Tennis Leg (Gastrocnemius Strain or Tear) Information

Tennis Leg (Gastrocnemius Strain or Tear)


The gastrocnemius muscle is a powerful superficial muscle that is in the back part of the lower leg (the calf). It runs from its two heads just above the knee to the heel, and is involved in standing and walking. Along with the soleus muscle it forms the calf. Gastrocnemius attaches to the foot via the Achilles tendon.

Anatomy: Leg - Injury: Tennis Leg (Gastrocnemius Strain or Tear) Information

Mechanism of Injury

  • Sudden forceful contraction of the calf eg, when pushing off to change direction on the tennis court.
  • Ruptures of the calf musculature usually occur near the point where the Achilles tendon merges with the inner belly of the calf muscle.


  • In the calf there is sudden pain, which may feel like a blow on the leg from behind.
  • There may be an associated ‘snap’.
  • There is difficulty in contracting the calf muscle and walking on tiptoe.
  • Local tenderness occurs over the injured area.
  • Swelling, due to hematoma in the region of the rupture.
  • If it is a significant strain a gap can be felt in the muscle-tendon junction.


Please consult with your medical professional for a complete diagnosis and treatment plan.

Recommended Thermoskin Product

Under the direction of your medical professional and in conjuction with your advised treatment plan, any of the following Thermoskin products are recommended.

Adjustable Multi Purpose Wrap

Adjustable Multi Purpose Wrap 80622

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Sport Calf Support Adjustable

Sport Calf Support Adjustable 80707

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