CALF STRAINS

Anatomy

Calf strains are a commonly injured muscle for athletes. In sporting terms it is also referred to as ‘the old mans’ injury’ as it is more often seen in athletes passed their prime and over the age of 32

In many such cases the injury is caused through sudden eccentric overstretch, ie. The muscle is contracted yet lengthened forcibly and abruptly.  An example of this is when an athlete plants their foot and looks to explosively push off.

The most common place to incur this injury is at the musculotendinous junction of the gastrocnemius: roughly halfway between the knee and the heel.

A calf strain may also be more likely in athletes who have tight calf muscles.

Prevention

  • Having good calf strength
  • Thorough warm ups and muscles that are stretched and not ‘tight’
  • Learning the proper technique for exercise and sporting activities. This will decrease stress on all muscles, including calf muscles
  • Undertaking training prior to competition to ensure readiness to play
  • Undertaking fitness programs to develop strength, balance, coordination and flexibility
  • Gradually increasing the intensity and duration of training
  • Allowing adequate recovery time between workouts or training sessions