Size – The larger the area of your calf pain, is better, because muscles in your thigh stretch from your hip to below your calf. Pain tends to radiate along the thigh muscles and affect large areas. Muscles heal easier & recover faster.
Colour – Bruising in & around the outside, back and inside of your calf is quite common after a thigh tear, because of the high concentration of blood vessels in your thigh. These capillaries rupture & leak plasma that pools in your calf. Blue discoloration closer to the front of your calf is more concerning for it involves your calf ligaments.
Swelling – Swelling is your body’s way of healing itself by sending cells to heal the tissue. More swelling could mean more tissue damage, however not all calf injuries swell. Injury to tissue that develops over a few weeks doesn’t swell, because the tissue trauma is continuous and repetitive, so your body stops the inflammatory reaction. A new injury on an old problem is also possible.
Area -Calf pain at the front of your calf are more restrictive during walking, while pain at the back of your calf limits you from climbing down stairs. If your Calf pain causes you to limb you must be more concerned. Sharp pain over a small area makes it easier to pinpoint structures near your pain. Vague, dull & deep ankle pain can take longer to identify the root cause. Compensatory patterns develop, sometimes it takes a while to just get rid of those.
Motion & sore Calf
Stiff – Calf Stiffness followed by pain is regressing and getting worse. Seek help. Pain followed by stiffness is a good sign of tissue healing, specifically scar tissue formation. Scar tissue is hardening wound tissue that tends to shorten and pull on structures surrounding the injured site. This is more pronounced in muscle strains & tears, where the normal slide of muscles is restricted during a contraction.
Range of movement – Difficult moving your calf through its range is a big problem. A painful arch means the structure injured only takes tension over that specific range i.e Only painful when you your calf the last 10 degrees. Calf pain over a smaller range of movement is not necessarily better. This may point to connecting joint surfaces being injured. If you feel pain only at the end of your range its less severe and easy to fix. When your calf pain stops movement completely and too painful to move you should definitely come see us as soon as possible.