Learn all about the effective methods involved in pulled calf muscle treatment. A pulled muscle is painful and sometimes needs some quick attention to avoid future problems down the road. There are two muscles on the calf called gastrocnemius (upper calf muscle) and soleus (lower calf muscle). Treatments for both these calf muscles are basically the same.
In order to treat a pulled calf muscle, you will need:
- Doctor’s advice and checkup
- Natural remedies (such as ice and heat)
- Medications to help the pain
- Regular compression bandages
- Apply ice immediately. The first line of action for a pulled calf muscle should be to apply ice. Apply the ice for fifteen to twenty minutes to the pulled calf muscle four times a day. Make sure to wrap the ice or ice pack in a towel; do not apply the ice directly to the muscle.
- Apply heat. Heat should not be applied to the pulled calf muscle for 48 hours. After 48 hours you can apply heat for fifteen to twenty minutes at a time. It is best to alternate cold and heat, which will speed up healing.
- Rest. Your calf muscle will need a lot of rest at first. When doing any kind of exercise or exertion, always stop if you feel pain. Sometimes even the simplest exercise can cause pain to a new injury. Take it slow and avoid all sports.
- Medications for pain. Many doctors will prescribe either aspirin or ibuprofen for the pain. You may also rub aspirin- or ibuprofen-based cream on the sore pulled calf muscle. Natural remedies include ginger and turmeric, but these natural remedies cannot be used in conjunction with pharmaceutical medicines. If there is a lot of swelling, avoid aspirin and ibuprofen for the first 24 hours.
- Compression bandages. Wearing an ACE bandage or compression bandage may help the pulled calf muscle repair. Make sure not to wrap the injury too tight though. Loosen the bandage if you notice any coldness in your feet or toes.
- Elevation. During the first 24 hours, try to elevate your calf above your heart. Use a wall to rest you leg on while lying on the floor or a bed.
- Stretching. After the pain is gone, attempt light stretching. You can try to stretch one leg at a time by leaning against the wall for ten seconds. Try this a few times and never continue with these light stretching exercises if the pain returns.
Treating a pulled muscle will take time and care. The initial steps listed here are very important in treating a pulled calf injury. As always, if your progress is not being made as expected or the pains are not relieved with these measures, contact your physician for further assistance.