The soleus muscle or calf muscle is positioned in the rear part of the lower leg. A strain occurs if the muscle fibers are partly torn. Fatigue, tight muscles and engaging in sports might increase the likelihood for developing a soleus muscle strain.
Generally, strains develop after sustaining a direct strike to the calf area or overuse of the muscle. In most cases, conservative measures are enough in managing the injury.
The RICE method is initially used for a soleus muscle strain. The affected leg should be allowed to rest by avoiding exercise or engaging in any sport. An ice pack or cold compress should be applied on the affected leg at 15-20-minute sessions at 4 times throughout the day.
A compression bandage can be used around the muscle to lessen the swelling. Lastly, the affected leg should be raised above the level of the heart using cushions or pillows.
Consultation with a doctor
There are instances in which a doctor should be consulted. In case the discomfort from a soleus muscle strain does not settle on its own after 3 days, set an appointment with the doctor.
A physical exam along with imaging tests might be done to help figure out the severity of the injury. If the pain is intense, the doctor might suggest using crutches for a few days to promote healing. In addition, physical therapy might also be suggested.
An over-the-counter pain medication might be suggested by the doctor. The medication should be taken as directed to reduce the pain and inflammation.
The individual should take part in a stretching regimen once the pain from a soleus muscle strain has drastically reduced. This will lessen the chances of re-injury in the future.
If physical therapy is suggested, the individual is guided on an appropriate exercise regimen.
Other considerations to bear in mind
Injuries to the soleus muscle can be prevented by performing proper warmup and stretching before sports or exercise.
If the individual did not take the right steps in caring for a soleus muscle strain, there is the possibility of further injury. It is vital to steadily resume physical activity to lessen the risk for another injury.
More Information / Disclaimer
The information posted on this page on a soleus muscle strain is for learning purposes only. Learn to properly treat the injury by taking a standard first aid course with Toronto First Aid.