According to the Sports Injury Clinic website, the calf muscles consist of the gastrocnemius and the soleus. The gastrocnemius is a bulky, powerful muscle situated on the posterior aspect of the lower leg. The soleus muscle, which is smaller than the gastrocnemius, lies beneath the gastrocnemius. Causes of calf muscle pain include strains, delayed onset muscle soreness and trauma.
Calf Muscle Strain
A muscle strain involves the partial tearing of small muscle fibers. According to the NYU Langone Medical Center--an academic medical center in New York City--a calf muscle strain can becaused by stretching the calf muscles beyond the normal amount of tension they can handle; sudden, unguarded calf muscle stress; overuse of the calf muscles; and blunt force trauma to the posterior aspect of the lower leg. Common risk factors for calf muscle strains include fatigue, excessive calf muscle tightness, overexertion and cold weather. Playing certain sports, such as running, basketball, football and rugby, may also increase the likelihood of a calf muscle strain. Calf muscle strains cause pain, tenderness, stiffness and weakness in the calf muscles but typically respond well to conservative care.