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Knots in Calf Muscles (Read 18671 times)


Bugs

    I struggle with tight calves, deep knots in my soleus. The tight calves lead to more tendon stress, more knots, more pain, and more problems. I am getting graston treatments, and helps immensly, but have not figured out how to prevent the core of the problem. I have the stick, can't get deep enough. I stretch, sometimes I forget to do right after a run, but I stretch. I was wondering if the prevention measurements for these are the same for calf cramps? One idea I have is to carry an energy drink with for every run. Also am considering getting a massage, maybe every week or two. I am open to suggestions.

    Bugs

      Try the S caps, they work immediatly and I find them to be amazing. I believe they have both sodium and potassium.
        Massage worked wonders for the knots in my calves. The stick didn't do anything, it just rolled right over the tennis ball in my calves.

        Race Plans

        New Year's Race Los Angeles, January 3, 2015

          Each time I was pregnant I had leg cramps all the time but never while I wasn't pregnant until I started running a lot. Since then I've been very mindful about making sure I eat bananas every day (usually 2) and drink lots of water. I notice more tightness in my calves when I stray from this. I've never tried S caps.

          Michelle



            I used to suffer this too. A course of sports massage sorted me out - I haven't had the problem for a over a year now. (But it does hurt while they're doing it!!!!)
              Bugs, have you checked out www.julstro.com? I bought the book "The Pain-Free Runner", and use the self massage treatments with a wooden dowel and strectching from the book. It has helped me immensely. The Stick is too flexible and not able to get to the deep knots... Give it a shot. Good luckQ


              Bugs

                I will probably try all these suggestions. I have to fix this. RunnerGirl, where do you get the S caps? Think a health vitamin store would have them? RedRunner, how frequent do you get a massage? Where in the training week is the massage the best? I was thinking of Friday which is my rest day before LR, but only because it is the most convenient. Mississippi, I had a banana yesterday (not even thinking about this) and I do think it helped, but I know the knot is still there. lakerunr, I've browsed the website. Think I will get the book, I really would like to do this the "cheap" way eventually.

                Bugs

                  Mississippi, I had a banana yesterday (not even thinking about this) and I do think it helped, but I know the knot is still there.
                  Everyone has their own theories and what works for one person might not work for another. My husband insists that cramps and knots come from not being hydrated enough. I tend to think it's a combination of hydration and potassium levels. He rolls his eyes at me if I comment on how I need to make sure I eat bananas each day. The massages feel great and help to loosen up my calves after a hard workout, I haven't bought it yet but soon I'll be getting The Stick to help with massages.

                  Michelle



                  UpNorth


                    If you are getting treatments (massage) on your calves but it keeps coming back look for a dysfunction somewhere else up the kinetic chain. Here are some biggies to look for: Start with your shoulders and thoracic spine: Are your shoulders rounded forward most of the day? Does one shoulder sit higher than another? Are your scapula "winging" when standing? Lumbar and hips: Does one hip sit higher than another? Are you in excessive lordosis when standing? Are you hips in a anterior or posterior tilt? If you answered yes to any of the above, tell a good sports massage therapist, chiro, etc. and they should be able to help. Usually the origination of the problem isn't with the calf itself. Working out the knots is great but you should try to find the root cause.
                      RedRunner, how frequent do you get a massage? Where in the training week is the massage the best? I was thinking of Friday which is my rest day before LR, but only because it is the most convenient.
                      I've only been the last two weeks, and am going again this week. I'm not sure what the best time to do it is, but last week I went after my run on thursday, before my day off on friday, with a 10 miler on saturday (my current longest run of the week). I think that is a good way to go. Also, make sure you get a sports massage. The previous week I couldn't get one, so had something else. While that was good, she didn't discover the many, many issues that exist elsewhere on my lower half. I've also rethought what my hip/butt problem is since then-I used to think it was the top half of my ITB, but I no longer believe that based upon what he was finding. I probably will not go every week. Even though this place is not expensive (relative to most massages), it adds up. I also agree with finding out what triggers the issues. I'm looking for a good sports DR right now. Also, I'm sure I'm not doing it properly, but I haven't gotten much out of "The Stick". The foam roller, on the other hand, has been very helpful elsewhere and I've tried it to some success on my calves, as well.

                      Race Plans

                      New Year's Race Los Angeles, January 3, 2015

                        I struggle with tight calves, deep knots in my soleus. The tight calves lead to more tendon stress, more knots, more pain, and more problems. I am getting graston treatments, and helps immensly, but have not figured out how to prevent the core of the problem. I have the stick, can't get deep enough. I stretch, sometimes I forget to do right after a run, but I stretch. I was wondering if the prevention measurements for these are the same for calf cramps? One idea I have is to carry an energy drink with for every run. Also am considering getting a massage, maybe every week or two. I am open to suggestions.
                        Ha ha ha ha ha! Sorry, I had to laugh when I checked your profile to find you're from MN (reason explained below)! What shoes do you usually wear? Are those ASICS DSTrainer you're wearing in that photo of yours? I used to have a lot of calf problem--I tend to run "on my toes" and that seem to put a lot of stress on my calves. I developed Achilels tendonitis; I had what John Parker (I think) called "calf heart attack" because it kept occuring rest or no rest. What saved me from all these, including Achilles tendonitis seemingly, was minimalist shoes. Now I don't recommend anybody to just jump to low profile shoes completely and throw away the "old" shoes; but definitely something to think about. Us fridgid north landers tend to take short choppy strides when we WALK during the winter and consequently our Achilles will get tighter and tighter. After I learnt this, I purchase these special shoes from Japan called Wind Sprint--these shoes have the mid sole exactly the same thickness through the entire shoe--same thickness under the forefoot as well as the heel. In other words, just by walking around in these would stretch your Achilles. I wore these throughout the winter and I started going for an easy jog in low profile Japanese marathon shoes (ASICS Sortie). At first, it was a bit tough and I had to really slow up but now I can't go back to regular bulky thick-heeled shoes any more; they feel so unstable! For a while, I went for a jog in those minimalist shoes and did some faster stuff in regular shoes because this is (faster runs) when I get up on my toes and stretch my Achilles. Now I hardly have any calf problem at all. Stretching and massaging would be fine but, considering the number of steps you'd take while running, you would be much more "stretched" if you wear low-profile shoes and get more accustomed for stretching your calves. What you wear on your feet during the day would make a difference as well. I was helping out MDRA's Beginning Women's Jogging Class a few years ago. I was running with this lady who was compaling about her calves getting tighten up. Naturally I looked down to see thick-heeled shoes so I scratched my head, thinking, well, this shouldn't stretch her calves too much... A minute later, I asked her if she wears high heel during the day. Lo and behold, her reply was "all the time!"
                          I will probably try all these suggestions. I have to fix this. RedRunner, how frequent do you get a massage? Where in the training week is the massage the best? I was thinking of Friday which is my rest day before LR, but only because it is the most convenient. quote> Hey Bugs from another MN runner who feels your pain (I have the same issue with tight calves). When I'm working hard during marathon prep I tend to get a massage every other week or so (as work schedule permits). My preference is to get in early in the week and I like to go after my speed workout. Since I loosely follow a Pfitzinger type plan this is usually on Tuesday or Wednesday. That way I get a massage after a hard workout and the next day is recovery so if there is any lingering soreness I can work through it at an easy recovery pace. Good luck


                          Bugs

                            Nobby, They are Brooks Trance 6. Trained in them for my first marathon, no problems. My calves got tight sometimes then too, but I think my body was not so beat-up then, and could take it. I hurt my feet with too much fast running last spring and wear orthotics now. Have not switched shoes, but have considered going to a neutral shoe. I am a slight over-pronator, but you'd think the orthotics would fix things so that you wouldn't need the over-pronation shoes? It's confussing to me. No problems with my feet right now but all injuries I had last year seem to point to tight calves. I know what you mean about winter changing your stride. I don't think I have achilles issues, but you think I should try a neutral shoe? mn_26p2_man, Thanks! Good to hear from some MN runners. Crisp and refreshing weather isn't? I will try to get it in early. There is a massage school in the same building as work and they are a bargin. Plus I have used a good sports massage lady. Maybe between the two I can get through this, if it costs me every last penny I've got. Smile I could understand if I was marathon training and having such problems, but dang it I'm running low easy miles, and XTing my butt off. My leg from a spasm (started Saturday) to just tight today. Graston today. Do you guys still run when your calf muscles are tight?

                            Bugs


                            Bugs

                              Chiropractor thinks it's from using the orthotic with the stability shoes, and not a neutral shoes. Going to try it. He also treated all of both of lower legs, where the previous chiropractor only treated the tender spots. He advised no massage for now because that plus the graston might be too much.

                              Bugs

                                My calves and sometimes a quad cramps during ultra runs, so I've done the S-caps out on the trail. I find them amazing, they keep me going. I'm here in Ca and almost all the Fleet Feet and most running stores carry them. You can also get them on line, I think Zombie sells them on their site as well. I use the stick also, I'm very aware of my calves cramping, I don't want to end up pulling my achilles or something else. But I swear by the scaps, and just have less cramping in general now. Happy trails!
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