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Calf Muscle Pain & Rugby

 

 

Overview of the Calf Muscle

The calf muscle is actually comprised of three muscles; the Gastrocnemius, Soleus and Plantaris. These muscles are all located at the rear lower portion of the leg. Their main function is to pull the heel bone up when you move forward.

What is a Calf Muscle Strain?

Calf muscle strains or “pulled calf” occur due to excessive stretching of the muscles fibres which leads to a tear. It is very common amongst rugby players since sudden forward prolusion from tackles and on the wings can cause extreme force which stretches the calf muscle beyond its capabilities. Calf muscles strains are characterized as first, second or three degree depending on the severity of damage to the muscle fibres.

Damage to a few calf muscle fibres is classed as a first degree calf muscle strain. There may not be any visible signs and symptoms, but the rugby player will complain of cramps or tightness during running or stretching.

Second degree calf muscle strain involves further damage to calf muscle fibres. The player will most likely feel pain upon stretching, contracting and touching the calf.

Third degree calf muscle strain involves extensive damage resulting to the complete rupture of the calf muscle. This is very serious and the player will complain of excruciating pain and a stabbing or burning sensation. The individual will not be able to walk effectively due to extreme pain. There may be visible evidence of bruising and swelling due to internal tissue bleeding.

Treatment

During the initial stages, cold packs, anti-inflammatory gels and compression bandage will help reduce pain and swelling of the calf muscle as well as stabilize the affected area. It is advised to elevate the calf muscle to limit bleeding and swelling in the torn muscles.

View Reusable ice packs

 

A medical doctor will diagnose the extent of the muscle damage while a physical therapist will provided resistance and rehabilitation exercises. Healing and improved tensile strength is facilitated by aligning the scar tissue with the normal stress lines.

During rehabilitation, individuals are advised to do core strengthening and stability exercises with the aid of exercise bands and a Swiss Ball. The bands enhance scar tissue recovery. Calf supports also reinforces the area when doing mobility exercises. First degree calf muscle strains should be rested from strenuous activity for 3 weeks, second degree for 4 to 6 weeks and third degree for 2-3 months.

Prevention Tips

Warming up and cooling down are very effective methods that should consistently be done at the start and end of each workout. Warm ups should last around twenty minutes to increase calf muscle temperature which prevents overstretching, while cool downs should last around five to ten minutes to remove excess waste products and facilitate tissue healing.

Conditions such as over pronation which is when you foot rolls over too much can lead to a calf pain.

It is also important to do stretching exercises to improve muscle strength and flexibility. Shock-absorbent shoes will help reduce impact on the calf muscles. Individuals should also rest regularly and avoid continuing to play when experiencing fatigue.

Rugby Rescue Recommends Calf Sleeve

5 Star Rating

 

A one piece neoprene sleeve is used to provide support and compression to the Calf and shin region. Ideal for Calf muscle strain treatment and prevention.

How it Works

The Vulkan Neoprene range features premium quality neoprene that offers the best possible combination of support, compression, heat retention and comfort. Vulkan Neoprene has a unique spiral lining which is critical in removing excess sweat which avoids skin problems and is more comfortable to wear.

By retaining heat there is an increase in the elasticity of the soft tissues. This is helpful for the treatment and prevention of Calf muscle strains. By increasing local blood flow, healing and recovery times can be reduced following a pulled calf.

When to use it

For the treatment and prevention of a pulled Calf muscle. It can also provide support and reassurance following recovery from a broken shin.

 

View the Calf Support which is ideal for calf muscle strain treatment and prevention

 

Also THE PRO STRETCH

The Pro Stretch Step Stretch stretching device is recommended as a way to both treat and prevent Calf Pain, Achilles tendonitis, Heel Pain and Foot Arch discomfort. While many people do remember to stretch both before and after exercising, many people are not stretching properly, and that’s where the Pro Stretch Step Stretch device is helpful.

The Pro Stretch Step Stretch device helps you properly do stretches so you don’t injure yourself.

Click here to view the pro stretch

 

 

 

 

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