How to Tackle Grade 1 Calf Strains*:
First you must be a master at Google search phrases to land on a diagnosis. Patience is key here, but since you need to rest anyway you can rest your injury while embarking on a diagnosis.
Then you have to ice as much as safely possible. Make sure that you have something in between the ice pack and the skin. See photo above where I use the ugliest of soccer socks for this purpose. Failure to put something between the ice and the skin could result in frostnip and ice burn. That is scary to see. You'll think you killed your skin. Literally. (Don't ask me how I know this. ::whistles innocently::)
You should also compress those calves. This is my first foray into compression, and I have to say that I am in LOVE. My husband hit up our lame little Big 5 looking for something for my calves and brought home two McDavid Calf Compression Sleeves. Made of neoprene, this bad boys are TOUGH to get on. Truth be told, I developed a bit of a complex because I sized in at a medium sleeve and it was super tough to get on. I'm a woman; what the hell size does a man wear for crying out loud?!?! Even though I got stuck in the whole pathetic "my-calves-are-huge-too-huge-I'm-not dainty" refrain for a bit, my mind quieted because those things WORK. I work them for three hour stretches at a time, and I could tell a difference.
(Now I must interrupt here, and write a few words about the differences between correlation and causation. They aren't the same. Did the compression cure me? Maybe. Did time cure me? Maybe. Did icing and rest cure me? Maybe. Was it the whole combo? Most likely. But I can't help but look at those compression sleeves with a sense of wonder. Squeezy squeezy helps. I think. I hope. I think I want a pair for running. A purple pair. I can't run in neoprene.)
Look ahead to the future. I can't wear the compression sleeves to work. I can't ice at work. So I thought I would try KT tape (which I purchased in BRIGHT PINK**) on the left calf. The one that hurts more. My right one is nearly back in business. Most right strides I can hardly notice there was a problem, but I still am limping with my left strides.
Using the website's videos, my husband who probably never realized that a vow to be there in sickness and health meant that he would have to learn how to handle injury like a physical therapist, taped my calf last night to help me through the walking that I cannot avoid today. We used a ball point pen to mark on my calf the site of the pain. He taped around it in the way that the video suggested. Tape is still on after a night of sleeping. No rolling at all. We'll see how well it helps today.
I think the pink tape suits me. I hope so. I have to go out in public.
Last. Writing about the injury seems to have helped. Yay, for superstition.
*My own diagnosis. I *do* have a degree in American Literature and Culture for heaven's sake.
**After realizing how large my calves must be, I opted for pink to soften or feminize the calf. Yes.