Three muscles make up the section of the leg below the knee that most people call the calf. While any direct injury to these three muscles can cause pain, conditions that affect the surrounding tissue, arteries, nerves, or the muscles themselves can do so, as well.


1. Muscle Cramp

Some of the most common causes of calf pain are muscle cramps, which are involuntary contractions of a muscle. Cramps can be extremely painful and even debilitating. The muscles may feel stiff to the touch or have a visible knot. Though the cramp may not last very long, the pain and soreness can persist for several days.

leg calf cramp Jan-Otto / Getty Images


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