Pulled Calf Muscle Recovery Time

Several factors contribute to a pulled calf muscle, an injury that is marked by partial tears that take place within the fibers. The pulled muscle will exhibit multiple symptoms that include tenderness, stiffness and weakness of the calf muscles.

The muscle is located at the back of the calf; causes and risk factors for injury include:

  • Overworking the calf muscles in a short period of time
  • Exerting unexpected stress on the calf muscles
  • Stretching the muscles beyond the limits the muscles can withstand
  • A direct trauma to the calf muscle
  • Cold temperatures
  • Calf muscles are tight and tense
  • A sport that requires an athlete to stop and start quickly, putting stress on the calf muscles, such as football, basketball, track, running and soccer
  • Overexertion and fatigue


  • Pain in the calf
  • Weakness in the calf muscle
  • Tenderness in the muscle area
  • Stiffness in the muscle
  • Bruising
  • Pain when contracting the calf muscle
  • Pain when exerting pressure on the calf muscle

Recovery time for calf muscle injury depends on the level of severity the muscle has sustained. A strain to the muscle can range from two weeks to three months or longer, depending on the individual.

Stretching of the calf muscle beyond its capabilities resulting in minimal tearing of the muscle fibers can take two to three weeks for a complete recovery.

When the muscle fibers experience more excessive tearing, complete recovery time ranges from one to two months. A complete tear or rupture of the calf muscle fibers has a lengthier recovery time of three months or more depending on the extent of the injury. For severe injuries, an MRI can help determine the length of time for recovery.

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