This could be your equivalent of chest pain.” When diagnosing calf pain, doctors may utilize various imaging tests. N Am J Med Sci. Physical Therapist's Guide to Calf Strain. It's normal to have a moderate amount of edema in the ankles and feet during pregnancy, and you may also have mild swelling in your hands. Should I be concerned, or is this the nerves healing? Yellow Zone: Medium Risk -- You’ve been sedentary, perhaps traveling and sitting in a … 2009;2(2):74-7. doi:10.1007/s12178-009-9045-8, Mackman N. Triggers, targets and treatments for thrombosis. Stretching of the muscles of the lower leg can also help decrease muscle spasms. When swollen skin remains indented after being pressed, this is called pitting edema. Tingling? I have had pain in my left calf for somewhere between 3 and 4 weeks. Ice: Putting an ice pack on the bruised area greatly reduce the swelling and pain. by Tom Willemann. SimpleTherapy is not a replacement for a physical therapist or doctor. The first treatment, in most cases, is to rest the muscles and allow the acute inflammation to subside. Often this is the only step needed to relieve calf pain. When the plantaris muscle tears (ruptures), often as a result of lunging forward, a sudden, snapping pain in the back of the leg is felt. Swelling and bruising in the back of the leg may occur, along with cramping of the calf muscle. Certain conditions increase a person's risk of developing a blood clot such as: A blood clot is a very serious cause of calf pain. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. What bad o you think?? While muscle injuries are the most common cause of calf pain, there are others that may stem from nerve problems, knee joint problems, or foot and ankle conditions. I had an ultrasound done in February to rule out blood clots, an MRI in May to rule out a muscle tear and an EMG in July to rule out nerve damage. Sciatica: I bit more information might be helpful. I asked her if she'd treated many DVTs and she said she had and gave me a HIPAA-compliant version of a recent example. This might happen if you have been doing new exercises, if you are dehydrated, or if you are deficient in some minerals. Calf muscle pain after hand surgery Should I be concerned if my poop is green Connect by text or video with a U.S. board-certified doctor now — wait time is less than 1 minute! SimpleTherapy has been hand-selected by Welltok to manage musculoskeletal disorders for large employers. Here is an overview of calf pain diagnoses that are muscular in origin, ranging from a calf muscle strain (when the muscle is overstretched or torn) to a muscle cramp or bruise. It feels similar to a muscle cramp or mild charleyhorse but isn't going away. If symptoms are severe, a walking boot and crutches may be helpful. Additional tests, such as an ultrasound or MRI, may be used to evaluate calf tendon injuries, tears or, in other cases, blood clots. Popliteal artery entrapment—a rare condition seen mostly in young male athletes—is believed to stem from a developmental defect in which a person's gastrocnemius muscle compresses the popliteal artery (located in the knee and back of the legs). 2014;65(6):264-70. doi:10.4081/reumatismo.2013.715, Baima J, Krivickas L. Evaluation and treatment of peroneal neuropathy. There are a variety of possible diagnoses, from muscle strain or rupture to a blood clot, and your doctor will want to know the specifics of your discomfort—like the quality (e.g., sharp, cramping) and intensity (e.g., mild versus severe)—to start getting to the bottom of why you have calf pain. See your doctor as soon as possible if you have: Signs of infection, such as redness, warmth or tenderness, or you have a fever greater than100 F (37.8 C) A leg that is swollen, pale or unusually cool. Below are some common initial treatments that are likely to be suggested. Clin Microbiol Rev. Calf strain. 2 thanks. Circ Res. A calf muscle spasm or cramp—also referred to as a "charley horse"—refers to an involuntary contraction of one or more calf muscles. electric shock pain in calf. 2013 Apr 1;87(7):486-90. The causes of calf pain can be highly variable including direct trauma, overuse, muscle and tendon ruptures, and blood clots. The commonest cause of pain in the calf is DVT or deep vein thrombosis and clots. There are some lifestyle habits you can adopt to prevent many calf-pain diagnoses, especially the muscle-related ones. Don’t assume pain in the lower back, cramping in the legs and that “pins and needles” feeling are the result of a problem with your spine. Should You Have Surgery for a Torn Achilles Tendon? In most instances, blood tests are not warranted for diagnosing calf pain. In total, it usually takes up to three days for a pulled calf muscle to start feeling better. A medial head calf muscle strain is sometimes referred to as "tennis leg," because it commonly occurs when tennis players quickly change directions to return a shot. That said, a D-dimer may be ordered to aid in the diagnosis of a blood clot. The inflammatory markers, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP), may be helpful in diagnosing or ruling out a bone infection. Of course. A 43-year-old male asked: i have been having an electric shock sensation in my leg the calf what is that ? Claudication from lower-leg peripheral artery disease—when there is reduced blood flow in the arteries of the lower legs—can cause pain in the buttock, hip, thigh, calf, and/or foot upon walking a certain distance. The pain resolves with rest within 10 minutes. Dealing with joint pain can cause major disruptions to your day. The muscles of calf are attached to the bottom of the ankle bone. I have not injured it or done anything particularly different with my routine. Heating pads can help relax muscle spasms. It might be caused by a disc (nerve compression). Bacterial, fungal, parasitic, and viral myositis. Everything you need to know about pain in the lower leg, Soleus Muscle: Anatomy, Function, and Treatment, Your Groin Pain May Be a Hip Problem or Something Else, Sharp Low Back Pain: Causes and Risk Factors, What You Should Know About Hamstring Muscle Strains, Anterior Tibialis Rupture: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Management, What Your Heel Pain May Mean—and What You Can Do About It, Delayed diagnosis of single compartment muscle contusion after radical hysterectomy in the lithotomy position: A case report, The Achilles tendon: fundamental properties and mechanisms governing healing, Prevalence of Baker's cyst in patients with knee pain: an ultrasonographic study, Evaluation and treatment of peroneal neuropathy, Popliteus tendinitis: tips for diagnosis and management, Lower extremity manifestations of peripheral artery disease: the pathophysiologic and functional implications of leg ischemia, Bacterial, fungal, parasitic, and viral myositis, Are You Positive That the Simmonds-Thompson Test Is Negative? It does not appear to be swollen or have redness, which is why I wonder if I am silly to be concerned at all. Calf pain when walking is very different than calf pain at night in bed. “If you get calf, buttock, or leg pain when you walk, requiring you to stop and rest, ask yourself: ‘What would I do if this was chest pain?’ You would probably get it checked out, even if you thought it might just be heartburn or reflux. If you are unsure of the cause of your symptoms, or if you do not know the specific treatment recommendations for your condition, you should seek medical attention. Chikazawa K, Netsu S, Akashi K, Suzuki Y, Konno R, Motomatsu S. Delayed diagnosis of single compartment muscle contusion after radical hysterectomy in the lithotomy position: A case report. Thank you, {{form.email}}, for signing up. However, sometimes imaging tests, like an ultrasound, or blood tests are needed.. Freedman BR, Gordon JA, Soslowsky LJ. Treatment of calf pain must be directed at the specific cause of your problem. Click below and just hit send! If severe, swelling and bruising may also occur. Management of Chronic Tendon Injuries. 2014;4(2):245-55. However, if the calf pain is accompanied any of these symptoms including warmth, redness, fevers, and or shortness of breath, you should consult a physician immediately to rule out a blood clot. In the end, your treatment plan will depend on your underlying diagnosis, but addressing calf pain often entails therapies like rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medication. A calf muscle strain occurs when the muscle fibers in the calf tear either partially or completely. The pain of a calf strain is often described as a sudden sharp or tearing sensation. Calf pain, particularly after prolonged sitting, such as on a long car trip or plane ride. A calf muscle contusion or bruise often occurs after a direct blow to the calf or a series of repetitive blows to the lower leg.. How long does calf pain last? Muscles Ligaments Tendons J. With that, be good to your body and see your doctor. So it is possible. If you are diagnosed with a blood clot, you will likely be placed on a blood thinner, also referred to as an anticoagulant, such as Coumadin (warfarin) or Xarelto (rivaroxaban). These medications prevent your current blood clot from getting bigger, and they also prevent new clots from forming. When Back Pain Means More Than a Back Problem. Updated 2014. This will stop the bruise from progression. Rainbow CR, Fields KB. What Is Causing Your Achilles Tendon Pain? Calf muscle strain, and more specifically a medial gastrocnemius strain, is a common cause of acute onset calf pain. Rarely, a severe peroneal nerve entrapment can lead to muscle weakness and foot drop. Fricker P, ed. The Achilles tendon: fundamental properties and mechanisms governing healing. Calf pain, particularly after prolonged sitting, such as on a long car trip or plane ride. Your calf, located in the back of the leg just below the knee, is made up of three muscles (gastrocnemius, soleus, plantaris). 2014;6(10):491-9. doi:10.4103/1947-2714.143278, Bryan dixon J. Gastrocnemius vs. soleus strain: how to differentiate and deal with calf muscle injuries. Leg deformity and swelling may also be present. Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) if ignored can fragment and travel to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolus (PE). Blood clots are very dangerous. Yes, you should be concerned and get this examined. But then she looked at my calf and took a very thorough history and said she felt like it was a pretty classic muscle strain. The soleus muscle is located underneath the gastrocnemius muscle in the calf. Doctor's Assistant: The Doctor can help. In many cases, some rest, ice, and a pain reliever may be all you need to get back to your normal routine. Spider veins should not be causing pain. 2009;27(2):26-30. doi:10.1016/j.jvn.2009.03.001. Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) if ignored can fragment and travel to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolus (PE). Trauma? When did the pain start? Illustration by Joshua Seong. Calf Pain. See your doctor as soon as possible if you have: Signs of infection, such as redness, warmth, or tenderness, or you have a fever greater than 100 F (37.8 C) A leg that is swollen, pale, or unusually cool. Updated Feb 7, 2019. 2015;116(9):1540-50. doi:10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.114.303517, Crum-cianflone NF. Rarely, a bone infection in the lower leg may cause calf pain, usually described as dull and constant. In addition to pain, warmth, redness, and swelling may be present. If severe, swelling and bruising may also occur. This has just become a daily stress and annoyance to me now. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you obtain a diagnosis to understand the cause of your symptoms before embarking on a treatment program. You should always speak with your doctor before you follow anything that you read on this website. A good routine should be established. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. Our blogs are written by Orthopaedic Surgeons. Prior to your doctor's visit, it's a good idea to jot down a couple notes about your calf pain, such as when it started, what it feels like, and whether you have experienced any other symptoms like numbness or swelling. 0. © 2020 SimpleTherapy, Inc. All rights reserved. 2008;1(2):147-53. doi:10.1007/s12178-008-9023-6, Petsche TS, Selesnick FH. The calf is made up of two muscles--the gastrocnemius, which is the muscle you can see and feel, and the soleus, which lies underneath the gastrocnemius in the back of the leg. The doctor said she generally didn't bother with D-Dimers for calf pain - she felt that it should be an ultrasound or nothing. Sign up and learn how to better take care of your body. The pain of popliteal tendonitis is felt above the calf, in the back and side of the knee, and worsens when walking or running downhill. In addition to pain, if the injury to the popliteal tendon is acute, bleeding into the knee joint may occur. However, if the calf pain is accompanied any of these symptoms including warmth, redness, fevers, and or shortness of breath, you should consult a physician immediately to rule out a blood clot. Rarely, the popliteal tendon tears, but this may occur with trauma, such as with a direct blow to the inside of the knee. Alessandrino F, Balconi G. Complications of muscle injuries. A Historical and Biographical Review, Effectiveness of d-dimer as a screening test for venous thromboembolism: an update, Gastrocnemius vs. soleus strain: how to differentiate and deal with calf muscle injuries, Triggers, targets and treatments for thrombosis, Peripheral arterial disease: Pathophysiology, risk factors, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention, Physical Therapist's Guide to Calf Strain, Calf injuries not involving the Achilles tendon, Inability to walk comfortably on the affected side, Injury that causes deformity of the lower leg, Calf pain that occurs at night or while resting, Calf pain that persists beyond a few days, Signs of an infection, including fever, redness, warmth, Seeing your primary care doctor for regular check-ups and screening tests (e.g., diabetes and cholesterol). Ice packs and heat pads are among the most commonly used treatments for muscle or tendon-related sources of calf pain. Depending on your situation, one may be better to use than the other. When the tendon becomes irritated, usually as a result of overuse, a burning pain may develop in the back of the leg, usually just above the heel. Jonathan Cluett, MD, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with subspecialty training in sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery. Edema refers to swelling caused by excess fluid. X-rays can assess for many types of abnormalities of the lower leg, ankle, or knee. Could it be DVT or maybe a spasm? Childress MA, Beutler A. Weakness? Blood clots can form in the deep veins of the leg (called a deep vein thrombosis) and cause the classic symptoms of swelling, redness, warmth, and a tender, cramping pain in the calf.. I am getting stabbing pain in one of the areas where my varicose vein was removed 4 weeks ago. 2013 Feb;21(2):108-17. Anonymous: Yes - go to your doctor and get a Doppler done of your leg. Read our, Medically reviewed by Jonathan Cluett, MD. This is best diagnosed by duplex ultrasound (color dopplar) or by angiogram. This is why it's always important to see your doctor for an evaluation of your calf pain. © Verywell, 2018. Pressure on nerves can cause symptoms like numbness, tingling, and/or sharp pain. The two nerve entrapments that most commonly cause calf pain are sural nerve and peroneal nerve entrapment. Lastly, they will maneuver your foot, ankle, and knee, potentially performing specialized tests if a certain diagnosis is suspected. Surgery is rarely needed to treat calf pain. But a full recovery may take up to six weeks, according to Oxford University Hospitals. Please consult with your physical therapist or doctor if you have any questions about incorporating the SimpleTherapy sessions into your wellness program. Causes of Calf Pain and Treatment Options, Ⓒ 2020 About, Inc. (Dotdash) — All rights reserved, Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. 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Curr sports Med Rep. 2016 ; 15 ( 5 ):320-4. doi:10.1249/JSR.0000000000000292 and crutches may be required to the. You read on to learn more about when should i be concerned about calf pain lesser known acid reflux symptoms and..., treatment, the problem with that is that some conditions are serious like! Extend ( point ) your foot, ankle, or if you the! Might happen if you have a family history of blood ) may cause severe calf pain be! This examined very concerned about swelling during pregnancy pain can be highly variable including direct trauma, overuse, and... But a full recovery may take up to six weeks, according to University! Step by step guide to pain relief and prevention a concern, if... Different list of causes than leg pain seriously, especially if you when should i be concerned about calf pain doing... A headache typically causes pain in your head, face, or blood tests are needed. is stretched or and.

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