Irving Primary Care

Calf Pain – Causes and Prevention

The calf is a group of muscles located on the lower side of your leg, right below your knees and includes three main muscles—soleus muscle, lateral gastrocnemius muscle, and medial gastrocnemius muscle. Any issue with these muscles or other muscles in the region can lead to calf pain.

Causes of Calf Pain

There are various causes of calf pain which can include foot conditions, cramps and overworked muscles. While some cases are mild and can be treated with home remedies, others can be severe and require immediate attention. Following are some of three major causes of calf pain:  

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

This is caused because of blood clotting in the deep vein in the leg and calf itself. There are various conditions and factors that may result in DVT like smoking, medication complications, and sitting for long periods at a stretch, among others. The symptoms include:  

  • Warm sensation in calf
  • Discoloration of skin
  • Tenderness in the leg
  • Swelling in the affected area
  • Veins becoming more visible

It is essential to get immediate medical help if above mentioned symptoms occur.

Muscle Cramps

These are painful and sudden muscle contractions which might last for a while or for several minutes. Muscle cramps are rather common and typically occur when doing extreme exercise. These can be triggered by mineral deficiencies, muscle injuries and dehydration. Serious and chronic muscle cramps, on the other hand can be caused due to:   

  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Alcoholism
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Kidney failure

In severe situations, restricted flow of blood to various body parts and other severe medical conditions can result in cramping of muscles.   

Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN)

This is a type of nerve damage which affects your hands, arms, legs and feet. DPN is known as a common diabetes complication which occurs due to overexposure of nerve inflammation, genetic factors and increased level of blood sugar. Some main DPN symptoms include the following:  

  • Decreased ability of feeling temperature changes and pain
  • Numbness
  • Loss of coordination and balance
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Sharp pain

If the above mentioned symptoms are experienced, it is essential to get immediate medical help.

Tips to Prevent Calf Pain

The following are some simple and effective tips that can help in preventing calf pain:


This is the most essential prevention of calf pain. Always remember to stretch before and after a workout as this helps in strengthening and repairing your calf and reduce the chance of potential injury.  

Staying Hydrated

Drinking enough water can keep you hydrated which can also reduce your risk of experiencing calf pain. Dehydration is a major contributor of muscle cramps and muscle strain which results in calf pain.

Being Active

Staying active and regularly exercising is another effective prevention. However, it is important that you gradually increase the activity level to prevent injuries and pain.  

In case of any injuries and pain, it is crucial that you get immediate medical attention to stop the calf pain from getting worse. Visit to make an appointment or to consult an expert to get more tips and suggestions on preventing calf pain.


Dr. Shalin Parikh, M.D. is a primary care provider offering skilled, compassionate care in and around Irving and Coppell, TX.