A Guide to Calf Strains aka Soleus Strains
A calf strain, also known as soleus strain, is a common injury among children and youth. Refer to this guide to learn more about what it is, the symptoms, treatment and prevention.
What is a Calf Strain?
A calf strain, also known as a soleus strain, is a common injury among children and youth. It involves the stretching or tearing of the soleus or gastrocnemius muscles of the lower leg.
What Do the Gastrocnemius and Soleus Muscles Do?
The gastrocnemius is the calf’s large muscle, whereas the soleus is the smaller muscle that sits beneath the gastrocnemius and is found slightly lower on the leg. Both of these muscles join to form the achilles tendon. These calf muscles help to flex the ankle and point your foot downward.
Causes of Calf Strains in Pediatric Patients
A strain of your calf muscles can occur during a physical activity where you push off forcefully from your toes. It may occur in running, jumping, lunging, or pivoting. These types of movements can put great stress on these muscles, causing injury.
Calf strains can also be caused by overuse. They can even occur while walking, especially in people who do not condition properly before exercise or activity.
What Symptoms Should I Look for if I Believe My Child has Experienced a Calf Strain?
Depending on the severity of the injury, symptoms you should look for to determine whether or not your child has experienced a calf strain include:
- Sudden, sharp pain
- Popping sensation
- Difficulty rising up on their toes
For mild strains, your child may experience:
- Tightness or soreness in the calf
For moderate strains, your child may experience:
- Pain accompanied by swelling or bruising
- An inability to run or jump
For severe strains, your child may experience:
- Intense pain accompanied by swelling or bruising
- An inability to walk
How are Calf Strains Treated?
Treatment for calf strains varies based upon the severity of the injury, but these methods are typical for this type of injury:
- Compression wraps
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Physical or massage therapy
How Can I Help My Child Prevent a Calf Strain from Occurring?
Calf strains are best prevented by warming up properly and doing calf-stretching exercises before any activity. Encourage your child to take proper precautions and warm up beforehand. Let them know the potential consequences to their body should they fail to do so.
MidAmerica Orthopaedic Offers an Excellent Pediatric Clinic for Youth Calf Strains
Permanent damage is possible if calf strains are not properly treated. That’s why it’s important to receive quality, specialized care from an Orthopaedic Specialist.
MidAmerica Orthopaedics’ Pediatric Clinic places you with a pediatric specialist who will work with you to determine the best treatment plan possible for your child.