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KT Tape: Calf Strain I

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Published on Jul 12, 2010

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The calf muscles consist of two muscles: the gastrocnemius and the soleus. The gastrocnemius is the larger muscle that is visible on the back of the leg, and the soleus is the smaller muscle that is lower down on the back of the leg and mostly underneath the gastrocnemius. Both muscles end up attaching to the heel via the achilles tendon and serve to point the toes down (plantarflexion). These muscles are vital in walking, running, and propelling the body.
Strains in the calf come in varying degrees:
Grade 1
• Slight pain in the back of the leg
• Zero to very slight restricted motion or activity
• Tightness, aching, and slight pain for up to 5 days
Grade 2
• Pronounced, sharp, and restrictive pain
• Swelling and bruising
• Tightness and aching for up to 10 days
Grade 3
• Severe pain that is fully restrictive
• Moderate to complete inability to restrict the muscles
• Significant bruising and swelling
• In the most severe cases (ruptures) the muscle is bunched up towards the top of the calf
Calf strains occur due to injury during acceleration, change of direction, or repeated flexion under duress. The muscles may initially begin to spasm, cramp, or swell. Bruising may also become apparent at some time after the initial injury.
Treatment of a grade I calf strain involves rest most importantly. Ice, elevation, and compression can reduce pain and inflammation, but should not be relied upon to continue strenuous activity. KT Tape provides excellent support for these muscles during unavoidable activity, reducing aching and tightness in the calf. This application also provides inhibition of the muscles to promote relaxation and healing.

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