Why calves muscle pain – 7 cause, simple treatment

Calves muscle pain

Oh my calves pain, why do calves muscle pain… I have been there and wondered the exact thing myself even now my calves muscle pain but now the story is different because I knew the cause and easy remedies myself so treating this pain is no hassle.

Every day we use our legs to get from one place to another but that daily walking doesn’t put that much stress on our legs. Yes, normally we do come across pain sometimes and that is normal but daily pain is not good you should go visit a doctor.

Why do calves muscle pain?

As we all known calves muscle is located at the back of your lower leg, It made up of 2 muscles which are “gastrocnemius” and “soleus”.

The gastrocnemius is the larger calves muscle compared to the soleus It can be seen from our naked eye’s forming a bulge under the skin. It has two parts that joined together and forms a shape like a diamond.

The soleus is a smaller muscle that is not visible to us and it’s located directly underneath the gastrocnemius. It runs from the knee to the heel and it is a powerful muscle.

These muscle meet at achilles tendon that is connected to your heel.

Normally you would only feel aching, muscle tightness, or pain sometimes you even might feel that your calves muscle is dull. These are normal but if you have swelling, numb calves, and pale color change near your calves muscle then you should pay a visit to the doctor.

Calves muscle pain usually happen when you overwork those muscle or sudden cramps while it’s easy to treat some of these pain by yourself at your home.

Causes of calves muscle pain

  1. Fatigue

Obviously, we use the lower section of our body daily and the word fatigue states that we have overworked our calves muscle for some it happened because they suddenly started exercising, and without easing into the workout they heavily involved their calves it can be anything such as cycling, running or the usual leg day.

Whenever muscle strain happens you will notice pain and soreness after your workout and it will limit your range f motion. Moderate pain can be treated at home but it’s severe then I am going to say it once again… Doctor.

2. Cramp

You’re walking down the street it’s a good day and suddenly cramp. Cramps can happen anywhere in your body and calves muscle are no different. Muscle cramp will come out of nowhere, it will pain and be prepared it can get worse they usually can be quick or sometimes even last more than a minute.

To avoid yourself from the grip of a cramp drink enough water and give your legs proper rest because dehydration and muscles getting tired are causes of the cramp.

Some serious cause of muscle cramps are kidney failure, alcoholism, diabetes, and sometimes limited flow of blood to part of your body.

3. Achilles tendon

It is what connect your calves muscle to your heel. Some of you may known it as heel cord or calcaneal tendon.

Achilles tendon pain can be caused by fatigue, overworked, and sometimes stress on the Achilles tendon. Stress on Achilles tendon increase when your calves muscle are tight so they put extra pressure on your tendon making it painful. You will also experience Achilles tendon pain if you have recently started working out or you’re performing the same repetition again and again.

If you have Achilles tendon pain you will notice pain in the back of your leg when you try to flex your calves, and sometimes swelling.

4. Blood cloth

Whenever your blood thickens and creates a disturbance inflow of blood in veins by clumping together can cause blood clots. Same as cramps it can happen anywhere in your body. When a blood clot develops in a deep vein of your body it’s known as deep vein thrombosis.

A blood clot happens when you’re inactive for long period for example car rides. Many blood clots usually happen in the lower section of your body, the major area being the thighs and the lower portion of your leg. You shouldn’t take blood clots lightly because if by any chance blood clots break off into your bloodstream and travel to an artery in your lung, It will disturb your blood flow which put’s you into a serious health issue.

If you have can see a vein in the area of pain, swelling or you can feel warmth in your calves there are chances that it can be symptoms of a blood clot.

5. Diabetes

It’s one of the main reason of calves muscle pain for a person whose suffering from diabetes. It happens when a diabetic person been exposed high blood sugar level or sometimes genetic. It starts affecting nerve situated in your arms, legs, and hand.

You will be feeling numb and less sensation in your leg packed with pain.

6. Sciatica

The sciatic nerve is one of the major nerves that starts by extending from the end of your spinal cord running toward the knee by splitting in two. It controls your lower leg and the back of your knee. You will feel pain, numbness in the lower back, calves, and other lower leg muscles. It can happen in one leg or both of them.

Taking rest won’t do you any good in terms of sciatica you need to stretch and gradually increase your movement but in severe cases, you might need surgery.

7. Claudication

Claudication is a pinched or blockage feeling in your leg. Claudication is of two types “Arterial claudication” and “Neurogenic claudication”.

Blood flow is required in the lower leg when you walk and when there is a disturbance in this flow of blood due to narrowing in the arteries situated in the leg it will cause pain while you walk is known as arterial claudication.

When nerves in your legs are pinched making it difficult to communicate with the lower leg. This happens when the bone in the spinal column starts to narrow putting more pressure on the nerves is known as neurogenic claudication. In this, you will experience pain while standing or walking sometimes even while the person is resting.

Treatment for calves muscle pain

These are some of the simple easy treatments to get rid of the pain. Treatment might vary from cause to cause but it will help you overall. These tips are for a person who is having mild or moderate pain in the calves if it’s extreme you should not try to treat it at home, go see a doctor.

Few stretches to get rid of that calves muscle pain.

  1. Roller massage – Sit down in an L-sit position and place a form roller directly below your calf’s and in this, you will need somewhat upper body strength to lift yourself up in that L-sit position just 2-4 inches off the ground and start rolling back and forth with the help of the foam roller. If you need it to be a little more intense just place one of your legs on the other one and roll. Do it for 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Seated calves stretch – Sit on your bed and stretch one of your legs fully, back straight at all the time now take a band or even a rope or something like that for example towel, belt. Put that strap around the ball of the right leg and now you have to pull that strap towards you. You will feel sensation in your calves, hamstring, and right behind the knee too. To make it a bit intense just lean in a bit forward with the back straight hold that stretches for 10 to 15 seconds for each leg.
  3. Standing calves stretch – You will need access to a stair, you will stand straight on the stair, your leg fully extended and you will drop your heels below the level of toes or stair. hold that for a good 10 to 20 seconds, do 2 to 3 rounds. It will stretch your gastrocnemius muscle. Now unlock your knee bring it a bit forward and press down it will feel stretch in your Achilles tendon if you need to make it intense and good to do one leg at a time.
  4. Rest, Ice, Compression, and elevation – Together they are known as R.I.C.E. Rest is important when it comes to any kind of injury so avoid using calves muscle as much as you can. Applying Ice pack with an interval of 10 to 20 minutes will help you reduce inflammation. Compressing your calves with a tight cloth or bandage will help reduce swelling. Elevating your leg with the help of a pillow or any elevated surface will help you reduce swelling and promote blood circulation in your body.

In these stretching you shouldn’t push yourself it’s good till you feel a mild stretch, pain isn’t good and you should stop right away. After all, this stretches and rest if the pain doesn’t vanish you shouldn’t waste time and talk with your doctor.


Knowing about the pain and its simple treatment is good but you should pick up the habit that can help you easily avoid this pain in the future. Don’t worry you don’t have to follow a strict plan or anything like that these are just simple things that will help you live a healthy lifestyle.

Warming up – Before straight away jumping into exercise there is an important thing that you should do that is ‘warm up’ for example slow jog, jumping jacks, etc. Instead of ending your exercise directly ease into it with some after-workout stretching, this will help you avoid muscle cramps and strains.

Hydration – Dehydration is one of the causes of muscle cramps so staying hydrated will help you avoid it even drinks that are rich in minerals, and calcium can help you. Also, avoid overdoing yourself in hot weather or just stay hydrated. Drink 4 to 5 liters of water daily.

Get active – Start indulging yourself in physical activities that you like it can be anything that gets you moving. Start with basic and as your overall health improve start doing intense workout too. It will help you get rid of extra weight and help you achieve an overall fit body.


Calves pain is something that you don’t have to worry about that much it’s preventable. There are many stretches that target the lower section of your body like hips, thighs, knee, and hamstring practicing these stretches from time to time and you don’t have to worry about muscle tightness.

I hope this article helped you to some extent and you will have knowledge about the calves muscle pain so that you can help yourself and others too.

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