When healing from a muscle strain, the body will deposit extra scar tissue in the area. If there is an excess, this can reduce the extensibility of the muscles and prevent them from functioning properly. Muscle scraping helps remove unnecessary scar tissue thus maintaining proper function and range of motion in the calf muscle. Those who have a lack of flexibility in the calf or Achilles tendon itself have a higher risk of tendonitis. Scraping increases the extensibility of the muscle and tendon to reduce stiffness while also bringing in blood flow to help heal microtears and inflammation from tendonitis. Maintaining a proper range of motion is very important while rehabilitating soft tissue injuries so stretching the muscles in the calves will reinforce that extensibility after scraping. We will also target other muscles in the lower leg to prevent imbalances that could lead to other injuries in the area. Resistance exercises will rebuild the tensile strength of the gastrocnemius, soleus, and Achilles tendon. Strengthening will also help these muscles tolerate more load, preventing overuse future overuse injuries.
We will begin this recovery program by focusing primarily on the mobility of the calf muscles. Two stretches will help maintain the range of motion and the two strength exercises will introduce light activation of the muscle group.
We will progress to two more intense calf stretches to restore the range of motion through this muscle group and at the ankle joint. We will continue to build strength in the muscle group using two weight-bearing calf exercises.
For the final week of calf pain recovery, we will progress to 3 strength exercises that require more load-bearing, more power, and that challenge the stability of the calves and the ankle joint.