How to Avoid Calf Muscle Pain after Workout

If you get calf muscle pain after workouts it can negatively predispose you to exercising.  You need not, however, give up working out or just live with it.  There are certain actions you can take before, after and even during your workout to minimize or avoid calf muscle pain.

Pre-Workout Precautions

One of the main things you can do to help avoid pain and/or injury before or after a work out, is to properly stretch and warm up before hand.  Many sports related injuries happen when someone takes part in a sport’s activity without properly warming up.  An adequate set of leg stretches can make the difference between a good healthy workout and a workout that ends in pain.  Be sure to really stretch that calf muscle out and get the blood flowing in there so that you don’t end up straining your calf muscles.

During Your Workout

Be sure to stay well hydrated during your workouts.  One of the main causes of calf muscle pain is cramping due to dehydration.  The best way to avoid this kind of pain is to have a regular workout bottle that you can fill with water before you leave and to continue to hydrate throughout your workout.  If you workout in a gym, you can refill your bottle halfway through your workout.  If you run outside try to find a spot that has water fountains along the way such a park or a track at your local high school.

You also want to be mindful during your workout.  If you have a history of calf pain and you start to feel calf muscle pain that goes beyond the usual problems of fatigue and soreness common to workout conditions, you should think of halting your workout or dialing it back a bit so that you are not overstraining yourself.

Similarly, you should take any unusual or suddenly occurring pain as a warning sign and take it a bit easier than normal from that point forward. 

After Your Workout

What you do just before you finish your workout is just as important as what you did during it.  You should try to have a cool-down routine just after you finish so that you do not pull a muscle just after your workout.

If you feel you may have overstrained yourself and are beginning to feel pain, it is a good idea to take some precautions right away to try to avoid making conditions worst.  Take it easy the next couple of days.  Avoid walking or doing physical activities that involve your calf muscles.  If you notice swelling, apply an ice pack to it for twenty minutes.  This should keep your calves from becoming overly swollen and help a bit with the pain as well.  After you have done this, wrap some nurse’s tape around your calf so that you can give your calf muscles extra support.  This often will keep you from overstraining your muscles as you go about your usual tasks.

Finally, when you get the chance, sit down, and elevate your foot so that you don’t have as much pressure on your calf muscles.

Persistent Pain

If you have calf pain that continues even after you have had time to rest yourself fully, you should see your physician. Persistent pain can be a sign of a more serious condition like a broken bone or a muscle tear. 

When Not to Workout

If you have unusual pain that persists more than a day or two after a workout, then it might be a good day to either not workout at all, or to avoid aspects of your workout that have the calf muscle as a central part.  You might have a mostly upper body workout, for example. 

If you follow these guidelines, you are likely to avoid 90% of calf pains.