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Re: Aging, calf injuries, and running speed [Rocky M] [ In reply to ]
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" *Note: the shoes are sitting in a closet & I've gone back to the wicked awesome 10 mm drop of Adidas."


In a closet?? Get out the lighter fluid!
Last edited by: mdtrihard: Sep 10, 15 14:58
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Re: Aging, calf injuries, and running speed [h2ofun] [ In reply to ]
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h2ofun wrote:
Steve, so far, at 58, I guess I am lucky. Have never, yet, had this issue.

Any thoughts on why some do, and some might not?


Dave,

How many years have you been running consistently? I thought I've read that you're a late bloomer re: endurance sports. If that's the case, I think you just have less miles on your legs than those of us 55+ who have been running consistently for 40+ years.

Thankfully, the calf cramping/Achilles issues haven't hit me yet, although my running pace has definitely slowed in the past decade. All my running except for races is at a comfortable pace and off pavement. I wonder whether running offroad helps maintain the neuromuscular function in the ankles and calves.
Last edited by: Mark Lemmon: Sep 10, 15 15:33
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Re: Aging, calf injuries, and running speed [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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Fleck wrote:
Ken,

It's called, "Old-Man-Calf-Syndrome"!

In my few limited attempts at a come-back to running, it's cut the whole thing short and I have retreated to the bike.

I've talked to a number of other 45+ runners, many from a higher performance back-ground, and it's always the same story - this mysterious locking-up of one or both calves after a relativly speaking very limited amount of running.

A chiropractor friend of mine thinks that it may be because of nerve compression in the spine. You don't even know that it's there - until you start running and then, after 10 - 15 . . . wham! Your calf completely locks up!


"Old-Man-Calf-Syndrome"= "Mad Calf Disease". Mine started in my late 40's and it has "struck" both legs but not at the same time. The belief here is this is related to myofascial tissue tightness. Aging decreases the elastic properties of the tissue. During running, this tissue does not expand quickly enough or just plain enough for the expanding muscle that is used more for running than cycling. Thus, cycling does not induce such symptoms. Short run-walk intervals from the start can be helpful as will slower (slow) than normal run speed(s).

It is a maddening syndrome.
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Re: Aging, calf injuries, and running speed [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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Fleck wrote:
Ken,

It's called, "Old-Man-Calf-Syndrome"!

A chiropractor friend of mine thinks that it may be because of nerve compression in the spine. You don't even know that it's there - until you start running and then, after 10 - 15 . . . wham! Your calf completely locks up!

Hi Ken

Its definitely an issue I have and others in my industry: sedentary desk-bound dronies. I'm 49.
Since there are a lot of people, in middle age, that have management type jobs, it might be enough to affect a statistical average.

Back to the issue...

Sitting on your a$$ all day creates a weak core, and especially back, core and gluteal muscles.
Spinal compression happens, the nerves exiting L5 - L3, (the ones driving lower leg muscles) are affected.
Poor conductivity results in poorer muscle control and strength.

Sciatica is a common symptom - but IMO covers a lot of different issues.
I've had this on and off for about 10 years.

Training for an ironman has hugely increased my core strength, reduced the symptoms, and improved my ability to handle every day situations. 3 years ago I could hardly walk to the car park about 500m away - had to sit and stretch just to keep going!!!

So its a huge struggle for distance running.

Lack of power and control in my affected calf is the biggest issue.
Standing on one leg and doing some yoga moves really highlights such issues. My affected leg can't keep me stable. its not just the calf, but all the other muscles as well

Interestingly, I've noticed that my parents and friends, all in the 70's - 80's are frequently unstable on stairs and other challenges. When watching them, they seem to have really poor power in their lower leg muscles.

IMO muscle imbalances are the issue I can fix.
- My erector spinea muscles are imbalanced. Strengthening one side and not the other is tough - our bodies ability to compensate is amazing. its some to check
- I get "cramps" in the muscles at the base of my spine. Lack of mobility in the L5-L3 area. Electro acupuncture has been a great short term solution. But only lasts about 2 weeks. Chiropractic has been a waste of time.
- 5 Finger type of "shoes" might actually help! Well... for training, but I wouldn't race in them.

As I've gotten stronger, my distances have increased, but anything over 15k is tough.
I'll crawling across the finish line in Cozumel....sigh.

If any of this sound reasonable to you, please let me know. Maybe my experiences can help.
Olaf
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Re: Aging, calf injuries, and running speed [Mark Lemmon] [ In reply to ]
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Mark Lemmon wrote:
h2ofun wrote:
Steve, so far, at 58, I guess I am lucky. Have never, yet, had this issue.

Any thoughts on why some do, and some might not?


Dave,

How many years have you been running consistently? I thought I've read that you're a late bloomer re: endurance sports. If that's the case, I think you just have less miles on your legs than those of us 55+ who have been running consistently for 40+ years.

Thankfully, the calf cramping/Achilles issues haven't hit me yet, although my running pace has definitely slowed in the past decade. All my running except for races is at a comfortable pace and off pavement. I wonder whether running offroad helps maintain the neuromuscular function in the ankles and calves.


Yep, late bloomer.

That is why I was asking. Is it age or could it be the number of miles on the legs? If so, maybe this is why some "younger" folks are getting it while some older may not be, yet?

Been lucky so far. This year was my fastest running ever.

Dave Campbell | Facebook | @DaveECampbell | h2ofun@h2ofun.net

Boom Nutrition code 19F4Y3 $5 off 24 pack box | Bionic Runner | PowerCranks | Velotron | Spruzzamist

Lions don't lose sleep worrying about the sheep
Last edited by: h2ofun: Sep 10, 15 16:07
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Re: Aging, calf injuries, and running speed [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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Fleck wrote:
Ken,


It's called, "Old-Man-Calf-Syndrome"!

In my few limited attempts at a come-back to running, it's cut the whole thing short and I have retreated to the bike.

I've talked to a number of other 45+ runners, many from a higher performance back-ground, and it's always the same story - this mysterious locking-up of one or both calves after a relativly speaking very limited amount of running.

A chiropractor friend of mine thinks that it may be because of nerve compression in the spine. You don't even know that it's there - until you start running and then, after 10 - 15 . . . wham! Your calf completely locks up!


http://www.runnersworld.com/injury-treatment/calf-heart-attacks?page=single
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Re: Aging, calf injuries, and running speed [ptakeda] [ In reply to ]
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ptakeda wrote:
Fleck wrote:
Ken,


It's called, "Old-Man-Calf-Syndrome"!

In my few limited attempts at a come-back to running, it's cut the whole thing short and I have retreated to the bike.

I've talked to a number of other 45+ runners, many from a higher performance back-ground, and it's always the same story - this mysterious locking-up of one or both calves after a relativly speaking very limited amount of running.

A chiropractor friend of mine thinks that it may be because of nerve compression in the spine. You don't even know that it's there - until you start running and then, after 10 - 15 . . . wham! Your calf completely locks up!


http://www.runnersworld.com/injury-treatment/calf-heart-attacks?page=single

Interesting.

I always wonder if walking lots of stairs and hills around my house help avoid this?

Am also wondering if running steep hills all year long in my training helps avoid this?

Bottom line, my goal is to not stop running since when I did from surgery, bam, hamstring pull. :(

Dave Campbell | Facebook | @DaveECampbell | h2ofun@h2ofun.net

Boom Nutrition code 19F4Y3 $5 off 24 pack box | Bionic Runner | PowerCranks | Velotron | Spruzzamist

Lions don't lose sleep worrying about the sheep
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Re: Aging, calf injuries, and running speed [stillrollin] [ In reply to ]
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stillrollin wrote:
I'm 51, dealt with calf issues on and off for years but have kept them at bay for the last two by:
  • letting the last injury heal completely (long rest);
  • running slower;
  • running consistently (4-5x a week);
  • switching to Hoka's (first Bondi, now Clifton).



This combo has worked for me. YMMV.

At this stage of the game I'm happy to still be out there (albeit, slower) and injury free. Got a local 10 miler on Sunday, so I'll see just how much slower then.

I dealt with mad calf disease for 2-3 years until I did the two things I put in bold. Since I started running only in Hoka Bondi's and running MUCH slower did it finally go away. When I say I'm running much slower I'm talking 1:30-2:00 min mile slower pace on training runs. I run 4 times a week and only run once at my normal training pace which is about 8:00min miles which I usually stay in low to middle Z2 at this pace. The other 3 runs I keep my pace between 9:45-10:00min miles.
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Re: Aging, calf injuries, and running speed [klehner] [ In reply to ]
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A couple of thoughts:


While I would not argue there are peripheral biomechanical changes (in addition to the central/cardiovascular) that contribute to decline in running speed as we age, the lesser contribution of the plantarflexors in this study can be almost entirely attributed to the significantly slower preferred speed/stride length... This is a well-known inverse relationship and doesn't necessarily imply causation.

The unfortunate truth is there are a litany of factors that contribute and although there are likely some weighted variables, I wouldn’t jump to any generalizations about the calf.


Our plumbing and ventilation arguably account for a good deal of the decline. This too gets challenged with the confounds of decline in activity/training... Soft tissue compliance/hysteresis, musculoskeletal changes, CNS/PNS all have their say...it is a bit of chicken or egg. Of course, if you blew out your Achilles tendon or have chronic strains/cramps in the calf, than an specific argument could be made that this is your rate-limiter.


Now what could start to make or break a case in a general sense is starting with a morphological, biomechanical, and neuromuscular assessment of the gastroc-soleus and other key muscles and work your way out to performance


For me, my frigging hammys have been less cooperative with age and I believe I can surpass their ability from a pure cardiovascular perspective.
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Re: Aging, calf injuries, and running speed [stillrollin] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for the input.

I have been running frequently. Close to a BarryP kind of pattern. I had tried to slow everything down, a lot, to get through Nationals this year. I made it, but the calf issues still didn't go away. As someone else in the thread mention, it might be a muscle imbalance problem. I was going to work on that next. Gonna get that core in shape.

-- Scott
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Re: Aging, calf injuries, and running speed [klehner] [ In reply to ]
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This just started happening to me recently. My massage therapist said my lower leg muscles were super tight and I'll continue with massage. What are some immediate treatment methods people have used to get it out of acute-injury mode? I'm hobbling horribly 3 days after a 30-minute run that was really a 10 minute run and 20 minute walk/hobble home.
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Re: Aging, calf injuries, and running speed [TriScott] [ In reply to ]
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TriScott wrote:
Thanks for the input.

I have been running frequently. Close to a BarryP kind of pattern. I had tried to slow everything down, a lot, to get through Nationals this year. I made it, but the calf issues still didn't go away. As someone else in the thread mention, it might be a muscle imbalance problem. I was going to work on that next. Gonna get that core in shape.

You're welcome.

Core - fwiw, give this a look: http://www.menshealth.com/...edicine-ball-workout

I've done it on it off for years. Actually just started doing it again so it's on my mind.I'm sure there are better, more difficult, programs out there but I find this one repeatable. And no, I'm not a Tar Heel Fan ;)
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Re: Aging, calf injuries, and running speed [klehner] [ In reply to ]
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I've read this whole thread and maybe I'll do a few more squats, but I was thinking that I should start jumping rope again. It seems to me that jumping rope would more directly work the lower legs than squats. Perhaps 3 x 5 mins a week. I've got IMLOU next month so I am NOT going to experiment now, but will focus on skipping rope, squats and toe raises in the off season.
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Re: Aging, calf injuries, and running speed [HuffNPuff] [ In reply to ]
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HuffNPuff wrote:
I've read this whole thread and maybe I'll do a few more squats, but I was thinking that I should start jumping rope again. It seems to me that jumping rope would more directly work the lower legs than squats. Perhaps 3 x 5 mins a week. I've got IMLOU next month so I am NOT going to experiment now, but will focus on skipping rope, squats and toe raises in the off season.

The squats thing is an inside joke (see my profile). Just be careful with dynamic actions like plyometrics and jumping rope. Old connective tissue isn't as flex as it once was.

----------------------------------
"i disagree with your analysis [or judgment], nevertheless you have the responsibility of moderating this board so i honor your authority to make the moderating decisions."
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Re: Aging, calf injuries, and running speed [klehner] [ In reply to ]
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Start adding some squat sitting into your life. Start at about 10 minutes a day. I just starting doing this a few weeks ago we'll see if it helps with the aging body.....

Gall
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Re: Aging, calf injuries, and running speed [gall1972] [ In reply to ]
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http://www.runnersworld.com/injury-prevention-recovery/how-to-take-care-of-your-calves




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Re: Aging, calf injuries, and running speed [mdtrihard] [ In reply to ]
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Yes, haven't touched them since June. I think I'll donate them (and all 60 or so miles on them)...to the "Shoes for Africa" box at the local running stores. I did cut the heel part of an old pair of insoles & put them in there to raise the heel up, but very uncomfortable. Same crappy feeling Newtons give me. Waste of money, good thing they were on sale & didn't waste more at full retail price. I do know that I did wear the shoes for a couple hours a day walking around, gradually used them for several 3-4 mile runs for a few weeks & then that is when the issues cropped up. Felt strained in the lower leg. It's not an "unscientific comparison" when it happens all at the same time as starting to use those shoes. I'm quite adept & in tune with what my body tells me. It tells me these shoes were the catalyst for the issues.
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Re: Aging, calf injuries, and running speed [klehner] [ In reply to ]
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This one is near and dear to me too. I am 54 and have being dealing with calf issues for the last 5 yrs or so. So much so that I took this tri season off for recovery. I pretty much had too because by the end of last season both achilles were shot and I was running with double compression to try to hold things together. My protocol has been to take 4 months off completely from running and maintain fitness with plenty of riding, swimming, core and weights. I also skipped any type heel raises until I was pain free in achilles. After 4 months, I was pain free and started very easy jog/walks of no more than 4 miles 2 to 3x a week for about a month. After that it was easy consitent running 2 to 3 times per week of no more than 4 miles for another month or so. I've slowly built to easy running 4x week with a longer trail run (~1:30 duration) on the week ends. All of this has been pain free with no achilles issues at all and no compression. For me the main issue has been controlling the ego with the willingness to go slow, very slow for an extended period of time. This means being at piece with getting smoked by the couch to 5km guy and the morning pack of soccer mom's and certainly no more interval sessions. Any 'speed' work will be on the hills, where I don't go fast enough to hurt myself.
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Re: Aging, calf injuries, and running speed [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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Fleck wrote:
Ken,

It's called, "Old-Man-Calf-Syndrome"!

In my few limited attempts at a come-back to running, it's cut the whole thing short and I have retreated to the bike.

I've talked to a number of other 45+ runners, many from a higher performance back-ground, and it's always the same story - this mysterious locking-up of one or both calves after a relativly speaking very limited amount of running.

A chiropractor friend of mine thinks that it may be because of nerve compression in the spine. You don't even know that it's there - until you start running and then, after 10 - 15 . . . wham! Your calf completely locks up!

Sheeeeeet.
This describes EXACTLY what has just happened to me. I've been racing bikes for the last 5 years, hardly any running and then in an ill advised bout of tri thinking, I went running, slowly, very slowly, and reasonably, and then 10 minutes in WHAMMY!

The nerve compression theory sounds about right.
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Re: Aging, calf injuries, and running speed [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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Fleck wrote:
Ken,

It's called, "Old-Man-Calf-Syndrome"!

In my few limited attempts at a come-back to running, it's cut the whole thing short and I have retreated to the bike.

I've talked to a number of other 45+ runners, many from a higher performance back-ground, and it's always the same story - this mysterious locking-up of one or both calves after a relativly speaking very limited amount of running.

A chiropractor friend of mine thinks that it may be because of nerve compression in the spine. You don't even know that it's there - until you start running and then, after 10 - 15 . . . wham! Your calf completely locks up!

Welcome to my world.

I got my first dose of "mad calf disease" about 7 years ago, and have dealt with it off and on (increasingly more "on") ever since.
It's crazy - there are times when I run 'a lot' and don't have problems, until I do; and other times when I run infrequently and it comes on.

And, to add to the fun, it historically was always my R calf, but now I can have it happen to either.

Stuff that seems to help:
foam roller
Hokas
more rest days
compression socks or sleeves
riding prior to run
running on trails


float , hammer , and jog

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Re: Aging, calf injuries, and running speed [AKCrafty] [ In reply to ]
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Background: 45 yo, started running at age 14. Starting in late 20s started struggling with lower leg injuries (stress fracture, Plantar fasciitis, Achilles issues). At 41 had a pretty serious skiing injury that fractured my tibial plateau that required surgery to insert 7 pins and a plate to secure.

During my recovery and rehab I started the following:

Using a TP therapy Quad Baller to work on my calves EVERY night
Stretch my calves after every run
Run in Hoka Bondi
Limit my running to under 15 miles/week usually at a slower pace
Finish every swim workout with a 400 y kick set using fins (200y each of prone/back). I feel this has helped with my ankle flexibility.
Glute strengthening exercises primarily using a stretch cord

Since utilizing the above I've been fortunate to keep the lower leg issues to a minimum.

Formerly DrD
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Re: Aging, calf injuries, and running speed [klehner] [ In reply to ]
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I have a similar story but my injury is ankle tendonitis most likely caused by a tight calf muscle or a slight tear. The ankle has been an issue for over six months with no real improvement despite no running since June. My PT found a trigger point on the outside of my left calf and is working on it. it has been very frustrating. I am doing calf stretches and using the foam roller, hoping that will help.

I am 48 and have noticed a big drop in running performance since turning 45. I went from running sub 17 5k at 41 to high 18s last year before the latest injury. I am going to follow this thread in the hopes of getting some helpful tips to avoid the injury cycle again and at least get back to being able to run slowly on a regular basis.

I was injured training for a March marathon following thru Hanson plan. Big mistake at my age. Too much intensity on a weekly basis.
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Re: Aging, calf injuries, and running speed [McNulty] [ In reply to ]
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I just got nailed with my first shin splint. Cannot run barely walk. Getting old is not fun.

.

Dave Campbell | Facebook | @DaveECampbell | h2ofun@h2ofun.net

Boom Nutrition code 19F4Y3 $5 off 24 pack box | Bionic Runner | PowerCranks | Velotron | Spruzzamist

Lions don't lose sleep worrying about the sheep
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Re: Aging, calf injuries, and running speed [h2ofun] [ In reply to ]
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I'm 46 and I've been working to overcome lower leg problems for a while getting close now. Here are the key things I've learned - which may help some or all of you folks. Its just my experience though.

Your overall flexibility and suppleness is VERY important. It affects biomechanics and also neurology. The body is a system, not a series of separate universes. Most of my lower leg probs are disappearing as I improve flexibility - especially of my lower back/hips. I'm no expert but it feels like my bigger quad/glute/core muscles/tendons had become so stiff that they were minimising my overall movement and all my run speed was coming from my knees/ankles/calves which were effectively fighting against the retarding stiffness of the bigger muscles up above.
For triathletes; apart from ageing and sedentary lifestyles, the main reasons our lower backs and core can become stiff/over-tense is that they're used a lot in cycling and swimming and even if we warm-up/cool-down, we don't always stretch them out and maintain suppleness. So, yoga/pilates/plain old stretching. Its important.

Trigger-point massage & foam rollers really work and are both an acute & long-term solution. Accupuncture works similarly

Getting advice from a whole-of-body expert (or someone who thinks that way) really helps. Its not just a calf/shin problem. The calves/shins are the symptom.

Shoes are not that important as long as they're comfortable and fit for purpose. Ive been through a few and arrived back where I started - which are the most comfortable. Orthotics can help - even just the store-bought ones - but more important than that is that the shoes feel good. There is a Canadian study on this which I can't recall the name of but is out there somewhere.
I could not solve my issues by changing shoes.

Consistency helps - as per the BarryP run plan. Of the three variables (frequency/intensity/duration) its frequency which matters most as we get older in my view.

Its N=1 but I hope that's useful.
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Re: Aging, calf injuries, and running speed [PT] [ In reply to ]
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I have had this issue off and on for years forcing me to drop out of planned races, dnf some races and literally try to discover anything that helps.Including seeing many many "experts".
This is what I have discovered that has helped..
Hip flexor tightness,stretch your hip flexors like crazy all the time.
Myofascial release either by a well qualified professional or self induced with rollers or sticks.
Eliminate all muscle tightness in lower extremities.
Eccentric calf lowering exercises.
Glute medius exercises like crazy.
IMHO I think it is primarily a biomechanical issue with late heel striking combined with tight hip flexors. Then you get a muscle strain in the soleus muscle and develop a chronic cycle of localized compartment sydrome. It continues with failure to allow the soleus muscle to heal correctly, build up of scar tissue and the cycle continues...
Correct the muscle fexibility and strength, work on biomechanics and be patient returning to running.
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