to do
If you have suffered a calf strain, there are several things you can do to relieve the pain and promote healing. Immediately after the muscle tear, it is important to elevate the leg and apply cold. Avoid direct contact between ice and skin to prevent frostbite. Repeat this cooling process for the first 24 hours after the injury and avoid massaging the affected area. A compression bandage can also help with relief of the pain.
After 24 hours, you can try to walk again, if possible without pain. If the pain persists, rest the leg and use crutches if necessary. Wearing shoes with a good heel cushion can help reduce the load on the calves while walking. Additionally, stretching exercises can contribute to recovery, but be careful to prevent further damage. If the recovery does not improve, consult a physiotherapist.
Speed up your recovery with these 3 exercises
You can try to speed up the recovery process of a hamstring strain by doing certain exercises.
"Success from day one, perfectly fulfilling the purpose for which I bought them, namely swelling of the lower leg after whiplash." - Martin
Exercises can accelerate the healing of a hamstring strain. But be careful not to overdo it. Watch the video above for examples of good exercises and read more below:
Fiber Friction Massage
Begin after a day or two, when the hamstring strain feels calmer, with the Fiber Friction Massage. Place your index and middle fingers on the affected area and rub gently over the hamstring strain. Then gently press on the hamstring strain. Stop if it hurts. Try to repeat this massage for 5 minutes daily.
When you can walk again and put pressure on the hamstring strain, try Eccentric Stretching. Stand on a stool, hold onto a chair, and stand on the toes of your good leg (heels off the stool). Lift the heel of the injured leg while resting all your weight on the good leg. Then slowly lower and raise both heels, up to 15 times per session, 2-3 times a day.
Forward Bending Stretching
Lean forward against a wall with your hands on it and the injured leg behind. Push yourself away from the wall while stretching the injured leg. Do this exercise with bent or straight knees.
Note: make sure you do not perform these exercises too intensively and stop immediately if you feel pain. If the pain persists, we always recommend seeing a doctor.
With STOX Energy Socks you can prevent a hamstring strain and accelerate the recovery process.
Our socks are specially designed to improve the blood circulation in your legs and to remove moisture and waste products more quickly, allowing your muscles to recover faster and reducing the risk of injuries. In addition, compression socks provide extra support to your muscles, which ensures that they are relieved more during exertion or sports.
If you have still suffered a hamstring strain, our recovery socks can help significantly speed up the recovery process. The increased compression in the socks improves blood flow, allowing the torn tissue in your muscles to heal faster.