Resting may be the common sense approach, but it is one that is often ignored by competitive athletes. This is unwise, since it does not take much to turn a grade one Calf muscle strain into a grade two, or a grade two Calf strain into a grade three. As a general rule, grade one Calf strains should be rested from sporting activity for about 3 weeks and grade two injuries for about 4 to 6 weeks. In the case of a complete rupture, the Calf muscle will have to be repaired surgically and the rehabilitation afterwards will take about 3 months.
The immediate treatment of a Calf muscle injury consists of the RICE protocol - rest, ice, compression and elevation (never apply ice directly to the skin). This is aimed at reducing the bleeding and secondary tissue damage within the Calf muscle. The Calf should be rested in an elevated position with an Ice Pack applied for twenty minutes every two hours, if practical. A Compression Bandage should be applied to limit bleeding and swelling in the tissues. Anti inflammatory medication prescribed by a doctor or Topical Anti Inflammatory Gel can be effective in relieving pain.
After the early stages have been spent resting, more active rehabilitation can be started. Gentle resistance exercises using Resistance Bands and stretching are important as they help to align the scar tissue which forms during the healing process. By aligning the scar tissue along the normal lines of stress the tensile strength of the healing Calf muscle is enhanced.