Possible calf tendinitis due to a sudden effort

Patient

Q: I was working out on a punching bag. I was doing knee strikes when all of a sudden I got a sharp pain in my left calf. It feels like a golf ball in my calf. I have no bruising but alot of pain, especially when I walk.

Doctor

A:    According to your description you may be experiencing a Calf Tendinitis. The calf muscle is made up of three muscles. The two heads of the gastrocnemeius and the soleus, these three muscles end in a common tendon: the Achilles tendon. Usually the complain is a sharp intense pain after a sudden or straining move. If you have a partial tear or complete rupture of the calf muscle then physical activity and weight-bearing will be impossible for 4-12 weeks depending on the injury. If you are suffering just from inflammation of the muscle then you can resume training  after 7-10 days. Ineffective warm up and warm down routines can lead to calf strains. Calf strains can be caused also by dehydration. Deficiencies in calcium, trace minerals and magnesium can also lead calf strains. Therefore I would recommend you to ensure adequate water intake and multi minerals. One of the most common causes is a condition called over pronation. Over pronation basically means that your feet are rolling over too much as you run or exercise which causes excessive pressure on the calf muscle and Achilles tendon.  Initial treatment should consist of  ice packs. You can also use a wet towel that has been in the fridge or commercially availableice packs for focused pain relief. An anti-inflammatory medication such as Ibuprofen (“Motrin”, “Aleve”) will help you to reduce the swelling ,this should be taken with meals and never before exercising .I  recommend you complete rest for 5 days for a mild calf strain and then a gradual increase in training. Massaging the calf also helps to speed up recovery.

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