Calf injuries

The calf muscle is a powerful superficial muscle located at the back of the lower leg and is involved in standing, walking, running and jumping. it is located behind the shin bone and works across both the knee and ankle joints.

Actually it is made up of two muscles: the gastrocnemius is the larger calf muscle, forming the bulge visible beneath the skin and the soleus is a smaller, flat muscle that lies underneath the gastrocnemius muscle.

Muscle strain

The calf is commonly torn in sports which require quick acceleration from a stationary position and quick halts in movement. A calf strain is also more likely in athletes who have tight calf muscles.

The most common place to incur this injury is at the muscle tendon junction, roughly halfway between the knee and the heel.

Symptoms include:

  • A sudden pain at the back of the leg, particularly halfway down the leg

  • Pain and difficulty in contracting the muscle, standing on tiptoe or pointing the toes

Bruising - contusion - corked calf

In severe cases of a calf contusion, a visible increase in size of the muscle may be detected due to bleeding and swelling. Patients usually feel a sudden pain in the calf muscle at the time of injury. Other symptoms are muscle spasm, weakness and an inability to continue activity. 

Occasionally the swelling and bruising may track down to the ankle joint or foot and toes.

SportsMed TENS therapy for Calf injuries

After a diagnosis of muscle or tendon damage, your calf injury management plan should include physical therapy treatment as often as possible.

SportsMed is the TENS, ECS and EMS machine we suggest to aid repair of calf injury.

SportsMed electrotherapy can be used everyday - outside the clinic - for drug-free, on-demand pain relief. It is also designed and programmed to aid circulation, reduce inflammation, hasten healing and help with calf muscle rehabilitation.

User guide

Please read the User Guide which comes with your TENS unit

Pad placement - Calf muscle or tendon injuries

Pain relief - place pads where they are comfortable and most effective for pain relief

Injury healing - pads are placed at the location of the injury

Muscle rehabilitation - the generic advice is to place one pad at the top of the muscle and the second pad one-third along the length of the muscle you wish to strengthen. You may need to consult your physiotherapist for specific guidance on which muscles to target.

calf muscle

calf muscle


If you have any questions please phone our office for further advice.