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Hamstring Muscle - Torn Calf Muscle


Symptoms Checklist:

  • The pain came on suddenly
  • You felt a sharp stabbing pain at the back of your thigh
  • You may have heard something “pop”
  • While you can still move, tensing the muscle makes it sore
  • The muscle feels tender and sore to your touch
  • There is swelling to the damaged area

Torn Hamstring Muscle

Your muscles are made of fibres resembling threads.  A muscle tear happens when these “threads” are stretched too much and break.  As they break, the severed ends spring back and curl up.  This space is then filled with blood which causes the discoloration that appears as bruising after a day or so.  Muscles can tear for many reasons, lack of proper warm-up, over stressing, weakness from a previous injury or poor repair, over tired, tense or cold muscles damage more easily.  The amount and severity of the tear depends on the severity of the stretch or the blow you received.  Once a tear occurs, your body responds automatically by rushing fluid to the area to immobilise the damaged part and start the repair process.  In strenuous exercise the rate of blood flow is about 20 times greater than normal.  As the site of the damage fills with fluid, torn blood vessels are restricted by the pressure of the swelling and the internal bleeding stops.  However, this mechanism of self-defence can add to your problems later.  As well as bringing fluid urgently to the site of the damage, your body also brings proteins that remain and have a negative effect on the healing process. 

Physical Therapy/Osteopathy and Torn Calf Muscle

The therapist’s first goal is to stop the internal bleeding and swelling.  This can be done by applying ice immediately to the affected area.  You must then rest the damaged muscle, raising the limb to reduce blood flow.  Applying a bandage will also help slow down the swelling.  Muscles have the ability to repair themselves naturally.  However, other soft tissue in the area of damage can grow quicker and usually this connective tissue will try to replace the damaged part.  Because it is harder and less elastic the quality of repair is poor and you could be prone to recurring injury. The Therapist will work to correctly align the damaged fibres, break down the scar tissue, gently stretch the shortened muscles, prevent the formation of adhesions, increase circulation and improve the quality of repair.

Tags: Lower Body, Legs, Muscles, torn, Hamstring muscle tear, Muscle sprain or strain, Sports Injuries

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