Physiotherapy for Calf Strain


Physiotherapy can help you manage your calf strain and help you return to your original activity or highest possible function. Calf strain can happen when any of your calf muscles is stretched beyond its limit or torn causing calf pain and swelling. A calf strain is also called a pulled calf.

RICE Therapy for Minor Calf Strains

Minor stretching of your calf can be easily managed at home using RICE therapy. RICE is an acronym for rest, ice application, compression and elevation.
  • Rest. Stop your activity that led to your calf strain and rest. Avoid movements that make your symptoms worse.

  • Apply an ice pack wrapped in towel for about 20 minutes at a time, 3 to 4 times a day to help decrease your pain and swelling.

  • Wrap an elastic bandage on your injured calf to help control swelling. If you are unsure of how to apply the bandage ask a professional to do it for you as wrapping it to tight might impede blood flow to your ankle and foot.

  • Elevate your injured limb above the level of your heart.

Physiotherapy for Calf Strain

Physiotherapy treatments for calf strain vary and depends on the severity of your injury. Your physiotherapist will ask about your activity when you got your injury and will conduct a thorough evaluation. You will be participating in your plan of care. Your physiotherapist will ask about your goals and formulate a comprehensive plan of treatment specifically made for you based on your problems and goals.

Physiotherapy Treatment Options for Calf Strain
  • Ice / Heat application
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • Ultrasound
  • Massage / Soft tissue mobilization
  • Range of motion exercises
  • Stretching exercises
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Suggest walking aid (e.g. cane, walker, cruthces)
  • Gait (Walking) training
  • Patient education

The type of treatment provided for you depends on the severity of your injury and your needs and goals. Your physiotherapist will determine the appropriate intervention that's best for you.

Your physiotherapist may provide you with a home management and exercise program to help speed up your recovery.

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