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Torn calf muscle?

Jan 11th, 2014

Angie asked The Guru for the following Physiotherapy Advice:

Hi – following a 62 mile 24 hour walk unsurprisingly my leg hurts! Towards the end of the walk my right hamstring felt very tight on the lateral side. After the walk I had bruising starting at the back of my knee medial side and down most of the calf muscle. Had bad limp for a couple of days. Now calf is sore when stretched but hamstring seems ok. Have i torn the calf. Did very short easy run today and was ok but sore afterwards

Jan 11th, 2014

The Guru Responded:

Hi Angie

Bruising means that something, somewhere has torn [sports injury].

Gravity pulls blood downwards (!) so a tear in your hammy may present with a bruise in your calf, but if your hamstring doesn’t hurt or feel tight when stretched, then I doubt that’s an issue.

A tight hamstring (and pretty normal after your extraordinary walk!) can and will put pressure, elsewhere – causing possible breakdown.

I’d go for the no treatment rule of leave alone for 10 days (5-7 with treatment). In this time you need to improve flexibility NOT end range stretch – so hold just off the end of a big stretching sensation. You’ll also need to work on getting the tissue to contract, so start an easy, but progressive strengthening program of calf raises. You may feel some mild discomfort – and that’s your guide. So I’d go for 20 raises and see what that does.If it’s all OK then try a few sets, a few times a day. The build the number up slowly.

Don’t run until skipping/small hops feel strong, controlled and pain free. dynamic stretch/lengthen before exercise – static after.

Good Luck

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