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Calf Issues
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I need a diagnosis/solution. A few years back I hurt my calf - like a really bad pull or strain. It has come around now and then but it mostly didn't bother me. It's never been an issue with weights or cycling.
Now that triathlons are my goal I'm running lots more (as in I wasn't running at all before June of this year). My calf is doing its thing again. It still doesn't hurt on the bike or when doing weights.
It went bad in June. That was my first attempt at a bike and then run. I rested, taped, massaged, stretched and acupunctured it.
I started back to running late August and I was doing fine, increasing speed and time running. Last Wednesday, I took a day off and when I came back - bam! I didn't even make 10 minutes. I got my calf taped. Sunday to Tuesday I started back very slow. It seemed okay but this morning, again after taking a day off - bam! It did it again at the 10 minute mark.
The pain seems to be dead center in the main calf muscle but it radiates to my heel and knee. It starts with an uncomfortable tightness like a cramp but will become sharp stabbing if I don't stop. Then it just aches for days.
I am trying to get into physio but it's two months away and $200 for the first appointment. I would appreciate some insights/suggestions.
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Re: Calf Issues [frozenchosen] [ In reply to ]
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I would recommend trying "dry needling" PT had me do all kinds of exercises, but this cleared it up right away.

"Don't mistake activity for achievement"
-John Wooden
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Re: Calf Issues [frozenchosen] [ In reply to ]
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Did you ever see a doctor (MD, not a PT)? It sounds like it could be a tendon issue.
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Re: Calf Issues [frozenchosen] [ In reply to ]
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I have had a similar issue longtime calf issue and found that rolling it out with a lacrosse ball (hurts like hell, brought me to tears) helped quite a bit and seemed to "release" the block. I still have some lingering issues and treat it carefully what seems to actually flare it up for me is pushing off the wall during swimming so I am always careful to not push off as hard as I can.

Good luck
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Re: Calf Issues [frozenchosen] [ In reply to ]
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frozenchosen wrote:
I need a diagnosis/solution. A few years back I hurt my calf - like a really bad pull or strain. It has come around now and then but it mostly didn't bother me. It's never been an issue with weights or cycling.
Now that triathlons are my goal I'm running lots more (as in I wasn't running at all before June of this year). My calf is doing its thing again. It still doesn't hurt on the bike or when doing weights.
It went bad in June. That was my first attempt at a bike and then run. I rested, taped, massaged, stretched and acupunctured it.
I started back to running late August and I was doing fine, increasing speed and time running. Last Wednesday, I took a day off and when I came back - bam! I didn't even make 10 minutes. I got my calf taped. Sunday to Tuesday I started back very slow. It seemed okay but this morning, again after taking a day off - bam! It did it again at the 10 minute mark.
The pain seems to be dead center in the main calf muscle but it radiates to my heel and knee. It starts with an uncomfortable tightness like a cramp but will become sharp stabbing if I don't stop. Then it just aches for days.
I am trying to get into physio but it's two months away and $200 for the first appointment. I would appreciate some insights/suggestions.

Wow I could have written this post myself. I started experiencing the same symptoms several years ago, and it has been a recurring problem ever since. The good news is that it hasn't stopped me from doing several IM races. The issue comes and goes, and fortunately it hasn't happened too close to a race yet. It does keep me from doing the amount of running I'd like to do in preparation for an IM though. I've learned to stop running immediately after the "bam!' (and I know exactly what you mean by that term) for about 3 weeks. Increase bike and swim to compensate and also do water running. In my case anyway, I must stop running in order for the problem to dissipate. Come back to running very slowly. And I say "dissipate" because the root problem is obviously not fixed, only at bay until the next time (usually about 6-9 months later). Oh, and I find the lighter I am, the less likely it is to happen, which may explain why it doesn't happen closer to races (when I'm at race weight).

That is my own experience. I'm not a doctor or PT, hopefully one or two will give you some more educated advice. Good luck!
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Re: Calf Issues [frozenchosen] [ In reply to ]
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Doing calf raises regularly focusing on the eccentric portion has really helped me keep past calf problems away. Very slow pace on the eccentric part of the exercise
Brent
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Re: Calf Issues [frozenchosen] [ In reply to ]
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I've had similar issues with my calfs (some years is the left other others the right). The only thing that's worked for my is deep tissue massage or myofascial release. This is not your typical massage, it feels more like what dutchboy describes, where the therapist applies strong pressure to the point it really hurts, I sometimes scream from the pain. However, once I get off the table my legs feel totally relaxed. With this type of technique I got over the injury in two to three weeks, while before it would take over a month or two.
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Re: Calf Issues [dfroelich] [ In reply to ]
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Back in June, I saw a Nurse Practitioner. She said nothing seemed to be torn or broken.
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Re: Calf Issues [frozenchosen] [ In reply to ]
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Had a calf strain in June....did a lot of Graston work (left bruises one time), massage, and eccentric calf drops. Didn't worry too much about calf raises. Also did a lot of stability work on Bosu balls, balance pads, etc. Also try and strengthen you hip muscles. The leg is one big kinetic chain, so weakness in your glutes may show up in your calf as it is trying to compensate.

Also did water running and some Alter G runs, as well. Once I got back to running, I adopted a run / walk protocol...started @ 3 min / 1 min and gradually increased my run segments to 1 mile / 1 min. Did that all the way through IMWI. Also used compression socks / calf sleeves once I was back running (have no idea if it actually helped or not, but it didn't hurt).

Came back running faster than ever.

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Re: Calf Issues [frozenchosen] [ In reply to ]
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sounds like 'calf heart attack' which has been discussed here before. mine started in my mid 50's but primarily in the colder months. for a couple of years, I could only do minimal running in the winter. in another testimonial for Hoka's, I switched to them last year and ran all winter without an attack. I still get the calf pain/tenderness when I race in flats but can run the next day in my Hoka's without any issues. I just picked up some Cliftons for racing which I will be trying this weekend.
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Re: Calf Issues [mahonef] [ In reply to ]
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Mad calf disease/calf heart attack +1. This injury is not something a common health care provider knows anything about. You have to see someone that works with older athletes.
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Re: Calf Issues [xfish] [ In reply to ]
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I had a similar thing. Very acute pain when running right in the middle of the calf and nothing when riding. I waited it out for a few months and it seemed to clear up. However, I just started going to a chiropractor for ART but he has also cleaned up my form.

Turns out, although I was forefoot striking I wasnt pushGing off through my big toe. Now I'm focusing on pronating when landing ( he did a few adjustments to loosen up my ankle)and pushing through my big toe with my toes facing forward. Maybe there is a name for this technique but he doesn't use one. I'm also doing a ton of hamstring stretches and calf raises (focussing on not having my heels flare out) and keeping my weight on the ball of my foot and up through the toe).

Anyway, the first few runs like this used muscles in my calves I didn't know existed but after a week or so I felt fine and feel stronger now.
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