Calf issues (Read 558 times)

    Hey, guess what! I've gone and injured myself again....some strange sharp pain in the middle of my left calf, that kind of reaches up to my hamstring when I run. It's not swollen, doesn't hurt when I touch it, is not bruised, and I can dig my fingers in to it to massage it without really any pain. It only hurts when I actually put a lot of weight on it walking/running. So I didn't run yesterday, and am not running till it heals (don't want to drag this out like I've done with too many past injuries). Anyways, I googled calf strain and I suppose that could be what it is, although it doesn't have quite all the symptoms described.

    If you could check my log, I really haven't done anything to cause this (I swear). I had to take a few days off due to a minor ankle sprain, but it was only 5 days and I don't think I came back toooo fast (right?). Any ideas what could have caused this? I suppose the only thing to do is ice and rest right? Thanks! 

      Sometimes these can be caused by a change in your gait, which we do subconsciously when we have an injury. Perhaps you were protecting your ankle, causing extra strain on your calf.


      I have found that deep tissue massage, such as ART, can be very helpful in making a quick recovery. Just resting the leg takes much longer.


        The plantaris muscle is a pencil thin muscle in your calf. Doesn't serve to much of a purpose - it has been described as your leg's appendix. Just like the appendix it flares up for some unknown reason. Doesn't hurt to walk, but hurts when you push off while running. Many articles about it. For me, it went away almost as fast as it came after about a month. Good luck.
          coderunner, i was limping for the whole week so i'm positive i changed my gait to compensate subconsciously. I had ART once before with a chiro I really liked so that's good to know its helpful! I think I may make an appt. kennyb, thanks for the info, I'd be relieved if this was something minor like that! Smile
            I know a really good masters runner who sees his PT / chiro guy once every few weeks as a preventive measure. I'm not quite there, but almost. Good luck!

              Hello fellow runners,


              I felt it my moral obligation to my fellow runners to post here.  I'll start by saying I've been running for 30 years, have completed races of all distances all the  way up to marathon, which I've done 6 times.  I am also a triathlete and have done all distances there too, including a successful Ironman bid.  The only reason I tell you this is, is so you will know I that I have a good deal of experience pushing my body hard and have dealt with many minor injuries along the way.  The calf strain that I have had is the worst so far.


              Back in the summer, I was training very hard, lifting, running and once a week doing an intense hill workout where I ran up a sledding hill.   Eventually my calves started getting super tight.  I stretched them every day but it didn't help much.  Being stubborn, I pushed through, eventually during a run, I felt like I had a cramp in my calf.  No pop or blast from the calf, just a cramp like feeling.


              It's now been nearly 6 months and I'm now just starting to turn the corner and get back to pain-free running.  This is my recovery story:


              First I took a week off, no good.  Then I took 2 weeks off from running, still no good.  Then I took a month off.  Still nothing.  I estimate I had a Level 2-3 tear.  So I eventually took 3 months off and slowly started doing some powerwalking, and began to incorporate running only downhill which elongates the calf.  So I did that for awhile.


              Eventually I threw in the towel and went to see a Physical Therapist.  The PT worked me out doing single leg balancing exercises, calf raises, etc.  However it wasn't until I started getting Dry Needling that the muscle began to relax and some of the scar tissue began to break up.  I had one of these sessions every week for 4 weeks and now I'm feeling much better.


              During this time, I also incorporated The Stick, rolling my calves every day, and getting rolled and massaged by my wife.


              Another PT said simple "Stretch the sh#t out of it."  So I did.  Calf stretch and also lots of hamstring stretches, they are connected.  Keep in mind, I agree with other posters that say don't stretch the calf until it has done some healing.  Usually 1-2 months depending on the severity.


              Lastly, the way I've worked back into my running seems to be working.  Namely:  I do static stretching before my run (which I used to never do, only active stretching)  Now I do both.  So I will go out and run 8 minutes, stretch again for 1-2 min followed by 8 more minutes of running, etc.  I follow this pattern and walk for a few minutes if necessary in between.  I'm now back up to running a total of 35 minutes at a time without pain or strain.  A word of caution:  If you feel any strain in your calf while running.  STOP.  You cannot "run through" this injury. 


              Good luck in your recovery, I hope this helps.

                I felt it my moral obligation to my fellow runners to post here.


                I feel it's my moral obligation to ask you to stop bombarding the boards with this same message over and over. 'Prec.

                Runners run.