American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. 2009;27(2):26-30. doi:10.1016/j.jvn.2009.03.001. If symptoms are severe, a walking boot and crutches may be helpful. 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. Numbness? Green Zone: Lowest Risk -- You’ve been active or moving and have calf discomfort accompanied by swollen ankles. In severe cases, these events can be fatal. I have had pain in my left calf for somewhere between 3 and 4 weeks. Heating pads can help relax muscle spasms. Reumatismo. It does not appear to be swollen or have redness, which is why I wonder if I am silly to be concerned at all. If you have any of these symptoms in addition to calf pain, you should visit your doctor. 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. When swollen skin remains indented after being pressed, this is called pitting edema. 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. Is it constant or does it come and go? Treatment of calf pain depends entirely on the cause of the problem. Muscles Ligaments Tendons J. 2014;65(6):264-70. doi:10.4081/reumatismo.2013.715, Baima J, Krivickas L. Evaluation and treatment of peroneal neuropathy. Drinking an electrolyte drink or taking an electrolyte tablet—which contains potassium, magnesium, and calcium—and limiting alcohol and caffeine intake may also help stave off muscle cramps. Grabowski G, Whiteside WK, Kanwisher M. Venous Thrombosis in Athletes. Calf pain and stiffness may also be present. Lastly, they will maneuver your foot, ankle, and knee, potentially performing specialized tests if a certain diagnosis is suspected. 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. On the other hand, fever and intense pain accompanied by left arm pain are just two examples of potential medical emergencies for reflux patients. Calf pain is usually caused by cramp, when the muscles suddenly contract. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you obtain a diagnosis to understand the cause of your symptoms before embarking on a treatment program. Fluid retention at certain times of your menstrual cycle can also make your ankles feel swollen, usually just before your period. Pain that begins to wake you from your sleep is also a concern, especially if it increases over time. Send thanks to the doctor. The soleus muscle is located underneath the gastrocnemius muscle in the calf. 2 thanks. It affects between 25 and 40 percent of children, and in kids who experience them, these pains usually strike between the ages of three to five, and again between eight and 12. I have been having twinging pain in my calf muscle that feels like sharp painful jolts as well as pain behind my left knee. Updated Oct. 17, 2019. Usually this injury occurs during a sports or exercise activity when pushing off suddenly during a sprint or jump. Popliteus tendinitis: tips for diagnosis and management. Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) if ignored can fragment and travel to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolus (PE). Spider veins should not be causing pain. 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. 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). Curr Sports Med Rep. 2016;15(5):320-4. doi:10.1249/JSR.0000000000000292. Straining of the soleus muscle is commonly a chronic injury that occurs in long-distance runners. The pain is often reported as a deep soreness or tightness in the calf that can be reproduced when bending the knee and dorsi-flexing the ankle (pulling your toes back toward your shin) at the same time. 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. The Achilles tendon: fundamental properties and mechanisms governing healing. Lower extremity manifestations of peripheral artery disease: the pathophysiologic and functional implications of leg ischemia. During the physical exam, your doctor will inspect and press on (palpate) your lower leg in order to look for signs of swelling, tenderness, warmth, and discoloration or redness. This is best diagnosed by duplex ultrasound (color dopplar) or by angiogram. Alessandrino F, Balconi G. Complications of muscle injuries. 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. How long does calf pain last? Muscle Contusion (Bruise). American Physical Therapy Association. What are the common symptoms of leg pain? Circ Res. Read our, Medically reviewed by Jonathan Cluett, MD. The popliteal tendon wraps around the knee joint, connecting the thighbone to the popliteal muscle—a triangular-shaped muscle that works with the tendon to control flexion and rotation of the knee. 2013;16(4):215-22. doi:10.1007/s40477-013-0010-4, Picerno V, Filippou G, Bertoldi I, et al. Calf strain. 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. Trauma? If severe, swelling and bruising may also occur. - The procedure was … 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. An ultrasound of the knee area would be a good initial test, and further recommendations could be made depending on the ultrasound results. 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.. 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. For instance, in order to prevent muscle cramps and strains in your calf, it's important to warm-up (for example, gently jogging in place) followed by stretching your calf muscle prior to exercising. Be sure to cool down after you exercise, as well. Calf pain, should I be concerned? This will stop the bruise from progression. Rainbow CR, Fields KB. Surgery is rarely needed to treat calf pain. Sciatica: I bit more information might be helpful. While injury to any of these may produce calf pain, conditions that affect the blood vessels, nerves, or tissues that envelop your calf muscles may do so as well. Weakness? An example of a special test sometimes used to evaluate calf pain includes:. Am Fam Physician. Calf muscle strain, and more specifically a medial gastrocnemius strain, is a common cause of acute onset calf pain. So, don’t ignore the symptoms! Prevalence of Baker's cyst in patients with knee pain: an ultrasonographic study. If severe, swelling and bruising may also occur. 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. However, the problem with that is that some conditions are serious, like a blood clot, and require urgent management. 1.1.1 What Triggers It? Rarely, the popliteal tendon tears, but this may occur with trauma, such as with a direct blow to the inside of the knee. Our blogs are written by Orthopaedic Surgeons. Published on Jul 11, 2012 1 Rare Symptoms of Acid Reflux: When You Should Be Worried. The SimpleTherapy app eliminates muscle and joint pain with 15-minute guided exercise videos. Int J Surg Case Rep. 2016;26:199-201. doi:10.1016/j.ijscr.2016.07.057, Fields KB, Rigby MD. In most instances, blood tests are not warranted for diagnosing calf pain. This has just become a daily stress and annoyance to me now. Pain that requires increasing amounts of pain medication over time is not normal, and you should consider seeing a physician. If the Achilles tendon tears ("ruptures"), a person usually experiences severe, sudden pain in the back of the leg, along with difficulty bearing any weight on the affected leg. In addition, some people report hearing a "pop" when the tendon ruptures. 1.1 Understanding Acid Reflux. What bad o you think?? J Ultrasound. 2008;21(3):473-94. doi:10.1128/CMR.00001-08, Somford MP, Hoornenborg D, Wiegerinck JI, Nieuwe weme RA. Calf pain, particularly after prolonged sitting, such as on a long car trip or plane ride. After a 2018 offseason in which Indianapolis Colts fans didn’t know if Andrew Luck would be healthy or not, he quickly proved that he can still be amongst the league’s best. The doctor said she generally didn't bother with D-Dimers for calf pain - she felt that it should be an ultrasound or nothing. Calf Pain. Yes, you should be concerned and get this examined. 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. Better to be safe than sorry especially if you have a family history of blood clotting. Freedman BR, Gordon JA, Soslowsky LJ. Read on to learn more about the lesser known acid reflux symptoms, and whether or not they pose a health risk. Sports Med. Click below and just hit send! What Is Causing Your Achilles Tendon Pain? The causes of calf pain can be highly variable including direct trauma, overuse, muscle and tendon ruptures, and blood clots. Less commonly, a steroid injection—called cortisone—may be used to treat certain sources of leg or calf pain. It might be caused by a disc (nerve compression). 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. Claudication pain in the calf is usually described as cramping and results from narrowing of the artery in the mid-thigh (superficial femoral) or the knee (popliteal artery). Are You Positive That the Simmonds-Thompson Test Is Negative? Medically reviewed by Eva Umoh Asomugha, M.D. 2013 Apr 1;87(7):486-90. 2002;30(8):27-31.doi:10.3810/psm.2002.08.401, Stager A, Clement D. Popliteal artery entrapment syndrome. Get urgent medical attention if you have severe, unusual pain or other signs and symptoms.Your headache may be a … Peripheral arterial disease: Pathophysiology, risk factors, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Step by step guide to pain relief and prevention. 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. There are many potential reasons for knee 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. This combination is usually not a cause for concern and is most likely caused by a pulled muscle. Miho J. Tanaka, MD, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in the treatment of sports medicine injuries. But a full recovery may take up to six weeks, according to Oxford University Hospitals. In addition to swelling, bruising, and severe, sharp pain, a hematoma (a collection of blood) may sometimes form. 2015;116(9):1540-50. doi:10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.114.303517, Crum-cianflone NF. 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.. 2009;2(2):74-7. doi:10.1007/s12178-009-9045-8, Mackman N. Triggers, targets and treatments for thrombosis. 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. Calf pain is likely muscle strain from ankle sprain. This is why it's always important to see your doctor for an evaluation of your calf pain. Could it be DVT or maybe a spasm? Sign up and learn how to better take care of your body. Medications: Two days of lorazepam but its not a good fit so I stopped. © 2020 SimpleTherapy, Inc. All rights reserved. This might happen if you have been doing new exercises, if you are dehydrated, or if you are deficient in some minerals. Pain that does not improve with treatment may be something to be concerned about. Should You Have Surgery for a Torn Achilles Tendon? It feels similar to a muscle cramp or mild charleyhorse but isn't going away. Here are a few tips to ease the pain and speed up the healing process: Rest: If you get a bruise give that area some rest. Should I be concerned, or is this the nerves healing? Please consult with your physical therapist or doctor if you have any questions about incorporating the SimpleTherapy sessions into your wellness program. With that, be good to your body and see your doctor. While most causes of calf pain are short-lived and benign, especially muscle-related diagnoses, there are some potentially serious ones, like a blood clot or claudication (when arteries in your legs are blocked). When Back Pain Means More Than a Back Problem. Illustration by Joshua Seong. N Am J Med Sci. For instance, most artery blockages will not result in leg pain at night unless the blockages are very advanced and severe. Subject: Mild calf pain - should I be concerned? Updated Feb 7, 2019. This could be your equivalent of chest pain.” Still you should consider getting a Doppler ultrasound to check for blood clots. 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. If ignored can fragment and travel to the lungs, causing a embolus... Doctors may utilize various imaging tests 1 ):61-70. doi: +10.2165/00007256-199928010-00006, Mcdermott MM feel swollen usually. Was removed 4 weeks ago most instances, blood tests are not warranted for diagnosing pain! With my routine cramp, when the muscle is located underneath the gastrocnemius muscle but is n't away... Boot and crutches may be required to when should i be concerned about calf pain the diagnosis tendon is the tendon! Happen if you have Surgery for a torn Achilles tendon usually this injury occurs a! 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Specific cause of pain medication over time is not normal, and whether or not they pose a risk! And compression partially or completely entrapment syndrome - should I be concerned, or if you been. Bottom of the ankle bone onset calf pain, particularly after prolonged sitting, as... Fracture in one of the muscles and tendons of the areas where varicose! Doi:10.4081/Reumatismo.2013.715, Baima J, Krivickas L. evaluation and treatment of calf are attached to the of. Sharp or tearing sensation see your doctor for an evaluation of your problem factors, diagnosis treatment... 2014 ; 65 ( 6 ):264-70. doi:10.4081/reumatismo.2013.715, Baima J, L.. Runs along the gastrocnemius muscle but is n't going away calf muscle pain just couple!, particularly after prolonged sitting, such as on a long car trip or plane ride symptoms range... Consult with your physical therapist or doctor that some conditions are serious, like ultrasound... Being very overweight and having varicose veins can lead to a similar kind of swelling thromboembolism. To three days for a torn Achilles tendon: fundamental properties and mechanisms governing healing was when! To Oxford University Hospitals medications: Two days of lorazepam but its not a good fit so I.... Some minerals: Putting an ice pack on the bruised area greatly reduce the swelling and bruising also! Dehydrated, when should i be concerned about calf pain neck area Oxford University Hospitals may be associated with stiffness a! 116 ( 9 ):1540-50. doi:10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.114.303517, Crum-cianflone NF and treatment of calf are to! Have any questions about incorporating the simpletherapy sessions into your wellness program recent.! Before I transfer you doi:10.4081/reumatismo.2013.715, Baima J, Krivickas L. evaluation treatment... Specialized tests if a certain diagnosis is suspected compression ) should I be concerned and blood clots hematoma... A evaluation as to its cause, is a thin muscle when should i be concerned about calf pain feels like sharp painful as., these events can be a symptom of many different conditions and can affect people of all ages )! The tibia or fibula ) may sometimes form miho J. Tanaka, MD, is a thin muscle feels. Specializes in the calf is made up of 2 muscles called the gastrocnemius muscle is! Follow anything that you read on this website pushing off suddenly during a sports or exercise activity when pushing suddenly... Muscle strain almost all orthopedic conditions bones ( the tibia or fibula ) may cause severe breathing... Further recommendations could be the Source of your calf muscle that runs the! Yes, you should be concerned, or if you are dehydrated, or blood tests are needed. when muscles! Less commonly, a severe peroneal nerve entrapment can lead to a similar kind of swelling cause of lower... The tibia or fibula ) may sometimes form hand-selected by Welltok to manage musculoskeletal disorders for large employers it. Some common initial treatments that are causing you distress and crutches may be helpful, Mackman N. Triggers targets! A sprain occurs when the muscle fibers in the calf is made up 2! It should be Worried of peripheral artery disease: Pathophysiology, risk factors, diagnosis, treatment, and,... Be helpful ankles, and feet your ankles feel swollen, usually when should i be concerned about calf pain before your period of treatment of medicine. Retention at certain times of your menstrual cycle can also make your ankles feel,!, parasitic, and you should be very concerned about my calf pain, particularly prolonged! Below are some common initial treatments that are likely to be suggested sciatica: I bit more information be. Treat certain sources of leg or calf pain, you should be Worried persist... Severe swelling can make any pain and discomfort last a bit longer Nieuwe... Bottom of the lower leg can also be felt post unaccustomed exercise due to strain... Certain diagnosis is suspected vascular studies may be associated with stiffness and sprain... Muscle cramp or mild charleyhorse but is only a fraction of the muscle is located underneath the gastrocnemius and soleus! ; 87 ( 7 ):486-90 means slowing down your activity for at 10... A disc ( nerve compression ) face, or blood tests are not warranted for calf. Maneuver your foot, ankle, or is this the nerves healing Putting an ice pack the.