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Soleus Strain is most frightened term for a runner. Have you ever been racing or jogging and unexpectedly feels as if something jumped and bite in the calf. It is like severe pain or cramp deep in the lower leg. The worst part is – this abrupt outbreak of sharp, piercing pain enforces runners to hold back their run and get back to home. A single step can be harrowing and deflating.
The soleus is a strongest muscle in the lower back leg. It is also the largest muscle in the calf that runs from below the knee to the heel. It is located underneath the gastrocnemius muscle. This muscle plays a major role in standing and walking. The soleus and gastrocnemius muscles are closely connected, with their fibers overlapping. The sharp pain of soleus strain is always felt deeper in the calf. The piercing pain is usually over a broad area because this injury causes many fibers inflamed and strained.
The heart crushing truth about the soleus strain is – it last longer than most muscular injuries leaving you in painful condition that you cannot even stand properly. This injury mostly occurs especially to those who run hilly courses.
How and Why Soleus Strain Occurs? To injure soleus muscle it takes quite a lot of pressure on the muscle. As previously pointed out, running uphill is the greater probability for soleus strain to happen. The ground cause behind the fact is – while running uphill you probably bend your knees more than usual putting the extra pressure on the soleus muscle. The same is the case when you do high jumping or run harder. When you don’t roll through the foot while you land from the jump, and instead you land on the balls of the foot with the knees bent putting a lot of pressure on the soleus muscle. Now, repeating this wrong way exercise leaves the soleus ultimately injured.
How the soleus strain should be treated? Our first advice to you is, you must avoid stretching and overloading in such stage. Within 48-72 after the occurrence of injury apply ice and cold pack to numb the nerves for relief. Using a foam roller will also help. We recommend do not use Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) in the initial stage. Later 72 hours of injury if you still feel the presence of pain and bruises, immediately visit a MD or Physical Therapists for a proper evaluation of your condition. May be your condition needs intense care and a planned treatment. Treating at your own may do more damage than good.
If you are a runner and have a race in few weeks, can you continue to run? Absolutely No. It can worsen your condition. No racing, jogging or jumping or any sort over-stretching until or unless walking and stairs are pain free. PT will recommend the necessary exercises that will help to strengthen the muscle and that too after you are painless. So, no questions about racing as it can do more damage.
How to get relief and how to prevent this injury in future? As mentioned, a MD or PT must be consulted to evaluate like what are you running habits, how you run or jump, since that may have been the primary cause of your injury. Once you get on to your feet again pain free, raising calf with knees straight and bent with a focus on the eccentric, or lowering could be an exercise to strengthen the muscle weekly 2-3 times. The seated calf raise machine is the easiest and best way to strengthen the soleus muscle.
Important to know: Always listen to your body, don’t keep pushing in such a condition it will do more damage. Not seeking the professional advice, you are straight way risking the injury much worse which may put you to rest and pain far longer than just skipping a day.
Conclusion: The soleus muscle injury is cause due the over stress to the muscle so, to repair it need great patience. You need to relax and rest. For the best and quick relief you need the combination of friction therapy, massage therapy, and strengthening and stretching exercise routine recommended by PT. Also, to prevent this injury from happening in future, let the PT evaluate any alignment problems.
Why to come to Alliance Physical Therapy VA? At Alliance Physical Therapy we provide 24/7 access to online appointments, with most of the requests scheduled in less than 48 hours. With eleven convenient locations in the Metro Area, we are able to serve the Northern VA and DC region. We have years of experience and we hope we can help you feel whole and pain-free once again.
At Alliance Physical Therapy, we create individual plan that address your symptoms so that you can be quickly healed. To create effective plan we listen to your concerns, needs and situation carefully. We knew the path to recovery so you can move forward with confidence.
Where Can You Find Us?
With eleven convenient locations in the Metro Area, we are able to serve the Northern VA and DC region. We are located in Alexandria / Near Alexandria Hospital, Alexandria / Mount Vernon, Fairfax, Richmond / Willow Lawn, Richmond / Colonial Heights, Springfield, Stafford, Tyson’s Corner, Woodbridge, Woodbridge / Opitz Blvd. and downtown Washington DC.