Prevention and Treatment of Calf Pain
While prevention and treatment of calf pain depend on the cause (see the previous section), you are likely to benefit from staying hydrated and exercising regularly, including doing exercises that stretch and strengthen the calf. Here are a few simple ones that don’t require any special equipment:
Calf Raises: Stand with your feet a few inches apart, facing forward. Keeping your legs straight, but not locked, rise up onto the balls of your feet. Hold for a few seconds while squeezing your calf muscles, then allow your heels to return to the ground. Do three sets of 10 raises daily or before doing any other calf stretches. Note: You can do this exercise on a floor or other flat surface, but you’ll get a better stretch if you stand on a step, curb, or even a large book. This allows your heels to come down as far as possible.
Calf Stretch Using a Wall: Stand with your arms extended straight out at shoulder level, hands pressing against a wall. Take a step back with the right foot, keeping the foot facing directly forward. Press into the heel of the right foot as you bend the left leg. Hold for 30 seconds, then soften the knee of the right leg while still pressing back into the heel; hold for another 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat. Do three sets of 10 with each leg daily, or any time your calf muscles feel tight.
Calf Stretch Using a Step or Curb: Stand near a curb or on a step with both feet facing forward. Take a small step back with your right foot so that the heel of the foot is off the step (make sure you have something to hold onto for balance, if needed). Gently push your right heel down, keeping your right leg straight but not locked. Hold for a few seconds, then return to the start position and repeat on the left side. Do three sets of 10 with each leg daily or any time your calf muscles feel tight. You can alternate this stretch with the wall stretch, but always do calf raises first.