How you can strengthen your calf muscles
Two feet deep in ankle pain, now that’s a funny pun. What’s not funny is the pain that is caused by foot or ankle pain and injuries. Let’s talk about how you can strengthen your calf muscles and why therapy is needed if you strain the muscle.
What is a calf sprain and how does it happen?
A calf strain or pulled calf muscle refers to when a muscle in the lower back portion of your leg tear to a certain degree. This can happen when your calf muscle is over loaded by continuous exercise such as running, or a sudden explosive jump, or change in direction. A lot of athletes or people who are constantly active will be more likely to fall victim to a calf strain or injury. Patients that suffer a major calf injury are most commonly between the ages of 35 to 55. Regardless of how your injury occurred, it is important to note that there are preventative measures and treatments to help you on your track to recovery.
Preventative measures and treatments
- Before taking off for a run or beginning any activity, it is important to begin by warming up. Stretching and loosening your muscles will help get your body ready for what you are about to do.
- While warming up before doing any exercise is important, it’s almost important to remember to not push yourself too far. Gradually ease yourself into longer exercises or workouts.
- As with anything. Rest is also an important factor. Give your body time to heal if it is strained.
If an injury has already occurred, therapy will help with remodeling a weak, stiff and injured muscle back to being strong, flexible and healthy so you can get back in the game without apprehension. Dr. Jonathan Smerek, a foot and ankle specialist with Methodist Sports Medicine, states that “Physical therapy is important because it strengthens the Achilles complex and the calf complex after the injury, so that the muscle is stronger than it was before the injury. Which, in theory, could allow you to recover quickly and get back to your sport, quicker.”
Schedule an appointment
Methodist Sports Medicine works with doctors such as Dr. Jonathan Smerek and Dr. David Porter who specialize in foot and ankle injuries. If you think you have a calf injury or need to see a doctor click here to schedule your appointment today! https://www.methodistsports.com/appointments/
An exercise you can try at home:
First, begin by standing and using a wall or a counter to ensure you have a good balance. Lift one foot and stand with your weight on your other. Rise up on your toes and then lower back onto your heel. Repeat this movement 8 to 10 times and up to 3 times a day. See below for a few more exercises to try at home.