Tennis Leg - Calf Muscle Injury
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'Tennis Leg' is a term used to describe stretches, tears, or incomplete ruptures of the large calf muscles (gastrocnemius).
Tennis leg happens when lunging or pushing off one leg to get to a wide ball or serve. May also happen with daily activities, such as running to catch a bus or climbing stairs. It feels like being kicked in the leg from behind. The tennis leg sufferer feels an quick severe sharp pain, turns around to see who kicked them, only to discover that no one is there.
This type of injury usually occurs in middle-age athletes, as we age muscle flexibility decreases, experience early stages of muscle loss and degeneration due to the aging and/or inactivity.
Signs and symptoms of the injury can be obvious, sudden, sharp or burning pain (sometimes along with a popping sound), swelling to the area, a bruise often develops and area very tender to the touch. You can walk but by altering your walking pattern, often walking on the toes to prevent upward bending of the ankle.
There are three grades to a Tennis Leg injury.
- Grade 1 - a minor tear of the muscle (10% of the muscle fibers). You may be able to continue your activity because the pain is minor twinge in your calf. The calf muscle feels achy and tightness for two to five days after the injury, recovery for healing is 7 to 10 days.
- Grade 2 - partial tearing of the calf muscle (90% of the muscle fibers). You will feel sharp pain and minor to moderate swelling of your calf. Walking and flexing your foot down (pressing the gas pedal) will cause pain. The calf muscle feels achy and tightness for a least a week after the injury, recovery for healing within about 4 to 6 weeks
- Grade 3 - complete tearing of over 90% of the calf muscle or rupture. This is the most painful of all the grades of Tennis Leg, causing immediate severe pain, considerable bruising and swelling in the calf. Walking will be aided with crutches, achy, tightness for about 30 to 35 days, recovery for healing within about three to four months.
Note: As the pain may appear high up in the back of the calf and can be confused with deep venous thrombosis, acute compartment syndrome, and cellulitis all which is a much more serious life-threatening conditions. If you have not had a specific event you should seek medical attention to rule this out. The doctor should preform a MRI for correct diagnosis between the two conditions.
How Do You Treat Tennis Leg?
What You Can Do!
We Have Advanced Treatment Tools to Help You
Speed Up Healing of Your Tennis Leg!
Your doctor has given have conservative treatments before even suggesting surgery. It is generally understood by doctors and surgeons, that surgery will introduce more scar tissue into the any already damaged tissue. This added scar tissue will be problematic, requiring more physical therapy and conservative treatment options post-surgery. If not dealt with properly, your tennis leg injury could end up in worse condition than before the surgery! This is why surgery is only performed as a last resort.
Most doctors, surgeons and orthopedic specialists will recommend conservative treatment methods for any soft tissue injuries before even considering surgery. Mild, moderate and severe cases of tennis leg are best treated with conservative home therapies. Seldom should even severe cases need surgical repair.
Some conservative treatment methods recommended include:
- Rest - This is important for initial healing because without proper rest you're at risk for increased pain, inflammation. This can make your injury even worse and turn an acute injury into a chronic one.
- Avoid Activities that Caused Your Injury - While resting your injury it's also important to avoid all activities that may have caused your tissue damage (especially any repetitive movement). Continuing on with regular activities will not only make your injury worse.
- Apply Cold Compression
Immediate cold (using a Cold Compress or Ice Pack) will help you to manage pain while getting rid of the pain and inflammation. Reducing inflammation can also relieve some of the pressure that's being placed on your tissue(s) and stop your injury from getting worse.
- Use Deep Tissue Regeneration Therapy - After any inflammation and/or swelling has been reduced, you can use your own blood flow to maximize healing of damaged tissue and maintain healthy blood flow to your tissue. This also boost overall long-term healing of this injury.
Step 1 - Reduce Pain & Swelling with a Cold Compress or Ice Pack
The 1st step for conservative treatment of your injury when treating conservatively or even after surgery is to reduce swelling to "open up" the area for more blood flow. Anyone in the health-care business knows that your blood supplies the oxygen and much needed nutrients required for your body to heal naturally after surgery. This is why doctors and surgeons recommend cold compression within the first 72 hours of an injury and following surgery.
Cold Compression is recommended to reduce pain, swelling and tissue damage. Many doctors, surgeons and physical therapists consider cold compression to be the gold standard for treatment of inflammation and pain. On-going cold compression treatments can reduce, or even eliminate, the need for NSAIDs or other medications that can be harmful to your body.
Cold Compression is known and trusted by most medical professionals. This is why for years doctors, trainers and other medical professionals have recommended RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) to treat the pain and swelling of fresh injuries, chronic pain, after any re-injury, and especially after surgery.
Effective Cold Compression slows nerve and cell function - reducing the swelling that blocks blood vessels from doing their job.
This is important because once blood vessels are blocked or damaged, they can no longer carry oxygenated blood through the tissue and tissue cells begin to break-down. Without cold compression cellular break-down and tissue damage continues as the cells don't get the oxygen they need to survive. By limiting the amount of damage done to your tissue, you also limit the amount of healing that needs to occur. This is a very important step to heal injuries faster and with less pain! This is why you need to treat your injury as soon as possible, when you notice pain / swelling / inflammation, directly after a re-injury or surgery. Applying a Cold Compress or Ice Pack right away will stop the damage immediately and unblock your blood vessels to let your body's natural blood flow in to start healing the tissue.
It'll seem weird for you to read this, but there are a LOT of people out there that don't understand how fast cold compression with Cold Compress or Ice Pack can get the swelling / inflammation in your injury under control! After you get rid of the swelling for good you can start actually dealing with your injury and the healing needed.
Use a Cold Compression Cold Compress or Ice Pack:
- 24 to 72 hours after your initial injury or when you first notice pain and swelling around your injured area to stop cellular damage, relieve pain, and decrease swelling.
- After exercise, workouts or activity of any kind to prevent re-injury.
- Before and after surgery during rehabilitation to control pre and post-surgery pain and swelling.
- Anytime you feel your injury is making your injury feel tender, painful or you're having a flare-up of an old injury.
- Anytime you have swelling, sharp throbbing pain or inflammation.
- Any other situation where you need to draw the pain and inflammation out of your tissue.
Step 2 - Improve Circulation, Soften Scar Tissue & Prevent Re-Injury with Deep Tissue Regeneration Therapy
There are a lot of people that think their injury is gone after their swelling and inflammation are gone and their injury feels better. They also make the mistake of returning to regular activities too soon without proper time for healing. The truth is that healing takes time and after the swelling is gone your injury isn't even close to being fully healed.
After the inflammation in and around your tissue has been reduced, providing extra blood flow and strengthening the tissue in and around your injury is recommended. Believe it or not, the best time for you to focus on avoiding re-injury and strengthening the weakened tissue is when the swelling's gone and your tissue has started to heal. It's vital that you don't go back to activities too soon because you might bring on a major setback in your recovery...
- Have you recently re-injured yourself by returning to your normal daily activities too quickly?
- How many times in the past have you aggravated yourself just trying to perform basic tasks around your house?
- Is your injury preventing you from work or activities you love to do?
If this sounds like you - You're not alone...
Most people we deal with tell us these scenarios have happened to them many times in the past. The real challenge is how to promote blood flow to your injury site without causing further damage. This goal is even more complicated by the fact that you have to use your injury site for almost everything in everyday life.
What can you do to actually start healing yourself?
The answer is simple. Your body can heal itself and it's the blood in your body that makes it all happen. Your blood is how everything that's good inside of you is transported directly to your injured tissue. Your blood carries oxygen, nutrients, water and antibodies right to the source of your injury and pain. Bringing proper blood flow to your injured tissue is essential for healing.
Promoting blood flow around injured tissue to help the body heal itself is a concept that's been used for centuries. Oxygen and nutrients, carried in your own blood, are critical for the body to heal itself. Without proper blood flow, recovering from your injury will be delayed... Sometimes for a very long period of time.
Even though the concept is simple, improving blood flow to your tissue can be difficult, when an injury occurs. Traditional methods require you to move your sore/stiff injury site in order to promote blood flow. This same motion that promotes blood flow can also make your pain and injury much worse. Relying on movement alone to increase blood flow puts you in danger of re-injuring yourself.
So what do you do when you need to increase blood flow, but you can't move your without re-injuring your tissue?
This is where the TShellz Wrap and Deep Tissue Regeneration Therapy (Blood Circulation Boost Therapy) come in!
Using Deep Tissue Regeneration Therapy (Blood Circulation Boost Therapy), will help with your recovery and heal your tissue more completely. Blood Circulation Boost Therapy increases the amount of blood that flows naturally to your soft tissue to nourish your tissue, improving elasticity and speeding the healing process. This increased Deep Tissue Regeneration Therapy to your damaged tissue is greatly needed to complete your healing and avoid re-injury once and for all.
The only way to get Blood Circulation Boost Therapy is through use of a TShellz Wrap.
The TShellz Wrap is the only treatment method that improves blood flow and circulation on a deep tissue level. Other methods of warming / heating tissue (hot water bottles, hot baths, etc) will only ever increase blood flow on a surface / skin level. These methods need a LOT of time to even reach your damaged tendon on a deep tissue level. And even if you were to use them this long your skin would heat up to an uncomfortable level and it may even burn you.
Regular treatments with a TShellz Wrap can reduce pain and stiffness from scar tissue and increase overall flexibility in your tissue. Increased blood flow will whisk away damaged tissue, toxins, and any bacteria in or around your injured tissue to promote more effective healing. Getting rid of toxins will allow all of the positive healing processes to start in your injury. Increasing blood flow will also increase the amount of oxygen that's being sent to your injured tissue AND boost your tissue's ability to absorb oxygen. (reference: 1)
How Does the TShellz Wrap Promote Blood Circulation Boost Therapy?
Every TShellz Wrap contains an Energy Pad that's flexible and shaped to conform around your injury site. The Energy Pad provides a uniform wave of healing electromagnetic energy over the entire treatment area. This energy travels deep inside your soft tissue to stimulate blood flow on the deep tissue level where it's needed to heal your injury. It's the electromagnetic energy provided provided by our TShellz Wraps that's crucial to the healing process.
Electromagnetic energy is the only way to get your blood flow moving on a deep tissue level for these reasons:
- Electromagnetic energy waves are not heat waves.
- When emitted from the TShellz Wrap, electromagnetic energy waves penetrate right through your skin and fat layers until they get to your damaged tissue.
- Once these energy waves reach your injured tissue(s), they're absorbed and quickly converted into heat energy right at the location of your injury.
- The idea of electromagnetic energy waves is slowly catching on in North American, but the truth is, it's a technology that's been used for decades.
Many people just don't know that over the past 30 years, researchers in Japan and China have completed extensive studies on the usoe of electromagnetic energy for healing and their findings have been impressive. Success has been reported in studies from countries like Sweden and Germany. Research is continuing and soon, much of North American will know what the Far East and Europe has known for a long time...
Electromagnetic energy provides a wide range of health benefits for many other soft tissue injuries.
Regular treatment with the electromagnetic energy in our TShellz Wraps will ensure:
- Your pain will be reduced.
- Your injured tissue will heal at an accelerated rate with reduced potential for re-injury.
- Your knee will have a larger range of motion and increased extensibility of collagen tissue in your joint and around your meniscus. (Chapter 9 of "Therapeutic Heat and Cold", 4th edition. (amazon.com link - Ed. Justus F. Lehmann, M.D., Williams, and Wilkin)
Electromagnetic Energy = Increased Blood Flow = More Oxygen, More Nutrients and Less Toxins = Faster Healing
Since our wraps are medical-grade products registered with the FDA, they are of a higher quality and need to meet way more standards for manufacturing (ISO 10993 - biocompatibility testing). This makes our wraps the safest product to increase blood flow circulation.
Use A Blood Circulation Boost Therapy TShellz Wrap:
- After swelling and inflammation have been reduced with cold compression.
- Before exercise or workouts to warm up your injury site to prevent re-injury.
- Before and after surgery, during rehabilitation, to warm up before physical therapy exercising or stretching.
- Anytime you feel your tissue has stiffened up, is tight and your mobility is reduced causing you more pain.
- Anytime you have sore or aching tissue in and around your injury site.
- Any other situation where you need to increase blood flow to your tissue to relax your soft tissue, relieve pain, prevent re-injury and enhance flexibility of your tissue.
It may seem hard to believe, but our Leg/Arm Cold Compress or Ice Packand Leg/Arm TShellz Wrap home therapy products will assist you in recovering from your injury faster and reduce the chance of degenerative conditions by maximizing blood flow where it is needed most, reduce swelling and inflammation induced pain.
Continuing he healing process with resting your leg. Limit your movements that may be aggravate your calf muscles, leading to reinjury. Muscle related injuries can easily turn from a grade 1 calf muscle strain into a grade 2 or a grade 2 into a grade 3 tennis leg injury.
Grade 1 - Tennis Leg strain walking with the use of partial weight bearing crutches. The use of quarter to a half inch heel lift in both shoes may also offer some relief by reducing tension on the strain in your leg. Resting from activities that aggravate your calf muscle should be about 3 weeks.
Grade 2 - Immobilizing the calf with the foot slight pointed downwards (in something called a "hanging enquinus position") for anywhere between three to six weeks to allow the muscle fibers to heal. Physical therapy program with stretching exercises will be essential once out of the cast/brace before returning to activity. Resting from activities that aggravate your calf muscle should be about 4 to 8 weeks.
Grade 3 - Immobilizing calf as mentioned with a Grade 2 tennis leg strain. Resting from activities that aggravate your calf muscle should be about 6 to 12 weeks.
Step 3 - Passive Strengthening of Your Calf Strain with Stretching
We spend hours on our feet, simple daily routine, enjoy recreational activities, exercise regularly, or participate in athletics, you need to give your body proper care and attention. Why risk having to limit or give up your favorite weekend activity, your exercise routine, or even your job due to an injury?
Gentle stretching is important to help align scar tissue along the normal lines of stress and strength in the healing calf muscle is enhanced. Scar tissue is fibrous and brittle, without the correct alignment your left with weak calf muscles. The slightest daily activities you have pain and tightness in your calf, greatly increasing your chance of re-injury.
Your full recovery depends on your commitment to stretching and strengthening exercises. Your physical therapist will develop an effective program during your clinic visits for your recovery but make sure you request a stretching routine that you can do at home.
Prevention and Promotion of Lifelong Health
If you want to avoid re-injury, or manage pain and increase circulation for lifelong health benefits use of a Leg/Arm TShellz Wrap will provide exceptional results. Why spend time in pain, off from work, and missing out on your active lifestyle when you can be proactive about your injury and the health of your body? Talk to your doctor about incorporating a regular routine of using a Cold Compress or Ice Pack and Deep Tissue Regeneration Therapy into your everyday health regimen.
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