Calf Pain


  • Participant
    Matt Norquist on #17942

    So I have some fairly significant recurring pain in my left calf – at the point where the gastrocnemeus inserts into the back of the knee. Right at the very top. Doesn’t appear or feel swollen, and doesn’t seem to respond much to ice, massage, or stretching. Slightly tender to the touch, but don’t feel it much/at all during exercise.

    Thoughts? Anyone dealt with similar? Train through? Get it looked at? Shut down for a week and do alternative stuff?

    Am glad that I’ve not had any major injuries this year – but don’t like that I have 3-4 little ones that won’t quite sort themselves – L calf, right ankle, l knee, right shoulder, both wrists…


    Participant
    ExRower on #118783

    Hey, long time no see. How did this issue resolve for you? I’m dealing with something similar, and I wonder if it rings a bell for anyone.

    I have been dealing with off and on calf soreness in both legs for about a year now. After running on pavement for a couple miles, I start to feel it and it can linger for several days. Tightness around the calf/ankle area is especially apparent when waking up. I’ve done no track work for the last year because that causes extra strain, but I have been able to play pickup soccer on turf with no problems. In the meantime, I’ve done plenty of cross training so my aerobic conditioning is solid.

    After a few days the soreness would go away and I could always get a 3-mile light run in, but then it would be back if I were to run again the following day. I’ve finally decided to lay off it for 4-6 weeks and perform stretching and foam rolling religiously. However, at some point I’ll need to start carefully strengthening.

    Based on internet research, compartment syndrome seems more severe than this and unlikely, but the chronic nature makes me wonder.


    Participant
    Matt Norquist on #118785

    If you look at my training journal – you’ll see that I ended up blowing it out entirely during a block start in late November last year. Basically took me out of commission all winter – did just lifting and easy running – entire season ended up shot. I still have a little dent in my left calf.

    This year, I’ve just been progressing a lot more slowly, with a lot more recovery, and doing a lot more static calf and Achilles stretches and foam rolling.


    Participant
    cdnsprinter on #118789

    Hi,

    (ExRower)here’s what I’d do:

    -I’d start off by taking a few days off if the pain is too acute until it’s no more than a 3/10 before you run again, but if you wait too long, time may become your enemy and that same problem may still comeback to haunt you and other problem may arise too so try to keep being active without increasing stress levels on your muscles too much
    while making sure no to lose too much fitness either since you don’t want a heavy DOMS response either
    -don’t run first thing in the morning. If you can,do it in the afternoon while your overall body temp is higher and muscles warmer and more supple. If it’s late you’re worn out because of your daily activities, skip the run for that day. Your don’t want to run on tired legs.
    -keep running on grass for as long as it takes and keep distances relatively short and do intervals if needed.
    -eventually start by running on track or pavement once every two weeks, then once a week and so on and let the pain be your gide as to when you can increase frequency of running on hard surfaces
    -don’t jog
    -don’t run any faster than 70 percent either if it’s too acute…50 to 70 is a good speed
    -avoid sudden stops…just unwind and slow down progressively when you want to stop
    -don’t do any plyo
    -forget about strength training your calves and running, even on consecutive days.
    -don’t run on consecutive days and try to keep it to regular intervals between 2-3 times a week for now
    -if you have to do strenght training for legs, do it on the same day after your runs but not the day before as you want to have fresh legs and the less stiffness possible due to soreness
    -if you have to start with 500 m total distance per workout without the pain increasing either while running or on the day after, so be it. Be careful not to increase distance after just one or two workouts because stress is cumulative even if you can’t quite percieve it because your muscles have become somewhat numb due to constant pain.
    -as soon as you feel some increasing pain, it’s time to stop the workout
    -if you feel good on a given day, don’t run more than initialy planned… see if you can feel that way for at least a week as stability is a good thing to build on in your case, then increase distance by 100-200 meters and see how you feel after a few days and etc…
    if pain goes up, back up to previous distance for one workout and try to build back up and so forth
    -in my experience now is not the time to get any massage therapy or foam roal as anything is percieved as a stress, even therapy.
    -avoid stretching until while your calves are like rocks, just let time do it’s job a lil’
    -when your calves get less stiff, you can start with massage therapy right after running while your muscles are still warm (once a week). idealy don’t run on the day after therapy cause you can be a lil bit more sore until you recover completely, so give yourself a day off.
    -don’t go for long walks too, you don’t want to fatigue your feet and back and avoid standing in place for too long.
    -break in new shoes before running in them
    -make sure the ones you curently run with are not too old too.
    -always run with long thights and/or put some sleeves on your calves while training.

    I know it can seem like a long process, but you will be better of doin’ it that way than having to deal with chronic pain or even maybe considering quitting.

    I think it’s more than enough for now :O)

    Good luck and get well! hopefully soon.


    Participant
    Fabe on #119164

    I may have similar issue with my calfs. I have deep burns in the lateral gastrocnemius in both legs. It started after a session on very hard surface (a light session). The pain is situated around 2 little bumps that I have for many years now and that never caused me any trouble except discomfort.

    I did a very light massage after the session (just pressing lightly for 10 seconds 2 or 3 times before going to bed) and the day after the pain was awfull. It gets much better the day after and now it’s back in force again. I had similar issue with my glute medius I pressed the trigger points every 2 days 6 times a day for a week; The pain was awfully bad at the beginning but it gets much better every time. Could it be the same thing?


    Participant
    cdnsprinter on #119170

    …just pressing lightly for 10 seconds 2 or 3 times before going to bed) and the day after the pain was awfull. It gets much better the day after and now it’s back in force again. I had similar issue with my glute medius I pressed the trigger points every 2 days 6 times a day for a week; The pain was awfully bad at the beginning but it gets much better every time. Could it be the same thing?

    Are you sure you are not talking about pain underneath the soleus instead? alongside the tibia bone?

    IMO what you are describing looks more like inflamation than trigger points or knots in the muscle fibers. Just be careful not to damage it any further as it will only cause more swelling, the increased swelling and/or pressure may cause the periosteum to separate from the bone, thus more pain and even longer recovery time, granted that this is the case here.

    In my experience, it is only a temporary solution enabling you to extend your season by maybe on or 2 comps or go to that big meet where you have to perform, but there is a tradeoff as pressing on it only makes it worse contrary to what you can read on the net where the monkey see,monkey do rules pretty much everywhere and most of the time these people don’t even know what they are talking about. They just want to attact traffic to their site or copy paste whatever they can find on a given subject without even knowing just for the sake of adding pseudo content.

    I tried pretty much everything out there for about 2 years except for drainage procedure, casting or injections and stop training was not an option then. Still at one point my track career almost ended because of that injury that wasn’t going away…so it’s important to make sure where the pain originates exactly in order to use the appropriate rehab protocol.

    Hope this can help a bit.


    Participant
    Fabe on #25264

    No non it’s the lateral Gastrocnemius. I torn both (not at the same time) more than 10 years ago (stade 2 in the french classification). I already had inflammation to the soleus and it’s really not the same thing. I believe the 2 lumpy areas maybe scar tissues.

    Hi thanks. I tried the following.

    -I used so anti inflammatory cream before going to bed. It removed the inflammation around the lumpy area.
    -The next day I did some light massage around the lumpy area on both which give good improvements. The I did eccentric movement like walking and running backward as well as stretching just on the verge of pain. It helped a lot. The day after I could do some light plio similar to Dan pfaff rudiments series without feeling any discomfort or pain. What really caused me issues was deceleration
    -Dispite your warning I then tried to remove those lumpy areas so 2 days later I tried a moderate cross sectional massage on the left gastrocnemius and a really deep one on the right one. It didn’t work so well. The left one is smaller but a little more painful (I’ll try the same procedure that worked 4 days ago). The right one is in the initial state. I gave it a shot since i didn’t feel it was to risky.

    So I’ll do some light massage again and eccentric movement and stretching and also add some heat pack on the lumps (just to improve blood circulations). I hope to have it fixed within 3 weeks. I’ll then start a 2 or 3 general prep cycle (at least concerning the track program) before starting doing anything too hard. If anyone has some cues specially, comments or advice, it would be really appreciate.

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