Calf pain in athletes

Calf muscle pain in runners can be innocent cramps or a muscle injury that may become chronic.
Other common causes of calf pain in runners

  1. Calf muscle tear
    2. Chronic scarring of micro tears in muscle
    3. Shin splints with secondary calf pain
    4. Compartment syndrome
    5. Referred pain hip or knee pathology
  2. Electrolyte abnormalities and or dehydration

Evaluation of a patient with calf muscle will include a clinical examination and diagnostic ultrasound to confirm the diagnosis.

The clinical evaluation will determine possible cause of your calf pain. We shall evaluate your training history, previous calf injuries, hip/knee pathology and the nature of your symptoms.


The diagnostic ultrasound can confirm muscle strain, muscle tears, chronic scar tissue in the muscle, achilles tendinosis or knee pathology as a cause of calf pain.


Cramping is a common cause of calf pain/cramps that athlete experience in heat or extensive unconditioned running or in cases of electrolyte disturbances in their body. A muscle cramp is a sudden and involuntary contraction of one or more of your muscles. If you’ve ever been awakened in the night or stopped in your tracks by a sudden charley horse, you know that muscle cramps can cause severe pain. Though generally harmless, muscle cramps can make it temporarily impossible to use the affected muscle.


Other unlikely causes of calf pain or surrounding areas:

1.Tibial stress syndrome.

  1. DVT – deep venous thrombosis
  2. Stress fracture of tibia


Our treatment will be base s on the diagnosis.


Muscle injuries (strain, tear, chronic scar), shin splints and compartment syndrome will be treated by a rehabilitation program of physiotherapy with sometimes added PRP treatment.


A Muscle tear in the calf muscle can take up to 6-8 weeks for full repair and return to sport.


Arthur Williams

Family medicine specialist


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Start a Conversation

Welcome to DISC.
How may we assist you?