A pulled calf muscle can be very painful and is sure to disrupt a regular exercise routine. A Sports Medicine Doctor in Chicago is the practitioner to see for treatment. This physician helps patients speed healing of strained calf muscles and teaches patients preventive measures, so the problem doesn’t occur again.
The first strategy is to avoid putting pressure on the leg until the muscle has healed. Unfortunately, this means staying away from exercise involving weight bearing with the legs except for slow walking when necessary. Swimming may be a suitable alternative to activities such as jogging or playing tennis.
The patient will probably be advised to alternate heat packs and ice packs throughout the day, or at least whenever possible. Although people often think of ibuprofen and naproxen primarily for reducing pain, their anti-inflammatory effects can help the muscle heal.
A Sports Medicine Doctor in Chicago may provide an orthopedic shoe that the patient wears as the muscle recovers. This holds the calf muscle in place while walking, so it barely moves. Using a cane or a crutch also keeps weight off the leg. A compression bandage is another solution for preventing the calf from moving, and it also increases healthy blood flow to the injured area. The doctor shows the patient how tightly the bandage should be wrapped for best results.
In general, the patient can expect to gradually start doing any weight-bearing exercises again within a few days to a week. Running may be inadvisable for longer than that although slow jogging and other fitness activities should be OK.
Warming up before exercise is advisable, but many people don’t know how to stretch properly. Some fitness experts state that improper stretching actually increases the risk of injury. Staff members with a practice such as Metropolitan Institute of Pain can provide information on warm-up activities that are most beneficial.
Wearing quality athletic shoes that fit well and are not worn out is a strategy for preventing leg injuries. A suitable amount of cushioning protects the feet and the legs. In addition, staying hydrated before and during exercise also is important for preventing muscle strains.