I think I either pulled or strained my calf muscle. I pain was immediate and its hard to walk. I can point and flex and rotate the leg, but its worse then I point the toe. I'm icing it 20 on 20 off, advil, icy hot and elevation. I'm hoping its not a tear...I don't see any bruising....advice?
FIrstly, a strain and a "pull" are the same thing. And technically, a muscle strain is tearing of the muscle fibers - to what degree of tearing will determine the significance.
In terms of you calf, I would work on active pain free range of motion of your ankle and try to get back to a normal, full weight bearing gait. Once that is achieved, you can progress your exercises involving the calf. Ice and elevation are find to perform at this moment. Icy hot is not going to do much more than maybe decrease the pain due to the analgesic. Advil will help with controlling inflammation.
One things I have found is as soon as you are able to, get to an exercise bike and spin with a very low load.
Try to get the rpms up to 80-100. 5-10 minutes a session.
The Russains came up this for recovery for their bike racing teams
Getting good blood flow through the area will stimulate healing and recovery.