man running in Bauerfeind's Calf Compression Sleeves to avoid calf injuries and pain

Calf pain is a common problem, especially among runners and other athletes. If you’re going through it, you know how much it can affect your fitness routine and daily life. And if you’ve never had it, trust us, you don’t want it. So, here’s what you can do to avoid calf injuries and pain. 


Common causes of calf pain

Cramp: Calf muscle cramps come on suddenly, often due to a vitamin or mineral deficiency, dehydration, or a drastic increase or change in your workout routine. 

Tendonitis: The Achilles tendon connects your calf muscle to your heel. Tiny tears form in the tissue when this tendon gets overused, causing stiffness, swelling, and pain. In some instances, the pain may carry into your calf - especially if you try to flex your foot (bring the top closer to your shin). Tendonitis pain will come on gradually, worsening after physical activity or stretching. 

Calf muscle strain: The gastrocnemius and soleus muscles are commonly pulled during exercise. Usually, the former is an acute injury, while the latter develops from overuse. Tennis players, sprinters, and even casual joggers are at risk of this injury. You may get pain and a pulling sensation in your calf. You may also experience swelling, redness, bruising, and difficulty standing on the ball of your foot. 

Contusion: a contusion is a bruise to the muscle. It usually develops from blunt force trauma, such as direct impact in a contact sport or a misdirected hockey stick. A contusion involves damaging a muscle fibre, causing it to bleed. As a result, you’re likely to experience bruising, swelling, and pain that comes on instantly after contact. Pain may be mild or debilitating, depending on the injury's severity. You may be able to walk around fine or have significant trouble moving the muscle. 

Nerve entrapment: If your sciatic, tibial, or peroneal nerve gets compressed by surrounding tissues, it may cause pain in the calf. You may also experience tingling, numbness, weakness, and difficulty standing on your toes (if it’s the tibial nerve) or lifting the top of your foot off the floor (if it’s the peroneal nerve).


Combating calf injuries and pain 

Calf compression and braces to avoid injury 

 Woman pulling on Bauerfeind's Calf Compression Sleeves at the beach

Calf Compression Sleeves 


Compression offers excellent protection for the calves. It improves circulation and reduces oscillations (vibrations), which lowers the rate of muscle fatigue and minimises how much microdamage your muscles sustain from the shock of repetitive impact (for example, while running or jumping).

As noted in a study featured by the Society of Biomechanics in Sports, oscillations can increase muscle fatigue and the risk of microtrauma to the muscular tissues. According to the same study, compression garments reduce the risk by compressing the muscle and improving muscle activation. The key aspect of an effective calf compression sleeve is to ensure that it compresses at or near medical-grade compression with a sizing system that goes beyond generic sizes and lengths.

Warm up 

Warm up for 5-10 minutes before jumping into your workout or training drills. Doing a few minutes of jumping jacks, bodyweight squats, or even walking around the block will be enough to get your blood pumping. Boosting your circulation before physical activity will loosen the calf muscles and speed up oxygen and nutrient delivery to the muscle tissues, prepping them for exercise. 

Cool down 

Similarly, taking 5-10 minutes to cool down after your workout will keep your circulation at an elevated rate. With quicker oxygen and nutrient delivery, you kick-start the recovery process.


Stay hydrated

Drinking plenty of water throughout the day (and especially during exercise) will lower your risk of getting a painful calf cramp. It’s also a good way to avoid undue muscle tension and weakness, which can contribute to your injury risk.


Stretch the calves 

Flexible muscle is less likely to get pulled. It’s also less likely to pull on surrounding structures like tendons. Try the calf stretches below:

Wall calf stretch 

  1. Stand about an arm’s length in front of a wall. Place one leg in front of the other.
  2. Reach both arms to the wall.
  3. Press the back heel into the floor and straighten the back leg while keeping the front leg bent. 
  4. Slightly bend at the elbows, leaning forward until you feel a pull in your calf. 
  5. Hold this position for 15–20 seconds.
  6. Relax and reset, then repeat for the other side.

Heel cord stretch

  1. Stand with one leg in front of the other. 
  2. Lightly bend the back knee and point the toes inward a little. Press both hands against the wall.
  3. Keep both heels flat on the ground and move the hips toward the wall. 
  4. Hold the position for 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat for the other side.

Downward dog

This stretch will also loosen up the hamstrings, which can exacerbate tight calves. 

  1. Start in a high plank position on a yoga mat with your hands flat, your fingers spread, and your arms outstretched. 
  2. Slowly push your butt back until your body forms an inverted V shape. You should keep your spine neutral and legs straight. Your head should be between your arms. 
  3. Ideally, your heels should be touching the floor. If you’re unable to do this due to muscle tension in the calf or as a byproduct of your unique ankle anatomy, you can use a yoga block for your heel to press into. 

Increase exercise intensity GRADUALLY 

You can overuse a tenon or overstrain a muscle if you take on too much too fast. If you’re working toward a certain fitness goal or training for an event, increase your exercise length or intensity in 10% increments per week. Going beyond that puts your tissues at risk, as they can’t get accustomed to the change fast enough. 


To sum up

Calf injuries are common, but that doesn’t mean they’re inevitable. Staying hydrated, stretching, wearing compression during physical activity, and warming up and cooling down around your workout will help you avoid stains and pains. 

More information

If you require assistance selecting the right product for your needs or wearing the brace, call us on 1300 668 466 or contact us via live chat.

Do you have private health? Most private health extras will cover Bauerfeind Products. Check to see if yours is included. Bauerfeind Private Health Insurance Inquiry. 

Bauerfeind was founded in 1929, and since then, we've worked tirelessly to develop and improve our extensive range of braces, insoles, and compression products. Our mission is to provide you with top-of-the-line supports so you can reach your fitness goals or live life without pain holding you back.

Every product is produced entirely in our facilities in Germany with the guidance of doctors, clinics, and orthopaedic technicians.

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