Medical Considerations for Calf Pain
Most calf pain is benign. However, a potentially serious condition called compartment syndrome may develop either from overexertion (chronic) or as the result of an acute injury such as a bad muscle bruise or a too-tight bandage or leg cast.
Compartments are groupings of muscles, nerves and blood vessels in the legs and arms that are covered by strong, fibrous tissue called fascia When pressure builds within the muscles, it can result in intense pain as well as decreased blood flow. Chronic compartment syndrome causes cramping during exercise that goes away when you stop exercising.
Acute compartment syndrome produces pain that's more intense than you would normally expect. The muscle may feel tight or full and you may have a tingling or burning sensation. See your doctor or go to the emergency department immediately if you think you may have acute compartment syndrome.
Reviewed by: Robert P. Thompson, C.Ped, IPFH Scientific Advisory Board
Last updated: July 11, 2016