What Is the Calf?
The calf is a back part of the lower leg - between the knee and ankle.
Causes of Calf Pain
Pain in the calf may arise from:
- Calf muscles: exercise, injury, mineral deficiencies, dermatomyositis
- Injury or inflammation of Achilles tendon
- Nerves: pinched sciatic nerve (read about sciatic nerve pain)
- Arteries: atherosclerosis (smokers, diabetics)
- Veins: varicose veins
- Blood: venous thrombosis
- Leg swelling from any cause
- Lymphatic vessels: elephantiasis, enlarged lymph nodes in the groin or behind the knee
- Joints: popliteal cyst behind the knee
- Skin: streptococcal or staphylococcal infection of the skin or under-skin tissues (cellulitis), Herpes zoster, systemic sclerosis
Article reviewed by Dr. Greg. Last updated on April 23, 2011