Calf muscle strain in rugby

What is a calf muscle strain?
The calf muscles consist of the Gastrocnemius muscle, which is the big muscle at the back of the lower leg and the Soleus muscle, which is a smaller muscle lower in the leg, below the Gastrocnemius.

The Gastrocnemius muscle starts above the knee and inserts via the Achilles tendon into the heel. The Soleus originates below the knee and also inserts via the Achilles tendon. Although either of these two muscles can be strained or torn, the most common injury is to the muscle-tendon junction of the Gastrocnemius, roughly half way between the knee and the heel.

What causes a calf muscle strain?
A strain is caused by twisting or pulling the calf muscle.

An acute strain is caused by trauma or an injury such as a blow to the muscle or overstressing the calf muscle. Chronic strains are usually the result of overuse - prolonged, repetitive movement of the muscles.

Contributing factors include an inadequate warm up, lack of flexibility, fatigue and insufficient strength.

Symptoms

  • Pain: Gastrocnemius - midway up calf muscle; Soleus - lower in leg and when muscle contracts with knee bent
  • Difficulty contracting calf muscle or standing on toes
  • Audible pop sound and feeling of being hit in the calf
  • Swelling

What can you do

  • Seek medical attention
  • Apply RICE: rest - slows down bleeding and reduces the risk of further damage; Ice - eases pain, reduces swelling, reduces bleeding initially; compression - reduces bleeding and swelling; elevation - reduces bleeding and swelling by allowing fluids to flow away from the site of injury.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
7% - 617 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
83% - 7398 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
10% - 921 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.62
+1.2%
Rand - Pound
20.23
-0.2%
Rand - Euro
17.60
-0.4%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.43
+1.7%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+0.8%
Gold
1,724.21
+1.4%
Silver
21.02
+1.5%
Palladium
2,312.00
+3.9%
Platinum
931.50
+3.0%
Brent Crude
88.86
+4.2%
Top 40
59,840
+3.3%
All Share
66,313
+3.2%
Resource 10
64,568
+4.5%
Industrial 25
80,073
+3.2%
Financial 15
14,053
+1.7%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE