This is part post about calf injuries. This post will focus on the anatomy as well as the common activities during which a calf injury usually occurs.
--- Keep in mind that a muscle injury, like the calf, is termed a strain (an easy way to remember a sTrain vs a sprain is that muscles attach via "T"endons to bones). Strain of the calf muscles is sometimes referred to as a "tennis leg"
The calf is a combination of muscles consisting of the larger gastrocnemius muscle and the smaller soleus muscle. The gastroc crosses both the knee and the ankle and is therefore involved in the functioning at the knee as well the ankle. It has two large heads, the medial (inside) head and the lateral (outside) head. The soleus is smaller muscle which begins behind the tibia (shin bone) and crosses the ankle. Both of these muscles attach to the posterior calcaneus (back of the heel) via the Achilles tendon. The more common of the two to get injured is the gastrocnemius, more specifically the medial head. Sometimes this injury can occur at the muscultendinous junction (where the muscle belly starts to become more tendinous) due to the limited blood supply in that area.
It most frequently occurs in sports such as:
Gymnastics 🤸♂️ ---
OR during activities of everyday life such as:
Running for a bus
Stepping off a kerb ---
Next post I will be talking about the risk factors, how this injury occurs as well as the grading of this injury.