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Top 7 Tips To Treat And Prevent Calf Pain
By Raymond Lee
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You are playing tennis. You hit a backhand and set yourself for the volley. It is a lob. You take off,, lunging to reach the shot and all of a sudden you hear a snap, and you can’t move forward. You feel as though you have lost control of your left calf. That is the scenario of a ruptured tendon. But calf pain is not always so drastic. Often, it is a dull ache that grates your lower leg. Sore calves can be triggered by foot problems, such as high arches or flat feet, or by ill-fitting shoes. Or the pain may be the result of a muscle tear, a partial rupture of the Achilles tendon, or the tendon inflammation called tendonitis. Problems like that will need to be treated by a doctor, of course. But if you have injured your calf or, more commonly, simply suffer from aching legs, here are some tips that you can consider to adopt.
- Try Lifts
If your calf pain is caused by an injury, take pressure of your heel. Heel lifts available at athletic shoe stores can help ease the strain on tendons and muscles. To make heel lifts, cut two 1/4-inch-thick pieces of cork and place them in your shoes.
RICE means rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Rest an injured calf for the first day or two, ice the area for no more than 20 minutes at a time every 2 to 3 hours as needed, compress the leg with an elastic bandage, and elevate the leg above the level of your heart, if possible. You can apply moist heat such as hot water bottle to the injury after the first 72 hours. Moist heat is more effective than dry heat.
- Try Arch Supports
When you wear arch supports inside your shoes, they help correct mechanical imbalances that affect the way you walk. These imbalances may throw off your gait and put extra pressure on your calves.
- Rub And Wrap
Once the swelling recedes, rub your injured calf with a pain-relieving balm and wrap it in a plastic wrap. Then top that wrap with an elastic bandage. This will help to retain the heat and relax the calf muscles so that it doesn’t cramp up. You can wear the combination wrap as long as it is comfortable.
- Check Your Shoes’ Shocks
It is recommended to replace worn shoes. Losing the shock absorption in your shoes can lead to calf pain. Once you lose 1/8 inch of thread, get new shoes or have the soles replaced.
- Try NSAID
To reduce the pain and inflammation of an injured calf, try an over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen. If you still need pain medication after a week, see a doctor.
- Pamper Your Calves
If your calf pain is not the result of an injury, revamping your footwear may relieve the soreness. It is recommended to wear running shoes as often as possible. If you have to wear dress shoes at work, change into them when you get to the office.
Raymond Lee is one of the foremost experts in the health and fitness industry and is the Founder of Bodyfixes Group specializing in body health, muscle development and dieting. He is currently the author of the latest edition of "Neck Exercises and Workouts." Visit http://www.bodyfixes.com for more information.
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Article Submitted On: November 14, 2007