Orthopaedics

Calf Muscle Swelling

Calf muscle swelling is actually a self-induced problem, and it can be treated without the need of a doctor’s help usually. A swollen calf muscle causes a lot of pain at the back of the leg and also makes it very difficult for one to move the leg. Let as look at the causes and symptoms of calf muscle swelling and see how this problem can be cured.

Causes of Calf Muscle Swelling:

It is usually athletes and people who are into sports that suffer from this injury. The calf region is made up of three muscles – two gastrocnemeius muscles and one soleus muscle. These muscles can go sore and become stiff causing pain and the lack of movement in the leg. Let us look at some of the factors that cause this problem.

  • Sports like basketball, hurdles, running etc are one of the reasons as to to why one develops this problem. In these sports, the calf muscles are overstretched causing the muscles to go sore.
  • Cold weather or fatigue can also overexert the calf muscles and lead to their swelling.
  • A tear in one of the calf muscles also leads to this problem.
  • Another cause of this problem is the blood clotting disorder, deep vein thrombosis.
  • Magnesium and calcium deficiency is another reason.
  • Another condition that causes the calf muscles to go sore is Charley Horse, where one experiences a calf muscle spasm.

Symptoms:

The most usual symptom of swelling is pain, and a pain in the calf region is what one suffers from initially after the muscles are swollen. Let us look at some of the other symptoms-

  • pain when trying to stand up or when pressure is applied on the leg
  • bruising, redness and warmth in the swollen region
  • standing for long periods can lead to cramps

Treatment:

Taking proper care upon experiencing any of the above symptoms will make sure that the problem is resolved quickly and also eliminate the risk of intensifying the issue.

  • First thing to do is to rest the injured leg sufficiently, so that the swollen muscles are not overexerted.
  • Apply ice packs for 15-20 minutes at a stretch, and do this 2-3 times daily.
  • Wear a compression bandage over the swollen region to alleviate the swelling.
  • Use a topical analgesic to massage the region.
  • Warm water baths would also help alleviate the swelling.
  • Despite the above efforts, if your calf muscle swelling doesn’t seem to alleviate, then seek medical assistance.

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