Calf Muscle Strain
(Pulled Calf Muscle; Gastrocnemius Strain; Gastrocnemius Tear; Gastrocnemius Muscle Injury)
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
A calf muscle strain is a partial or full tear of the muscle in the back of the lower leg.
Causes may be:
This problem in more common in people who do activities with sudden bursts of speed, such as track sports, basketball, and football.
Other things that may raise your risk of this problem are:
Problems may be:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms, health history, and how the injury happened. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on your calf muscle. This is enough to make the diagnosis.
The goal is to ease pain and improve movement. This may be done with:
The risk of a calf muscle strain may be lowered by:
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
OrthoInfo—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Canadian Orthopaedic Association
Calf strain advice. Oxford University Hospitals website. Available at: https://www.ouh.nhs.uk/patient-guide/leaflets/files/10921Pcalfstrain.pdf. Published November 2014. Accessed March 27, 2020.
Muscle strain (pulled muscle). Johns Hopkins Medicine website. Available at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/orthopaedic-surgery/specialty-areas/sports-medicine/conditions-we-treat/muscle-strains.html. Accessed March 27, 2020.
Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Teresa Briedwell, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS
Last Updated: 3/27/2020