ZocdocAnswersCould my calf pain be a strained muscle?

Question

Could my calf pain be a strained muscle?

I stood up yesterday and had a sharp pain in my calf. It hurt when I walked. Now the pain is less, but still there. i'm terrified of blood clot. I have no other signs, no hot spots, no swelling. Just a lot of anxiety because I think the worse. I am obese, but active. I do not smoke or take any medication. The calf muscles hurts when my toes are flexed or pointed. When I woke up this morning it felt much better, but after being in the pool the pain came back. Does this sound like a strained muscle?

Answer

A blood clot in the veins of your calf is a possibility and it is a good idea to visit a doctor in person. The things that make someone more prone to clotting are: obesity, recent surgery, recent periods of immobilization (like a long car ride or flight), or high hormone states (taking an oral contraceptive, hormone replacement therapy like after menopause, or pregnancy or being post-partum). It sounds like you are obese, which is one risk factor, but I would be curious to know if you have any of the others. If you are concerned about this, it is worthwhile to get checked out by a doctor in person, as clots in your legs can go up to your lungs and be life threatening. Along those lines, if you get chest pain, heart palpitations, or feel short of breath, you should go to an emergency room. Leg clots often make the legs painful, they can redness and they can cause swelling. It is useful to look at your leg that hurts in comparison with the other leg to see if it is bigger than the non-painful leg (meaning its swollen). Other things that could be going on are a muscle strain or tear, like you mentioned. This is usually caused by an unusual movement, or some activity out of the ordinary. Other things that could be going on are a skin infection, that can sometimes cause pain, but this sounds less likely given what you said that it is not hot or swollen. Finally, there can be a cyst in the back of your knee that causes pain in the calf, called a Baker's Cyst. Overall, what you are describing could certainly be a strained muscle, but if it in any way worsens, persists (doesn't go away), or you develop any of the things I mentioned above (chest pain, shortness of breath, swelling, redness), you should go see a doctor in person.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.