Sciatica is a symptom of a lower back issue such as spinal stenosis, a lumbar herniated disc, spondylolisthesis, or a degenerative disc disease. This discomfort can be felt anywhere between the knee and the ankle along the backside of the lower leg. Is it painful when you walk, stand, or bend the knee or ankle? “Peripheral Artery Disease,” Mayo Clinic, August 12, 2017; http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/peripheral-artery-disease/symptoms-causes/dxc-20167421, last accessed August 14, 2017. as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The outer portion of the calf may swell and be tender. 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People who incur this injury often describe the pain as a deep soreness or tightness. It causes increased calf pain with activity and knee movement. This condition is sciatica. Environmental causes of calf swelling may be related to lifestyle habits or certain exposures. Serious medical conditions may require prescribed anti-inflammatories, corticosteroids, and antibiotics, as well as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, physical therapy, or possibly surgery. If you have any Foot and calf pain can be caused by many things, including muscle fatigue, overuse injuries, underlying medical conditions or even improper footwear. © 2020 Assembly Technologies Inc. All rights reserved. While muscle injuries are the most common cause of calf pain, there are others that may stem from nerve problems, knee joint problems, or foot and ankle conditions. Sciatica in the Calf Anatomy. Once the pain lessens, do the same exercises with leg straight. Also known as a “Charley horse,” a calf cramp occurs when the muscle contracts involuntarily. What sort of activity were you doing at the time when the pain started? Some common causes of leg pain include: Achilles tendinitis. A significantly smaller muscle runs alongside the gastrocnemius muscle. When the calves are aching, it is most often due to the stressed calf muscles. Sources: 3. The sufferer will usually experience calf pains at night. Pain in the calf (the back part of the lower leg) is usually caused by a cramp or muscle strain. Calf pain is a common symptom often causing problems with walking, running, and in some cases, even standing upright. This condition may lead to blood clots and skin ulcers. Calf pain when walking and calf pain after walking are common. Overuse or other factors can make these muscles to become sore and painful. There are two major muscles essential to the movement of the leg—the gastrocnemius muscle and the soleus muscle. The most common cause of chronic calf pain is a muscle injury, which can cause inflammation, strains, or tearing in any of the three major muscles of the calf.An injury to those muscles can in turn cause other injuries, causing chronic, recurring calf pain. Grade 2 Symptoms. The sensations often worsen when bending the knee and pulling the toes toward the shin. “Diabetic Neuropathies: The Nerve Damage of Diabetes,” National Institutes of Health, February 2009; www.niddk.nih.gov/-/media/A710C2B4CC214818B8C0BC7A30C8F7E8.ashx, last accessed August 14, 2017. The pain often fades away after resting for a short time. Tightness and pain can range from mild to severe, and can last a few seconds or several minutes. The calf is made up of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. "Famous" Physical Therapists Bob Schrupp and Brad Heineck present: Calf Pain! Cellulitis 4. This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. Calf muscle pain is commonly known as a “Charley Horse” episode when there is no trauma involved, but calf pain can be caused by damage to the nerves or direct injury to the lower leg. Any of the lower leg muscles can tighten and cause severe calf pain that may increase with use. It frequently happens in athletes who perform with their foot rolling inwards while running. Calf pain can result from a number of causes, including overworking the muscle, cramps, and foot conditions. If the blood leaks outside of the muscle, it may become a bruise or other hematoma. Running Form and Calf Pain Your stride can have a profound effect on the amount of trauma your calf muscle receives over the course of a run. Damage to the muscle can include small tears that cause muscle spasms wherein the contracting action of the muscle inhibits proper blood flow. Do you want to advertise on Facty.com?Let’s talk about this! DOI:  10.1007/s12178-009-9045-8, last accessed August 14, 2017. Cluett, J., “7 Common Causes Of Calf Pain and How To Treat Them,” Verywell, August 16, 2017; https://www.verywell.com/causes-of-calf-pain-and-treatment-options-2549387, last accessed August 16, 2017. Contact us!advertise@facty.com. What Are These Tiny Red Spots on My Skin (Petechiae)? Referred to as DVT, this is when the blood thickens and pools together to form a blood clot deep within a vein. It’s a common injury that makes the tendon swell, stretch, or tear. Leg pain can also be caused by blood clots, varicose veins or poor circulation. There is often a pain in the lower legs such as in the calves, as well as numbness and tingling sensations. Here we explain the possible causes, treatment, and prevention of cramp in the calf muscles. Tenderness and pain in the calf increase with exercise and when placing weight on the affected leg. When one of these muscles expand beyond the protective sheath, pain can be felt throughout the lower leg when used. But … Melepura explains that calf muscle cramps are likely due to muscle fatigue and dehydration. Sometimes blocked arteries cause the calf pain. Injury to this small muscle often occurs with jumping or running activities where the weight is placed on the ankle when the leg is extended. The pads will raise the heel while shortening the length of the muscle. Calf pain may be felt upon movement after extended rest periods, especially first thing in the morning. Cluett, J., “Calf Strain – Muscle Spasm of the Leg,” Verywell, July 14, 2017; https://www.verywell.com/calf-strain-muscle-spasm-of-the-leg-2549855, last accessed August 14, 2017. Other causes of calf pain: Calf pain may be referred from other body parts and produce pain in the calf. The nerves can become damaged by high blood sugar or glucose levels, inflammation, injury, and by external sources such as with alcohol and tobacco use. It bypasses the fibula and tibia shin bones and is attached to the femur bone and calcaneus, or heel bone with the help of the Achilles tendon. Cramping may occur soon after, along with bruising and swelling. Achilles tendonitis is swelling resulting from an overuse injury of the Achilles tendon, which is the tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. Pain in the calf muscle is a common result of straining the medial gastrocnemius muscle during physical activity such as with sports. concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other Any direct injury to these three muscles can cause calf pain, and conditions that affect the surrounding tissue or muscles can do so, as well. Position the affected leg in front of the other and slightly lean forward with the knee of the affected leg slightly hovering over the foot. Some are obvious, like injury or physical activity. healthcare professional. “Fibula Stress Fracture,” Sports Injury Clinic; http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sport-injuries/ankle-achilles-shin-pain/fibua-stress-fracture, last accessed August 14, 2017. Achilles Tendonitis/Rupture The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body, and it connects the calf muscles to your heel bone. This can happen gradually with improper stretching before strenuous activity or by an injury such as a compartment syndrome. Calf pain symptoms may include soreness above the heel in the back of the leg, stiffness, tenderness, and severe pain, especially after climbing stairs or running. In other words, leg pain at night has a … The calf of the leg holds blood vessels, nerves, tendons, ligaments, and muscles, which all can lead to calf pain as a result of trauma or damage. The causes of rheumatoid arthritis have yet to be confirmed as it is considered an autoimmune disease where immune system attacks healthy tissues of the body. “Calf Pain,” Healthgrades, September 26, 2016; https://www.healthgrades.com/symptoms/calf-pain, last accessed August 14, 2017. If an issue like a herniated disk or bone spur compresses this nerve, severe pain may radiate along the nerve’s path. Plantaris injuries are rare. “Leg cramps,” NHS Choices, November 9, 2014; http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/legcrampsunknowncause/Pages/Introduction.aspx, last accessed August 14, 2017. Place heel pads in both shoes to alleviate any strain on the calf muscle while walking. Most people notice claudication after walking at a certain pace for a longer period than they would normally and experience mild to severe muscle pain. Pain can be sudden from an injury, or gradual caused by the muscle growing over time as is seen in runners. 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