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Swollen Calf

Are you worried because of the pain at the back of your leg? Are you not able to walk properly? Is it due to swollen calf? You are at the right page. This article will tell you about swollen calf muscle and pain during movement. Read on to know about the causes and treatment of swollen calf..
The muscles at the back of the lower part of the leg are known as calf muscles. Swollen calf is not a serious problem and it can be cured within 2-3 days, with home remedies and by resting. Calf muscle pain is common in children, young adults, pregnant women and old people. Here is a list of causes of swollen calf muscle.

Causes of Swollen Calf Muscles
  • Leg Injury: A leg injury or bone fracture can lead to swollen calf.
  • Baker's Cyst: Baker's cyst or a lump filled with synovial fluid behind the knees can sometimes lead to swollen calf.
  • Posture: Incorrect posture while standing, sitting and incorrect foot motion while walking can lead to swollen calf.
  • Sprain: Swollen calf muscle can be the result of muscle cramps. Old people may experience foot and leg cramps, even when at rest.
  • Weather: Cold weather sometimes causes swollen calf and calf muscle pain, if the legs are not well covered with warm socks.
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis: The most common symptom of a blood clot in calf is swollen calf. A calf vein is often a preferred target of deep vein thrombosis.
  • Hormonal Imbalance: Hormonal imbalance can cause sudden and knotty spasm in the calf muscle, leading to swollen calf. This condition is also known as Charley Horse.
  • Strain: A strenuous activity can lead to torn calf muscle, resulting in pain and swelling around calf muscle. Excessive training to the athletes can result in calf muscle strain, for instance, swollen calf after running.
  • Lack of Nutrients: Vitamin deficiency or insufficient supply of minerals like magnesium or calcium can lead to weak muscles and swollen calf muscle can be a sign of weak calf muscle. This can also lead to calf muscle pain.
  • Stretching of the Calf Muscle: Sports personalities are more prone to be affected by swollen calf and ankle. Wrong stretching of the muscle, for instance while crossing hurdles or wrong way of exercising can lead to pulled calf muscle, resulting in swelling and pain.
  • Compartment Syndrome: Compartment syndrome is a condition where insufficient supply of blood and nutrients to the muscle is observed after an injury or after repetitive activity like running or even after a surgery. The nerves or blood vessels in the calf muscle tissue restrict the flow of blood and nutrients, leading to swollen calf muscle.
Most of the time, pain in the calf muscle or surrounding area is experienced by the patient of swollen calf muscle. The pain can restrict the normal movement of the leg. Over the counter pain killers can be taken but the pain can be relieved with the help of some simple remedies. Here is a list of home remedies for swollen calf.

Treatment of Swollen Calf Muscles
  • The calf muscles should be rested. Sufficient rest can help relieve the pain and swelling may subside gradually.
  • Cold packs or ice packs can be applied to the swollen calf, 3 to 4 times a day, to reduce the swelling.
  • Proper massage with olive oil, sesame oil or mustard oil can help reduce the pain and swelling of the calf muscle.
  • Keep the leg in an elevated position to get rid of calf and leg pain.
  • An elastic compression bandage around the calf muscle can help reduce the swelling and pain.
  • Wear warm leggings and you may feel comfortable.
  • Eat healthy food and enjoy plenty of liquids. Avoid dehydration as it leads to leg cramps. A well balanced diet is necessary to recover fast. Potassium rich diet can help avoid leg cramps.
  • Proper and regular exercises can improve the blood flow and can thus cure the calf muscle forever. Remember, warm up and cool down exercises are always to be performed religiously to avoid such situations.
After treating the swollen calf muscle at home, if the swelling or the pain does not subside, then you should consult your doctor. The doctor may suggest proper medication after detecting the exact cause of swelling and pain.
By Leena Palande
Published: 2/18/2010
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