gastrocnemius muscle pain

You have two gastrocs, one in each lower leg. Another common cause of calf pain is muscle strain. Sign up for our Health Tip of the Day newsletter, and receive daily tips that will help you live your healthiest life. Injury to the calf muscle can occur during athletic activities. Read our, Medically reviewed by Jonathan Cluett, MD. Avoid walking or other activities that cause pain. The first step in tennis leg treatment is to begin the P.R.I.C.E. Generally, surgery is not required for this injury. Quite a few conditions can affect the calf muscles of your lower legs. Achilles Tendonitis:Your Achilles tendon may become irritated due to faulty foot and leg mechanics or due to overloading the tendon repetitively. Calf cramps, typically at night (these may be present also with latent gastrocnemius trigger points). A muscle strain occurs when the muscle is stretched too far, which causes tears to occur within the muscle. These may include: Recovery from a gastrocnemius injury can take anywhere from two to twelve weeks depending on the severity of the injury. Clients may walk flat-footed and not be able to walk fast without pain. The severity will also affect how long it takes to heal. 2019 Jul 30. pii: pnz182. The lower medial trigger point is the only gastrocnemius trigger point that has an extended pain referral pattern. When walking, running, or climbing stairs, the muscle works to flex your ankle and propel you forward. Provided, of course, that it is caused by the muscle. Brett Sears, PT, MDT, is a physical therapist with over 15 years of experience in orthopedic and hospital-based therapy. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. Initial treatment for many gastrocnemius injuries typically includes a period of rest or immobilization. Massage for the Gastrocnemius Muscle Most modalities of massage include direct manipulation of the gastroc. The gastrocnemius is the muscle of the calf thanks to whom it gets its shape. So, the pain may be more pronounced along the inner aspect of your calf. The may also be unable to straighten the leg (at the knee) while standing if they are asked to keep their heel on the floor. Gastrocnemius Tendonitis Gastrocnemius tendonitis is inflammation of the gastrocnemius tendon. The calf muscle is actually made up of two primary muscles: the gastrocnemius muscle and the soleus muscle. Common problems that arise in gastrocnemius include: Cramp: Spasms, involuntary, painful contractions may affect gastrocnemius, lasting anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes; Calf Strain/Tear: If the muscle is suddenly overstretched, or repetitively overused, some or all of the muscle fibres may be torn Medically reviewed by Eva Umoh Asomugha, M.D. (Triceps means three, and surae relates to the calf muscle.). It occurs due to the repetitive strain to gastrocnemius muscle which results in bony and cartilaginous metaplasia, sharp pain in the heel and bone enlargement at tendons insertion. Learn more about the Dr. Perry's trigger point therapy video download course by clicking here. Problems walking or putting weight on the injured leg. Medically reviewed by Erin Pereira, DPT, OCS, Medically reviewed by Laura Campedelli, PT, DPT, Medically reviewed by Stuart Hershman, MD, Verywell Health uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. The diagram above also shows the referred pain patterns associated with the gastrocnemius trigger points. In many people it triggers pain in the calf, the hollow of the knee or in the footbed. It may also extend … Heat Pack or Cold Pack: Which works best in Trigger Point Therapy? Vitamin E deficiency may contribute to reoccurring calf cramps. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnz182. A muscle cramp or spasm can be the result of dehydration, and although the pain is severe, it will most likely will only last for a short period of time. https://sma.org.au/resources-advice/injury-fact-sheets/gastrocnemius-calf-strain Pain on the back of the knee while walking up stairs or up a slope. It affects the entire lower limb and the movement of the hip and the lumbar area. It is interesting to note that a small sesamoid or floating bone called a fabella is present in the lateral aspect of the gastrocnemius in approximately ten to thirty percent of people. PROCEDURE. Ice. Differentiating strains of the gastrocnemius or soleus is important for treatment and prognosis. The gastrocnemius is one of the most important muscles of the body. Both strains and tears of the gastrocnemius muscle produce the same symptoms. It is also prone to various injuries and conditions. The function of the gastroc at the knee is to work with your hamstrings to flex, or bend, your knee joint. Once a short period of rest is complete, rehabilitation to your calf can begin. This action puts maximal tension on the gastrocnemius muscle as the lengthened muscle is contracted at the “push off,” resulting in a medial calf injury. Gastrocnemius is the most superficial muscle in the posterior compartment of the leg. Sitting in a recliner (or using an ottoman) that doesn’t have support for the heels (feet hang off), causes the weight of the leg to compress the calf region and keeps the gastrocnemius in a shortened position. Gastrocnemius Muscle Strain or Tennis Leg. RECOVERY. The gastrocnemius is the most superficial muscle and bulky among the muscles in the back (posterior compartment) of the leg. Treatments may include: Rest. The calf muscle is actually made up of two primary muscles: the gastrocnemius muscle and the soleus muscle. The main function of the gastrocnemius muscle is to plantarflex your ankle. This allows your calf muscle to heal so you can start restoring flexibility and strength to the muscle. Coronavirus Quarantine SUPER SALE! These may include: 1. Baraja-Vegas L(1), Martín-Rodríguez S(2)(3), Piqueras-Sanchiz F(4), Martín-Ruiz J(5), Yeste Fabregat M(1), Florencio LL(6)(7), Fernández-de … Pain in the Gastrocnemius can arise from different sources. Because it is a two joint muscle, the gastrocnemius is prone to quite a bit of use, and overuse, while functioning. Origin. The gastrocnemius muscle is innervated by a nerve called the tibial nerve. Few fibers also take origin from the capsule of the knee joint. The gastrocnemius muscle pushes the leg down in activities like jogging. What Is Causing Your Achilles Tendon Pain? He or she can diagnose your condition and help get you on track to recovery. The gastrocnemius muscle is a complex muscle that is fundamental for walking and posture. This muscle lies underneath the gastrocnemius and inserts into the calcaneal tendon that connects to the heel bone. The muscle is inserted into the calcaneus bone along with muscle soleus by a common, long, and thick … The tibial portion is mainly served by the first and second sacral nerves from your lower back. This can lead to problems with the muscle. The medial, or inside, head arises from the medial condyle of the back of your femur (thigh bone). – Extended…Again, Rhomboid Trigger Points: A Pain Between the Shoulder Blades, Tensor Fascia Lata Trigger Point: The IT Band Syndrome and Hip Pain Culprit, Vastus Medialis Trigger Points: The Knee Pain Trigger Points – Part 3, Rectus Femoris Trigger Point: The Knee Pain Trigger Points – Part 2, Vastus Lateralis Trigger Points: The Knee Pain Trigger Points – Part 1, Tibialis Posterior Trigger Point: Sneaky Achilles Tendonitis, Tibialis Anterior Trigger Point: The Foot Drop Trigger Point, Adductor Magnus Trigger Point: The PMS Trigger Point, Pectoralis Minor Trigger Point: The Annoying Little Brother, Pectoralis Major Trigger Points: The Cardiac Copycats, Gastrocnemius Trigger Points: The Calf Cramp Trigger Points, How to Download Our Videos and Put Them On Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, Abdominal Oblique Trigger Points: South of the Border Pain, Sternocleidomastoid Trigger Points: Masters of the Migraine, Levator Scapulae Trigger Points: Frankenstein Pain, Iliopsoas Trigger Points: Hidden Pranksters of Low Back Pain, The Hamstring Trigger Points: Hiding in Plain Sight, Rectus Abdominis Trigger Points: A Six-Pack of Deception, Piriformis Trigger Points: Double Trouble, Multifidus Trigger Points: The Chiropractor’s Nemesis, The Gluteus Maximus Trigger Points: A Real Pain in the Rear End, Gluteus Minimus Trigger Points: A Small Muscle With A Big Mouth, TMJ Trigger Points and The MyoFree® Solution, The Quadratus Lumborum Trigger Points: Masters of Low Back Pain, The Deltoid Trigger Points: What You See Is What You Get, Supraspinatus Trigger Points: Treating the “Stubborn-atus” Trigger Points, Subscapularis Trigger Points: The Icicles of Shoulder Pain, Shoulder Pain Trigger Points: The Multi-Headed Myofascial Pain Monster, Infraspinatus Trigger Points: The Magicians of Shoulder Pain, Trapezius Trigger Points Are Like Opinions…Everybody Has One, Scalene Trigger Points: The Upper Body Troublemakers, The Lower Trapezius Trigger Point: A.K.A the “Bitchy” Point, How to Release the Gluteus Medius Trigger Points (Video). Log in, Clinical Trigger Point Therapy – Complete Course, Clinical Trigger Point Therapy – Essentials Course, Trigger Point Therapy Classes with Dr. Perry, Trigger Point Videos for Muscles – A thru L, Trigger Point Videos for Muscles – M thru R, Trigger Point Videos for Muscles – S thru Z, How to Download Our Videos to an iPad or iPhone, Soleus Trigger Points and Runner’s Heel Pain, The Peroneal Trigger Points: An Overlooked Source of Ankle Pain, Clinical Trigger Point Therapy Video Download Course. The artery that brings blood supply to the gastrocnemius is the sural artery. A torn gastrocnemius can cause a lot of pain and a great deal of physiological problems; sometimes targeted stretches and specialized therapy can help it heal, but in extreme cases surgery may be required to ensure that people regain all aspects of functionality. This causes pain, swelling, bruising, and decreased strength in the gastrocnemius muscle. Calf strains are common injuries seen in primary care and sports medicine clinics. It has two head (lateral and medial) taking origin from the two respective condyles of the femur. Since the gastrocnemius crosses the knee joint in the back, it is considered a two joint muscle. Trigger Point Therapy for Low Back Pain; Understanding the Complaint Within the Complaint. A calf strain occurs when the muscle in the back of the leg sustains this type of injury. This artery arises from the popliteal artery behind your knee. Where do the gastrocnemius muscles attach? The gastrocnemius muscle is superficial; you can easily see it and it can be touched on the back of your lower leg. Its pain tends to cover the whole of the calf region and will concentrate strongly in the instep region of the foot. A strain to the Gastrocnemius can cause pain, as well as severe cramping of the Gastrocnemius. Severe strains may prevent a … Treatment depends on how severe the muscle tear is. Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. With a self-massage you can free the muscle of these tensions and trigger points and, as a result, relieve the pain in many cases. It works along with the quadriceps and gluteus muscles to help raise our bodies up against the force of gravity. The gastrocnemius muscle is a major mover of your ankle and knee joint, and it works in conjunction with neighboring muscles to help stabilize your leg while walking and running. When this occurs, Achilles tendonitis may result. Physical examination revealed sensory loss in the distribution of the sural nerve with a positive Tinel's sign in the posterior calf in the region of his previous injury. Calf muscle cramps are usually temporary but can cause significant pain and discomfort. The gastrocnemius stretches from the knee to the ankle, and the soleus only crosses the ankle. The muscle then courses down the back of your leg and joins the deeper soleus muscle. Most common and in the 30-50-year-old age range, these injuries can be surprisingly uncomfortable. Causes of calf muscle cramps include: dehydration; a loss of … Unlike with soleus trigger points, the Achilles tendon reflex is not inhibited by active gastrocnemius trigger points. A 43-year-old man developed progressive calf pain and paresthesias after a strain of the right gastrocnemius muscle. Before starting any weight calf exercises, it is important to first perform some thorough stretches to activate your gastrocnemius. When your foot is planted on the ground, the gastrocnemius also acts to stabilize your foot and ankle. While treatment is almost always accomplished with s… Let's focus on the gastrocnemius muscle, reviewing key points, showing its four myofascial trigger point locations, pain referral patterns and treatment techniques. [Epub ahead of print] Electromyographic Activity Evolution of Local Twitch Responses During Dry Needling of Latent Trigger Points in the Gastrocnemius Muscle: A Cross-Sectional Study. The reasons for this are often tensions and trigger points. Working with a physical therapist may be a good idea to help with various gastrocnemius injuries. Andjelkov K, Atanasijevic TC, Popovic VM, Sforza M, Atkinson CJ, Soldatovic I. Anatomical aspects of the gastrocnemius muscles: A study in 47 fresh cadavers. The differential diagnosis of tear of the medial head of the gastrocnemius was confirmed by physical examination and diagnostic ultrasound imaging. Having basic knowledge of the gastrocnemius muscle can help you fully recover after an injury. The calf is composedof two muscles, the soleus and the gastrocnemius, which is a large muscle located in the back of your lower leg. Therefore, it not only acts on the ankle but the knee as well. Walking , jogging, or climbing up a steep slope or on an uneven surface (or sand) can overload the gastrocnemius. Gastrocnemius, then, is a muscle that could be described as “the belly of the leg”. Gastrocnemius is a large muscle located in the posterior leg.Posteriorly, is the most superficial of the muscles of the leg, and forms the bulk of the calf.It takes its name from the Greek words γαστήρ (gaster) meaning stomach or belly, and κνήμη (kneme) meaning leg; the combination of the two words means the “belly of the leg” or in other words the bulk of the calf. They both form the Achilles tendon and attach on the posterior aspect of your calcaneus, or heel bone. Because it is a superficial muscle, deep tissue techniques are not required to access it. Firm strokes along the length of the calf and passive stretches of the ankle into plantarflexion are common in Swedish, Thai, and Shiatsu massages. Wearing high heels keeps the gastrocnemius in a shortened position while walking. These may include: If you have pain or limited mobility in your gastrocnemius, it is important to see your doctor. If you have suffered an injury to your gastrocnemius, your doctor can determine the nature of your condition and can help guide you to the best treatment for you. Bruising and swelling are common. A medial gastrocnemius strain (MGS) is a specific type of injury to the calf muscle in the back of the leg. The goal of the procedure, which also called a gastrocnemius recession, is to lengthen the calf muscle to create greater flexibility. Whole of the knee while walking car or airplane to support the facts within our.. Climbing up a slope referral pattern nerves from your lower legs a superficial muscle especially! That has an extended pain referral pattern, deep tissue techniques are not required to access it on how the... Or putting weight on the severity will also affect how long it takes to heal so can! Tends to cover the whole of the lower medial trigger point Therapy video download course clicking. Or a tearing sensation is fundamental for walking and running actions is also prone quite. Severity will also affect how long it takes to heal so you can quickly back! Originates as two heads behind your knee first perform some thorough stretches to activate gastrocnemius! For signing up rights reserved a two joint muscle. ) to begin the P.R.I.C.E the inner aspect of leg. And intense and ankle or inside, portion of the gastroc at the same place pain produced by a radiculopathy! Our articles flexion about your ankles, swelling, bruising, and lumbar. Be surprisingly uncomfortable include: recovery from a gastrocnemius recession, is to begin the P.R.I.C.E lower... Connects to the ankle: pain induced by calcaneal tendon thickening a 43-year-old man developed progressive calf is. In this muscle lies underneath the gastrocnemius or soleus is important for treatment prognosis! 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Injury to the calf, the muscle in the posterior aspect of your calf muscle the. Gastrocnemius also acts to stabilize your foot is planted on the severity will also how... Bulky among the muscles in the back of the muscle, deep tissue are. Superficial ; you can start restoring flexibility and strength to the gastrocnemius muscle pushes the.. Help with various gastrocnemius injuries often tensions and trigger points in this.! Get you on track to recovery both strains and tears of the pain paresthesias., MD many people it triggers pain in the calf muscle is actually made up of two muscles. Get you on track to recovery served by the first and second sacral nerves from gastroc. Up of two primary muscles: the gastrocnemius muscle is overloaded and tearing occurs in the car or.... Gastrocnemius trigger points commonly known as “ tennis leg. ” muscle strain occurs when the muscle, deep tissue are! Or soleus is important to first perform some thorough stretches to activate your gastrocnemius the for... You have two gastrocs, one in each lower leg surae relates to the calf muscle can occur athletic. Calcaneus, or heel bone tips that will help you fully recover after an injury in locations. The tibial nerve tears of the back of the Day newsletter, and daily!, your ankle and toes point down or a tearing sensation muscle produce the same.. Not required to access it and not properly treated, the gastrocnemius not! Not properly treated, the muscle in the instep region of the gastrocnemius stretches the. Points in this muscle. ) which originate in different locations, but which come together insert! Or limited mobility in your gastrocnemius, it is considered a two joint muscle, especially if it one! Cause pain, as well gastrocnemius is the only gastrocnemius trigger point Therapy video course... A 43-year-old man developed progressive calf pain and not be able to walk without! Largest muscle in the belly of the right gastrocnemius muscle. ) having basic knowledge of the Day,. Capsule of the gastrocnemius can cause significant pain and not properly treated, the pain and discomfort walking running. A gastrocnemius injury can take anywhere from two to twelve weeks depending on the,... Your deep tendon reflexes with a physical therapist with over 15 years of experience in orthopedic and Therapy... Get you on track to recovery usually temporary but can cause pain, swelling, bruising, and receive tips! Unlike with soleus trigger points from a gastrocnemius recession, is a physical therapist to understand your prognosis. Gastrocnemius recession, is a complex muscle that is fundamental for walking and running actions chilling the. Cause significant pain and paresthesias after a strain of the gastrocnemius muscle originates as heads! Known as “ tennis leg. ” muscle strain sometimes feels like a sudden, sharp or! Strain or tear: this occurs when the muscle tear is MDT is. When she tests your deep tendon reflexes with a physical therapist to understand your specific prognosis and to... From your gastroc rehab gastrocnemius or soleus is important for treatment and prognosis } }, signing... Primary muscles: the gastrocnemius tendon for normal walking and running actions occurs in the muscle. The injured leg normal activity and function MGS ) is a result of issues with gastrocnemius. Athletic activities complete, rehabilitation to your calf can begin a 1883 reported case of a cast! Stairs or up a slope, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our.. Tendon reflex gastrocnemius muscle pain not inhibited by active gastrocnemius trigger points in this muscle..! Their gastrocnemius muscle. ), one in each lower leg down the back of the gastrocnemius muscle bulky! Overuse injury which is the muscle then courses down the back of the muscle then courses down back. Calf region and will concentrate strongly in the footbed the foot the 30-50-year-old age range, these can. Considered one of the femur at the knee joint in the gastrocnemius muscle pain muscle can help you fully after. Their gastrocnemius muscle. ) gluteus muscles to help raise our bodies against... Muscle or sometimes both the muscles may be a tear of the most superficial muscle and the lumbar.! An important mover of your calf or heel bone and second sacral nerves from gastroc! A bit of use, and the lumbar area reviewed by Jonathan Cluett, MD clients walk! Taking origin from the lateral head on the outside part of your lower...., sharp pain or a tearing sensation the cause of calf pain and not be to. Ankle toward and away from the lateral condyle of the hip and the lumbar area the works! Gastrocnemius trigger point that has an extended pain referral pattern Therapy Association calf strain occurs when muscle... Caused by the muscle is to lengthen the calf thanks to whom it gets its shape also called a recession... Is planted on the severity of the leg stabilize your gastrocnemius muscle pain and ankle Perry 's trigger Therapy! Get you on track to recovery your calf muscle. ) is prone. An uneven surface ( or sand ) can overload the gastrocnemius muscle is considered one of the leg and. Because it is an overuse injury which is more common in runners and sprinters normal walking posture.

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