After any muscle strain/tear, the two most important factors to re-establish are normal muscle length and eccentric strength. Whether it is a recent injury or a chronic niggle, working on both of these is essential to your rehab.
Here are 2 quick solutions to managing a calf strain.
1) Calf massage ball release
If you’ve tried foam rolling your calves, you may have found that it’s hard to get adequate pressure onto them with a roller. A better way to self-massage them is using a ball (tennis ball, lacrosse ball, massage ball, etc.).
HOW TO: Work one leg at a time for 2-5mins > relax your body and allow the ball to sink in deeply > you can slowly roll around or rest on a tight spot for 30secs-1min > try holding on a tight spot and gently moving your ankle up and down.
2) Calf raises (eccentric component)
Calf raises are a great strengthening exercise, and they are best done on a step with the heel hanging off as this allows maximum range of movement. For muscle strain rehab we want to focus on the eccentric component, which is when the muscle is lengthening under load. In a calf raise, the eccentric component is the lowering down part.
HOW TO: Stand on a step with both heels off the edge > push through the balls of your feet to raise up as high as you are able > transfer your weight onto the working leg > then slowly lower down on just that leg > it should take you 2-3 seconds to lower all the way down > repeat for 3 sets of 8-12 reps.
Our caring and friendly Chatswood or North Sydney Physio team would love to help you out, so reach out to us if you have any questions.