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Calf and Ankle Pain (Read 4186 times)


Just a dude.

    Greetings all...

     

    So, I was running along with everything going great, and my calf started being tight and sore off and on.  Didn't think much of it, but over a couple weeks it started getting worse, and started happening in both calves... Not in the middle, but on the edges... I think there are two big muscles connected to the achilles, and two little muscles near the shin that are connected more in front.  It's those little ones that hurt.  Also, the top of my ankle started hurting, just forward of the ball on the outside.

     

    It was a bit annoying, but it didn't slow me down... Then I realized I had over 600 miles on my shoes.  Aha! I thought...  So I got new shoes.  Same make and model... (Asics Gel Pulse 2s.) 

     

    I put 100 miles in my new shoes, and it just got worse.  2 weeks ago I took most of a week off trying to get my legs to feel good for a race, and was mostly successful... I ran my race pain free, but even during my cool down it was hurting again.  Over the next week, it got worse.

     

    I've tried twice to go to a different pair of older shoes (some Adidas Response Cushion 18s).  I retired those shoes after 600 miles as I was getting twinges in my knee.  Using these shoes seems to help some.  

     

    I've gotten a different brand of new shoes (Nike Pegasus) but I haven't felt good enough to really use them... I was gonna run 3 this morning, but I stopped and walked home before I got a quarter of a mile in.

     

    I have no pain when I am sitting, laying down, etc.  Standing is usually fine. Walking hurts some.  Stairs hurts more.  Running hurts most.  The faster I run, generally, the less it hurts.

     

    Self massage finds really painful muscles in my calves, but doesn't seem to help much.

     

    Ice hasn't seemed to help at all... (I see no visible swelling)

     

    Advil seems to help the most.  (But Trent has me scared to take much of that... Wink Wink

     

    Stretching sometimes helps.

     

    Often, it will get better as it gets used. I might be sore walking around, but if I walk a mile, it will get almost pain free.  Sometimes it gets better on my runs, sometimes not.  

     

    Changing angles on the road can make it better or worse, and often climbing a steep hill is the least painful.  Running on soft surfaces (grass, dirt, etc.) seems to hurt just as much as asphalt.

     

    I'm taking some days off to get this thing better again, but I'm looking for advice as to what it is and how to get better quick... And how to not have the problem again...

     

    Thanks!

     

    -Kelly

     

    PS. As if this wasn't long enough already... I am 40 years old, and just finished 12 weeks of base building where I upped my mileage from 60 mpw to 80 mpw.  I've basically been running 10 months after a 20 year lay off...

    Getting back in shape... Just need it to be a skinnier shape... 

      Just saw this. I've experienced similar aches when ramping up mileage. Tight calves are the root of all evil. Stretch them if no pain. Both straight-leg and bent knee. And foam rolling. Get a good foam roller or make one yourself with some 3 inch pvc pipe, camping padding and duct tape. Nothing helped my tight calves like foam rolling daily. For the achy ankle, nothing works as well as soaking your foot and ankle in a bucket of ice water. I did this in front of the tv for a 10 minutes at a time when I had peroneal tendinitis and anterior tibialis tendinitis and it worked wonders.

       


      Prince of Fatness

        What George said, and I'll add that if the ankle pain is peroneal tendinitis, there's a trigger point on the outside of your leg just below the knee.  Hit that sore spot with the foam roller.  I've had peroneal tendinitis and this provided almost instant relief.  I did have to keep at it to completely knock it out.  Ice will help, but you gotta hit that trigger point too.

        Semi-retired.


        A Dance with Monkeys

          I am not sure I understand exactly where you are hurting, but it sounds to me like achilles tendonitis. + maybe some peroneal tendonitis, as Finn said.

            I feel your pain. I'm having the same issues with my right leg. However, no pain in my ankles. I have some pain in my shin but it's all related to tight muscles in my lower leg. I have several trigger points that I can't release. I missed a lot of runs the past 2 weeks and I'm getting frustrated. I'm training for my first marathon and have a 1/2 marathon tune-up race tomorrow. I'm not limping around today. so if I feel good tomorrow, I'm going to run myself into the ground during my race tomorrow since most of my legs are fresh from cutting back the last 2 weeks to heal. If anyone know the best way to release trigger points please post. For my calf, I use the opposite knee while sitting and apply pressure to the trigger points. Sometime the muscle freaks outs and pulsates then releases. However, all my efforts the past 2 weeks did not end with the same results. Still have trigger points. I'm starting to think I might has a calf strain. But don't know the symptoms. I never limped around from trigger points before.

             

              ok so I am NOT a doctor, but unfortunately have too much experience with this issue.  For me it is an accumulation of stress from running, not taking enough time to stretch properly (after warming up of course) & having very tight muscles.  For me it starts from groin area, works down through hamstrings to back of knees & then calves & ankles.  Muscles from groin & hamstrings constantly pull on the smaller muscles of the calves & over time, well, something gives.  Main muscle affected is the deeper soleus muscle of the 2 calf muscles. It is also the smaller, but stonger of the 2. Soleus does the bulk of the work & also takes upon itself the bulk of the stress.  It also then pulls on the ankle & foot muscles.  they all work together.  Of course the soleus is very difficult to get to.  Foam roller, especially if you place one foot on top of the other can reach deep enough, but be extremely careful, can do more harm than good.  There are a couple of stretches that get down there as well (should find if you look them up).  Had a very serious problem 2 yrs ago right at this time & am experiencing it again right now.  Going to dr. Monday & hopefully PT for ultrasound treatment after that.  Mostly taking it easy, doing very easy run/walk (as soon as past moderate pain, I stop),  ice/heat, massage, light & moderate stretching.  takes some work & time, lots of time.   The problem usually starts higher up, but as a runner you feel it in the calves the most.  As always, good & proper shoes extremely important, but other factores as well.  When my running is going well, I start spending less & less time on maintenance (stretching, rest) & it always at some point catches up to me.  Again, just my own experience.


              Just a dude.

                I am not sure I understand exactly where you are hurting, but it sounds to me like achilles tendonitis. + maybe some peroneal tendonitis, as Finn said.

                 

                Well, nothing near the achilles hurts...

                 

                The top outside shoelace hole on my running shoes is fairly close to right above where my ankle hurts. It is maybe a 1-2" area there that is sore, but only when I have weight on it.  I can't really tell how deep it is... Looks like many tendons that attach down to my toes go thru pretty close to there...  This is only on my right leg.

                 

                Most of my calf hurts, but the parts next to my shin bones hurt more than the big muscles in the back.  It is only the big part of my calf, like 8 or so inches above the top of my shoe to just below my knee... (no knee pain tho)

                 

                I went to the doc yesterday, and they are all worried about peripheral vascular disease... I'm not on board with that diagnosis, but since my dad died of heart failure at 46, and my mom has a pace maker, they are more concerned with my history than what I tell them... 

                 

                I've basically rested entirely for the week... ran once for less than 2 miles...  It hasn't gotten any better at all...

                 

                I haven't felt good enough to run in the new shoes I got...

                 

                -Kelly

                Getting back in shape... Just need it to be a skinnier shape... 

                  I'm not a doctor.

                   

                  Random thoughts:

                   

                  -If you're heel striking a lot in those high-heeled shoes, then that's going to a) probably contribute to knee pain from impact angles and b) likely coincide with excessive dorsiflexion when you're running (bending toes up towards shins at impact). If I had to guess, you may be straining your muscles by doing way too much dorsiflexion.

                   

                  -Your training shoes have hugely high heels and seem bulky, yet your racing shoe has quite a low heel. That's a big difference to bounce between.

                   

                  -You might be doing hills excessively according to your log.

                   

                  -How tightly do you tie your shoes?

                   

                  I'm not a doctor.

                    I'm not a doctor.

                     

                    Random thoughts:

                     

                    -If you're heel striking a lot in those high-heeled shoes, then that's going to a) probably contribute to knee pain from impact angles and b) likely coincide with excessive dorsiflexion when you're running (bending toes up towards shins at impact). If I had to guess, you may be straining your muscles by doing way too much dorsiflexion.

                     

                    -Your training shoes have hugely high heels and seem bulky, yet your racing shoe has quite a low heel. That's a big difference to bounce between.

                     

                    -You might be doing hills excessively according to your log.

                     

                    -How tightly do you tie your shoes?

                     

                    I'm not a doctor.

                    I'm a mid-foot striker and I don't think I dorsiflex much. But, my left shin hurts. Since I switched to mid-foot strike I've never had issues with my shin. Now, it's starting to hurt. I have to think it because of tight soleus. Does anyone know if tight soleus cause shin splints.  My shin hurt in one spot. The inner edge of my shin bone half way between the ankle and knee. There is a knot there. Also my the soleus muscle next to this knot is super tight causing pain when i walk.

                     

                      postal:  foam roller will help with those knots but be extra careful!!!  if not done properly will make things worse, much worse  very slowly roll to the knot,  let pad sit there for 20-30s then continue rolling rest of the way to but not over your achilles.  DO NOT roll back & forth over knot.   Not sure if tight soleus will cause shin splints but I think it will contribute.  If I continue running at same level when calves (mainly the soleus) are sore & tight it will eventually lead to pain in the shins, ankles, feet, outside of legs.  There usually is pain or discomfort in the back of the knees where the hamstrings connect.  It is all related & the muscles/tendons are all connected to work together.  I am very concerned about your race tomorrow.  You are experiencing noticable pain in your legs, enough to have to cut back last 2 weeks, & yet you say "if I feel good tomorrow, Im going to run myself into the ground"  kind of a self-prophecy thing.  be careful, be wise.  Remember that marathon that you are training for is your goal.


                      Just a dude.

                        I'm not a doctor.

                         

                        Random thoughts:

                         

                        -If you're heel striking a lot in those high-heeled shoes, then that's going to a) probably contribute to knee pain from impact angles and b) likely coincide with excessive dorsiflexion when you're running (bending toes up towards shins at impact). If I had to guess, you may be straining your muscles by doing way too much dorsiflexion.

                         

                        -Your training shoes have hugely high heels and seem bulky, yet your racing shoe has quite a low heel. That's a big difference to bounce between.

                         

                        -You might be doing hills excessively according to your log.

                         

                        -How tightly do you tie your shoes?

                         

                        I'm not a doctor.

                         

                        My heal hits the ground first, but barely before the rest of my foot.  I haven't done a video, but I bet I would be closest to a mid foot dude...  I will look at how much dorsiflexion I do...

                         

                        Here is a rather poor video of me in a race... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bo5_CnkpYjY (I'm the tall guy with a white T-shirt with black sleeves) Maybe you can see enough to find a big problem with my form? Ignore the last 100 meters, I retweaked a tweaked hammy and had a terrible finish... (this was July... hammy's been fine for months...)

                         

                        I'm game for trying more minimal shoes, but I've not been able to find any that feel any good.  I don't think I could handle putting in lots of miles in my racing flats...

                         

                        If you really look at my log, you see that where I put hills might just be hilly runs, or a hill circuit that I do that has 3-4 minutes of hill running every 15 minutes or so.  I guess I use the term hills kinda loosely in my log...

                         

                        I don't tie my shoes very tight generally... I really hate the feeling of my shoe laces digging in to my feet.  I try to be just tight enough that my foot doesn't move around, and try to keep the pressure even over all the laces...

                         

                        Thanks for your input!

                        Getting back in shape... Just need it to be a skinnier shape... 

                          Hard to tell in the video with you feeling strong in a race and wearing your racing shoe. You don't look bad, though. It's a heel strike, but quick. Some dorsiflexion before contact. Nothing definitive from that, though.

                           

                          +1 for a video!

                            Kelly:

                             

                            I consider you as a truly student of the sport--you're all over the place, throwing questions, trying to learn...  I really admire that.  I enjoyed watching your mile race.  Good for you for doing the mile race!  I was inspired myself; I should be doing that too!!  I don't care too much for a marathon but love 1500m~5000m.  And I'm coming from a track background.  Just mowing the lawn gets me excited (that freshly cut grass smell reminds me of getting onto the track).

                             

                            It is hard to see your form from the video, and it's even harder to assume your leg pain is from your running form.  I felt you were slightly leaning backwards which might contribute to your landing on your heel more.  But, often even if it might appear that you're landing on your heel, you really have to look into the actual moment of touch-down and it's very hard to do so by looking at the live film when you're taking approximately 3-steps per second.  Yes, you did seem to "die" in the last 100m or so but I could feel your pain!!  Been there and done that!! ;o)

                             

                            It is very difficult, but critical, to carefully identify "the pain" whether or not it's "injury" or "growing pain".  I know Wannaberunner is probably sick of me saying this but, in a way, the fact you're saying that the pain "eases" as you run faster sort of makes me think it might be the latter.  I don't know--I don't want to irresponsibly tell you to continue running and simply make it worse; but you really need to identify if it's almost impossible to continue running with it or if it's eases as your body warms up.  It has been like walking on a tight rope for Wannaberunner and me in the last 3 months or so with her shin pain.  She's pretty determined to continue running and running those damn marathons and I was ready to pull her off from any program as soon as it becomes apparent that she's getting an "injury"...  But she's still running, with pain, and getting ready for NYC marathon in 2 weeks.  It's not easy but probably the necessary one if you want to get up to the next level....or not end up getting injured.

                             

                            Just a thought, however; with a quick glance at your training log (I hate those bars so I just quickly looked at your "calendar"), it seems to me that you're throwing "hill workout" all over the place; like the day after intervals or the day after a 5k race...  Maybe that was too much???  And, from looking at the calendar, you developed this leg pain when you started a hill training phase???  If so, you have to remember, some sort of leg soreness would be expected when you start real hill training.  It does not mean you need to tough it through; but you have to realize this fine line of strengthening and getting injured.  Also, you need to realize what you're trying to achieve within that phase--you're trying to develop power and flexibility in your strides.  It seems that you're trying to analyze what sort of movement hurts your leg most.  Dig it in a little deeper and see if certain movement may or may not hurt as much.  A few years back, I was doing hill training phase with a VERY sore Achilles.  I got to the point where I just could not do any more.  But I realized I could still do step running.  You can't get as much benefit because your ankle angle is locked doing steps; but because your ankle angle is locked, it didn't hurt my Achilles as badly so I could continue doing the "hill" phase.

                             

                            My guess actually is, you said something about around the shin area...  Hill training really does knock your legs around and stretches all the muscles and tendons around the legs.  If you're not used to it, you'll need to really ease into it.  Don't go by schedule; go by how you feel--talk to your legs.  Usuaully it does take about 2 weeks to really get used to the stress.  You may have to cut back a bit but, as long as it's not getting worse, don't just throw it away.  Determine that fine line between "growing pain" and "blossoming injury". 

                               

                              I'm a mid-foot striker and I don't think I dorsiflex much. But, my left shin hurts. Since I switched to mid-foot strike I've never had issues with my shin. Now, it's starting to hurt. I have to think it because of tight soleus. Does anyone know if tight soleus cause shin splints.  My shin hurt in one spot. The inner edge of my shin bone half way between the ankle and knee. There is a knot there. Also my the soleus muscle next to this knot is super tight causing pain when i walk.

                               

                              I don't know for certain, but tight calves can cause shin splints because the muscle starts to pull at the bone and creates little nicks. I would get a deep tissue massage and ice the muscle. Don't rule out a stress fracture only because it hurts in one spot on one leg. Good luck and go see a doctor if things don't get better.

                                 

                                I don't know for certain, but tight calves can cause shin splints because the muscle starts to pull at the bone and creates little nicks. I would get a deep tissue massage and ice the muscle. Don't rule out a stress fracture only because it hurts in one spot on one leg. Good luck and go see a doctor if things don't get better.

                                 

                                You know, with all the barefoot running being the current fad and now we even have shoes to help you run mid-foot (Newton), if not dorsi-flexing--> tight calf--> shin splint, we should be having shin splints right and left.  But the truth is, and I do NOT have any research or statistics, those who switched to barefoot running or minimalist shoes or Newton shoes seem to have LESS problems such as shin splint.  Also, if it is stress fracture, I would highly doubt that it eases as you run faster.

                                 

                                I'm a big proopnent of "go see the professional instead of throwing a potential injury question at free-bee internet message board"; but certain things can be ruled out by using a common sense.

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