Calf Strain and Therapeutic Ultrasound
The calf muscle is actually made up of two muscles that are connected by tough tissue at the bottom of the calf. A calf strain is a tear to one or both of the muscles at the back of the lower leg. It can become damaged or inflamed due to excessive strain or force being placed on the calf muscle. Symptoms can vary but generally you will feel a sudden sharp pain at the back of the lower leg. The calf muscle will be sore to touch and swelling and bruising may appear.
Some of the most common causes for this condition are as follows:
- Insufficient warm up or cool down
- Tight and weak muscles
- Sudden change of direction, explosive movement or increase in speed
- Sudden large force or pressure to the calf
The first point of protocol for treating a calf strain is the common R.I.C.E method. That’s Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Cold therapy should be applied as soon as possible to help quickly stop any internal bleeding. A compression bandage can be used as well to help combat swelling but should only be used for 10 minutes at a time to prevent lack of blood flow causing more damage to the tissues.
Therapeutic ultrasound can be used in the early stages of a calf strain to help with pain relief and to reduce swelling. Ultrasound therapy can help expedite the healing time of soft tissue . It also helps dilate blood vessels deep down inside the muscle, which creates a heating sensation. This results in getting blood flow into hard to reach places in order to accelerate the healing process.