Tips on how to manage a Calf Injury

Tips on how to manage a Calf Injury

Hurt your Calf?

Let’s get you back in action:

Something we see a lot of as chartered physiotherapists here at Compass Physio Tullyallen and Castlecomer is calf strains.

Whether it be the feeling of cramping in the calf when you are walking down the hill or a sudden pop when you are running or jumping most of us have injured our calves at some point.

With so much information to hand on google now its hard to know whats best

Rest? Ice? Heat?

These are some of our Top Tips here at Compass Physio Tullyallen and Castlecomer

The Anatomy:

The calf is made up of 2 main muscles. The Gastrocnemius which is the bulky (in some people) one either side of the calf.

The soleus is located deeper and more central.

The achilles is the attachment of the calf to the heel

Common signs you have injured your Calf?

You may experience some of the following

  • Sudden pain or cramping sensation at the back of the lower leg when you were walking/climbing stairs or running
  • Pain when standing on tiptoe.
  • Swelling or bruising along the calf.
  • Tenderness when you press on the calf

Grades Of Injury:

Grade 1: A mild strain – few muscle fibres torn.  Pain and tenderness at the back of the lower leg but on testing of the muscle strength there may only be a small reduction in power

Grade 2: Moderate strain/tear – significant number of fibres torn. More painful and tender. May present with swelling and bruising and also weakness on muscle power testing

Grade 3: Complete tear – this means the muscle has been torn completely. Client may have felt a popping sensation when running and will have pain tenderness++ and bruising along with significantly reduced muscle power.

How to manage my hamstring Injury in the early stages?

P – Protect

O – Optimal

L – Loading

I  – ICE



Avoid stretching in the early stages (72 hours)

What does a Physio do for a calf Injury?
Your Physiotherapist here at Compass Physio will guide you through your rehab and return to your chosen activity

Treatments from the team here at Tullyallen and Castlecomer can include

  • Soft Tissue Massage
  • Acupuncture/Dry Needling
  • Joint Mobilisations
  • Strengthening programme
  • Injury Prevention programme to reduce the risk of recurrence

As soon as possible you begin a gentle programme using simple exercises such as

  • Double Leg Calf Raises Legs straight
  • Double leg Calf Raises Knees bent to 30 degrees
  • Seated Toe Tapping
  • Foam Rolling around the calf/hamstring and hip
  • Stretch the calf with the affected leg in front and then swap over the the affected leg is behind the body

Progressing your Rehab:

Under the guidance of a chartered physiotherapist you will be given a graded set of exercises that will allow you to gradually build up your strength and return to your chosen sport

Exercises may include hopping, jumping and running practice with good technique

Reducing the Risk of it Happening Again:

Strength is key with calves and evidence shows that eccentric calf raises (This is where you rise up onto your tip toes and then slowly lower your bidy down) does reduce the risk of re injury

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To find out how Compass Physio can help, call 0419847545 (this number covers all clinics), click here to book online or download our free information booklet. You can also email any questions to

Paddy Mulligan MISCP
Chartered Physiotherapist
Compass Physio