Calf Pain

There are three main muscles that make up the calf, and they include the soleus, the medial, and lateral gastrocnemius muscles. Some of the most common calf pain causes are injuries to these muscles. Calf pain can also be caused by medical conditions, bone fractures or breaks, joint issues, or circulation. Please see our calf pain exercises.

Calf Pain Causes

Some of the most common calf pain causes include:

  • Muscle Strain – Fatigue, improper stretching, inflexibility or quick forceful movements can all cause muscle strain. Often, pulled or strained muscles occur during sports, but calf muscle strain can happen at any time.
  • Cramps – Muscle cramps are often caused by fatigue, heat, or dehydration. They occur most commonly among older people, endurance athletes, or athletes who are not well conditioned.  
  • Baker’s cyst – A Baker’s cyst is joint fluid that pools behind the knee, causing pain to the back of your leg.
  • Achilles Tendonitis –Often felt initially as a pain in the back of the heel, Achilles tendonitis pain can sometimes creep up the leg and into the calf.

Calf Pain Symptoms

Calf pain symptoms can range from occasional aches and pains, which are often treatable at home, and include:

  • Muscle cramps or sore muscles
  • Pain in the back of the lower leg

To more severe pain:

  • Difficulty or pain walking
  • Inflamed or torn tendons or muscles
  • Tenderness or stiffness, particularly in the morning
  • Sharp shooting pain around the shins
  • Pain that persists even while resting
  • Pain that lasts longer than just a few days
  • Fever, redness, inflammation

Be sure to see your doctor if you have any question about your leg pain or if symptoms get worse.

Calf Pain Treatment

Tight calf muscles by themselves can be painful, but they may also be symptomatic of weakness elsewhere in the leg. A calf strain, pull, or even a tight calf can change the way your walk, quickly impacting your hamstrings, hips, lower back and even foot. This change can set off a chain of events that, if not addressed, could lead to more complicated and painful results.

If you are experiencing tightness in your calf, you may already have triggered a tightening of your hamstrings. The same is true for the opposite direction of the interconnective chain; in fact, one of the leading causes of heel pain (plantar fasciitis) is tight calf muscles.

The following are some common calf pain treatment options:


Immediate Relief

Ice Treatment

Applying ice to the injured area will help to decrease inflammation and increase healing.


    Long-Term Healing

    Stretch & Strengthen

    • ProStretch Plus™ - This product is designed as the ultimate tool to provide immediate relief for calf pain through a more effective stretch.


    • Pro Stick Massage Roller - This product is an innovative massage therapy tool designed to increase circulation, warm the muscles, and improve the users overall performance.
    • Peanut Massage Ball This roller’s peanut-shaped design allows it to get into targeted areas that are difficult to reach, providing a deep tissue massage for those knots that won’t go away and adds a more aggressive myofascial release. 
    • Nonagon Foam Roller- The textured 9-sided foam roller design with a solid EVA foam core connects with the fascia with precision and allows for a deeper, stable, and secure roll without lifting your entire body weight.