What are calf pain?The complaints in the calf can occur due to circulatory disorders, which in turn may have anatomical causes.
Calf pain is a pain that usually draws or stings in the calf muscles. The complaints can occur due to circulatory disorders, which in turn may have anatomical causes.
For example, pain in the calves increases after accidents. Most affected is not only the calf, but the whole foot. The pain often spreads over months or years in the entire leg.
The causes of calf pain are manifold. They occur through sports injuries such as bruises, calf cramps and bruising, but can also be caused by poor posture or overloading. Circulatory disorders are also a cause of pain in the calves. This is the case when the pain predominantly occurs when walking and when sitting back to diminish. Since this type of calf pain indicates an increased risk of heart attack, action should be taken quickly.
In addition, problems with the calves may also occur due to a herniated disc and the associated irritation of nerve roots. Degenerative changes of the spine are also a risk factor.
Lastly, calf pain often occurs in association with thrombophlebitis. It is an inflammation of the superficial skin veins, which causes pain. Varicose veins, arthritis and other related diseases of the blood vessels are also common causes of chronic calf problems.
Diseases with this symptom
- Circulatory disorders
- compartment syndrome
- sports injuries
- leg cramps
- disc prolapse
Diagnosis & History
The diagnosis of calf pain depends strongly on the cause. Temporary problems such as pain in the calves after running can be recognized by the fact that the pain is strong and convulsive, but disappear after the end of the load.
However, it can happen with constant overloading that this pain, which is also known as the lodge syndrome, take a chronic course. They then also exist at rest. The diagnosis is made here on the basis of a detailed conversation with the doctor and an examination of the calf muscles. However, this is only a suspected diagnosis. Later, further research will be done to rule out other diseases as the cause.
If there is a suspicion of a lodge syndrome, a specialized sports physician must be consulted, which carries out further investigations and initiates a suitable therapy. To do this, for example, pressure measurements and stress tests are made, but also an X-ray of the muscles is usually made to make the final diagnosis.
The course of calf pain also depends on the underlying cause. Normally, complaints will increase over months or years if no action is taken. In the beginning it is only a slight stinging and later in the course of severe pain, which can spread throughout the leg. This results in a severe restriction of the quality of life. Also, the mobility is lower due to pain in the calves, since any movement while running and also when driving is extremely uncomfortable.
When should you go to the doctor?
In most cases, calf pain is caused by an unusually heavy load, resulting in prolonged pain even when at rest. Nevertheless, immediate treatment by a doctor is not required, as it is very likely just a harmless sore muscle.
A sore muscle requires no treatment by a doctor, because after two to three days, a significant improvement may occur. If you still have pain after this period, then you should definitely visit a doctor. You may have damaged muscles or tendons that can not heal on their own. If at this point on a medical and drug treatment is waived, further complications threaten. By further stressing the affected areas, individual tendons and muscles may rupture, requiring surgery.
Thus: calf pain is triggered in most cases by unfamiliar loads. However, if the pain still persists after two to three days, then a medical examination should take place. An appropriate physician can make an accurate diagnosis so that serious injuries can be detected early and treated properly. If you refrain from such treatment, there is a risk of long-term damage or complicated damage to individual tendons, muscles and ligaments.
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Treatment & Therapy
Calf pain can be effectively treated after a comprehensive diagnosis. Acute muscle injuries, strains or bruises are treated by sparing the affected muscles. The so-called PECH method is used here (P as pause, E as ice, C as compression and H as high storage). Even mild painkillers as well as cooling pain ointments and gels can be prescribed.
The latter have anti-inflammatory and decongestant. If the cause of calf pain is muscle cramping or hardening, minerals such as magnesium and iron are used. Massages are also used to release hardening and promote blood circulation in affected muscles.
Calf pain, which results from a chronic miscarriage or overload, can be remedied by sparing. It is advisable to analyze the underlying bad postures carefully to avoid the problems in the future. Problems with the calves caused by a hamstring must be treated surgically. In addition, the use of compression stockings is usually prescribed to relieve the muscles after surgery.
Outlook & Forecast
Calf pain can have a harmless cause. The prospects and prognoses depend on the cause of the calf pain. If it is tension, magnesium deficiency, muscle soreness, calf cramps or the consequences of sportive overexertion, these can be remedied by conventional means. Gentleness, magnesium supplements, massages or careful stretching of shortened muscles are indicated. If the person concerned has been involved in sports, it is obvious that these causes are being considered. Similarly, if someone frees his body by laxative or dehydrating agent of electrolytes.
Worse is the prognosis when it comes to other related calf pain. Symptoms may be deep-seated venous thrombosis, torn muscle or foot problems. For persistent calf pain, seek medical advice - especially if concomitant symptoms such as swelling, redness or bluish discoloration, fever and the like are observed.
If the calf pain is due to foot problems, an orthopedist may be the right person to contact. Deposits may be necessary. If the calf pain arose as a result of thrombosis, the prognosis is different. Upon immediate consultation with a doctor, the thrombus may be dissolved by medication. In other cases, walking can lead to life-threatening embolism. Therefore, calf pain - especially after long flights or hours of sitting - to question exactly.
Pain in the calves can be prevented by careful use of the muscles. Especially athletes can avoid a lot of problems by a comprehensive warm-up program and regular stretching exercises. In addition, first signs of impending muscle injury must be detected early, which requires some experience.
In addition, the renunciation of alcohol and cigarettes relieves the veins and muscles in the calves. Generally, a healthy lifestyle with sufficient exercise can prevent calf pain in many cases. A regular check-up also prevents existing problems with the calves from getting worse.
You can do that yourself
With calf pain, a doctor does not always have to be consulted. Mostly the complaints can be alleviated with the help of some home remedies and measures. First of all, it is advisable to raise your legs as often as possible and treat them with natural remedies. In addition, the calves should be spared for the time being, so that the pain does not increase further.
Also recommended for calf cramps applications with cold-pressed rosemary or lavender oil and light massages. In case of possible hyperacidity, fresh fruits and vegetables as well as basic tablets from the pharmacy help. Calf pain resulting from a venous disease can be treated with the help of horse chestnut tea and the Venenkräftigenden stone clover. Cool compresses and wraps with healing earth relieve acute pain and also help with chronic calf problems. With bilateral calf pain warm applications and natural remedies such as horse ointment help. In addition, the calves should be alternately cold and hot in the morning and evening.
Relaxation, bed rest and a healthy lifestyle are the main benefits of calf pain during growth. If the calf pain occurs again and again despite these measures, a doctor should be consulted. An early clarification allows a targeted treatment and prevents further complications.