Calf strain injuries can commonly happen during sporting activities such as running and jumping. However, other mechanisms may include slipping or jarring ankle plantarflexion movements in weightbearing positions. It typically involves sudden instances of higher forces that overload the capabilities of the muscles. These muscles include your gastrocnemius and soleus muscles which are both crucial muscles that help deliver forces in varying joint positions.  

A mechanism of injury is usually identifiable along with a feeling of sharp pain following the incident. The severity of calf strains can seperated in to 3 categories: 

  • Grade I 
  • Minor injury 
  • Able to continue with activity 
  • Mild pain or tenderness 
  • Mild or no loss of strength or range of motion 
  • Mild or no swelling 


  • Grade II 
  • Moderate Injury 
  • Unable to continue with activity 
  • Moderate pain or tenderness 
  • Moderate loss of strength or range of motion 
  • Moderate swelling and swelling


  • Grade III 
  • Significant injury 
  • Significant pain and functional limitations 
  • Prominent loss of strength or range of motion 
  • Prominent swelling and bruising


The management calf strains will vary between individuals, occupation, sporting activities, and degree of injury. All grade I and II injuries are managed conservatively. In certain cases of Grade III strains, surgery may be required followed by physiotherapy rehabilitation. Prevention is always preferable whenever possible. It is particularly important to focus on prevention strategies if you have had previous calf strains, strength deficiencies or range of motion limitations.



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