A tear in the muscle fibers in the back of the lower leg is referred to as calf strain. This condition is usually caused by a sudden pushing off motion such as with running or jumping. Excessive stretching of the calf muscle can also cause calf strain.
Calf strain can be mild or severe. You may feel a sharp pain in your calf and the area may be sensitive to touch. Swelling and bruising of the injured area may also be noticeable. If the injury is mild, you can continue with your exercise routine although you may have some discomfort. An injury that is more serious may make it difficult to walk due to the severity of pain.
Apply cold compression to the affected area to reduce swelling and stop any internal bleeding. You should also wear a compression bandage for no longer than 10 minutes at a time to reduce swelling. A heel pad can also be worn to take pressure off the calf muscle.
A severe injury may require a visit to a medical professional who can prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication. Physical therapist can assist with healing and show you exercises you can do at home to lessen your recovery time.