Tennis leg (Calf strains)

Mechanism of injury
Calf strain usually occurs after a sudden change of movement during sport (e.g. tennis), or tripping or treading awkwardly onto a step.

Symptoms and signs
Sudden pain in the calf muscle above the Achilles tendon followed by an ache and pain on walking. Sometimes there may be significant bruising and some swelling.


  • Rest: Walking about will lead to more pain and swelling.
  • Ice: Helps reduce the swelling and pain. Use whatever is available (crushed ice in a tea towel is ideal). Apply for 30 minutes every 2 hours
  • Elevation: Keep your leg resting in a raised position to help get the swelling down.

Expect improvement in a few days but a return to normal activity will take a bit longer.

If the injury is severe and you cannot walk see your doctor urgently.

Further information

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Sports injuries

Areaof the body

Legs, knees, ankles, feet

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