Sitting at your desk and wondering what you did at the gym last night to cause twinging pain in your calf when walking to get your coffee? This may shine some light on what is happening and what to do next.

What is a muscle strain?

A muscle strain is the same as a pulled muscle which is also the same as a torn muscle. The most severe form of muscle strain is a ruptured muscle and should be reviewed by a medical expert ASAP. The calf muscle’s (which is actually made up of 2 muscle groups) function is to point the foot downwards and a disruption to the muscle fibers undertaking this action will cause pain on pointing the foot downwards (walking or jumping on your toes). The disruption to the fibers can occur at the origin of the calf muscles behind the knee, anywhere along the muscle fiber groups, at the transition between the muscle and its (Achilles) tendon attachment and at the insertion of the tendon into the heel bone (Achilles tendinopathy). Although there may be many predisposing causes to calf muscle strains, our current trend of thought is that they are more related to a weakness of the structure than a lack of flexibility of the structure.

How do I treat calf strain?

Treatment is aimed at repairing and restoring the integrity of the structure which needs to be supplemented with specific strengthening exercises. An experienced physiotherapist should know what to do, but will need your help by you adhering to your rehab!

“Take home message: Strengthening the calf is more important than stretching. “

Be aware: very occasionally a DVT (blood clot) may masquerade as a calf strain – see your doctor if concerned.

Larry is a highly skilled physiotherapist who specialises in treating back and neck pain, postural issues and scoliosis. He is certified in Schroth and SEAS methods and through the Egoscue University. Larry has a background in elite gymnastics and springboard diving and also has many years experience in endurance running and triathlons. His specialist knowledge and techniques have seen him appointed as a gymnastics coach and physiotherapist at both the Olympics Games and Special Olympics.

His passion and driving philosophy is about achieving the best outcomes for his patients utilising an amalgam of the latest techniques and theories while recognising there may sometimes be a need for invasive procedures. Where deemed appropriate Larry will then refer to a specialist. To further his holistic understanding and approach, Larry is currently undertaking a Ph.D. in Spinal Deformity and regularly attends and speaks at international conferences and courses and clinics.

Fun fact: Larry is learning how to surf - so be careful next time you go to the beach! Qualifications: B.Sc (Physiotherapy); M.Sc. (Exercise Physiology); Advanced Certificates in Schroth (BSPTS) and Egoscue (PAS) and SEAS Larry is Level II certified (advanced) in the conservative treatment of Scoliosis based on the Schroth method. The training was conducted by Dr Manuel Rigo of the Barcelona School at Scoliosis Rehab Inc in Wisconsin. He has completed his SEAS scoliosis treatment training at ISICO in Milan. Larry has also spent time working with Dr Rigo in the Barcelona clinic. Larry also has advanced certificates in shoulder treatment, posture alignment therapy and acupuncture.