>General Running>Recovery time for calf strain?
About 3 weeks ago I started experiencing pain in left calf muscle (along the lower inside of my leg)...I had noticed the pain intermittently and then it suddenly became quite prominent after a 12 km run one day. My physical therapist has been working with me - says I have a left side weakness from hip down... left foot, knee roll in when I squat or run. I am working on strengthening from the hip down. I tried doing light run recently, after half a km, calf stiffened and severe pain...I hobbled home. This is so frustrating!!!! The pain is not getting better. I want to get back on the road so badly. I have been doing my prescribed exercises. Nothing improving. Just curious - would like to hear from other runners who have had calf strain - what was your recovery experience like? What helped? How long before you could get back to regular running?
You likely came back too quickly. Give it another 10 -14 days of no running. I have had multiple calf strains. Most have been 1-3 week injuries. I wait until I can't feel any discomfort walking for at least 5 days. I have learned and come back too quickly setting me back. My first run back I heat up calf, walk 5 minutes and then jog a mile. That's it. If a success I know I am on my way back and progress from there but keep warming it up before. You are doing right things but be smart. You don't have a serious injury. Let it heal. Keep moving calves, ankle as long as no pain. Move as much as possible. Strengthen calves as well.... so importang in addition to hip stuff. My pulls stopped once I committed to standing calf resistance work.
Run Coach. Recovery Coach. Founder of SMART Approach Training, Coaching & Recovery
Structured Marathon Adaptive Recovery Training
Safe Muscle Activation Recovery Technique
I'd second this. I also came back too quickly. After about 5 days of feeling absolutely nothing while walking was when I finally was ready to go. For me, it was about 2 weeks of no running. In the meantime, I did a lot of walking.
When I did come back, my heart rate to pace ratio had improved quite a bit. Apparently, I really needed the rest. You might be surprised how fast you will feel when you come back with appropriate rest.
Thanks very much to you both. SD_Blackhills...I especially love that you came back with a better heart rate to pace!! This gives me hope . I was feeling overall really sluggish and aching in the days leading up to the calf injury. Kind of dragging myself thru my runs. I suspect I need this rest too. There is still pain when I walk so I will continue to rest. I am cycling a lot which does not seem to engage the pain in my calf. TChuck - when you say you heat up the calf before your run, do you mean stretch or do you actually apply heat with a heating pad? (Sorry if my question seems obvious!).
TChuck - when you say you heat up the calf before your run, do you mean stretch or do you actually apply heat with a heating pad? (Sorry if my question seems obvious!).
I mean heat....like hot water. Moist heat penetrates. The heating pad only heats up your skin and does minimal heating to muscle. You would need an far infrared pad to penetrate. Also, walking, some heel walking, toe walking to engage muscle, get it firing through a range of motion. I would not do static stretching before running and don't over stretch it when done. Over stretching damaged tissue is not recommended. Hope this helps.
I forgot to mention that I did some stationary bike that didn't aggravate anything. I also applied heat, although my method was to fill a bathtub with hot water and run the jets for one cycle. The water was about as hot as I could tolerate. For some reason, this would completely remove the pain for a few hours or so and acted as very nice temporary relief. However, there is no way to know if it contributed to returning to running more quickly.