1. Muscle Strain
Your calf muscles are hard workers, helping you stand and walk on a daily basis. It’s no wonder that they sometimes get strained. Typically, sprains are caused by overusing your muscle, using it in the wrong way or not stretching properly before activity. This results in tiny tears in the muscle fiber. Once the injury has occurred, you may see swelling or bruising in addition to feeling pain.
So how do you treat and prevent aching muscles?
2. Weak Veins
Weak veins, also known as venous insufficiency, cannot push the blood back to the heart well. As a result, blood can pool and clot in the veins, which can lead to problems such as varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis, discoloration of skin and swelling in the legs. Varicose veins are those large purple or green veins we all despise and can cause an aching, throbbing pain or heaviness in the calves.
A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot deep in the veins of the leg, often in the calf. Classic symptoms are pain and swelling in the calf, but tenderness and a warm, red area may also be present. If you suspect a DVT, or have calf pain and shortness of breath go to the emergency room immediately.
Here are some ideas for at-home treatment and prevention.
1. Wear compression stockings
2. Stretch and massage legs and don’t stay in one position for too long.
3. Stop smoking
4. Lose weight if you are overweight
6. Raise your legs above your heart for 15 minutes, 3 to 4 times a day
7. Wiggling toes when sitting for extended periods of time
Muscle cramping, especially at night, can be caused by a lack of water, or dehydration. Water does a lot for your body, including carrying nutrients to the muscles for energy. When you are dehydrated, your muscles can’t get valuable nutrients, like calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium. Without these, you can experience sudden pain with an intense tightening of the calf muscles.
To prevent and treat cramps, try these tips.
1. Massage and stretch the calf muscles. This can help ease pain during a cramp and help prevent future cramping.
2. Drink plenty of water.
3. Apply heat to tight muscles during a cramp to help relieve the pain.
A word of warning. While many cases of calf muscle pain can be addressed at home, some cases can be much more serious. For example, DVTs are clots that can move to different parts of the body, such as the lung, and can be fatal. If you are not sure what’s causing your calf pain, or if your pain is severe, call your doctor or go to the emergency room.
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