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Mad Calf Disease
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Anyone suffer from this? I put a lot of miles in on the bike the last few months and lately noticed after every ride a lot of twitching in the calves.. About a month ago I went for my first run and after the first mile i developed what felt like a cramp in my calf that got unbearable after 200 more yards. I ended up walking home.. I took a week off and then the same thing happened again. I loaded up on potassium, calcium and magnesium, made sure the muscles were loose and the same thing happened.. Not sure if the twitching and cramp like symptoms are related.. A bit of history. I am 57 and have been in tri,s for four years and never had this or heard of it... Any thoughts?
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Re: Mad Calf Disease [trifellow] [ In reply to ]
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Have you seen this?

http://www.slowtwitch.com/...alf_disease_926.html

“I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” -Jesus

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Re: Mad Calf Disease [trifellow] [ In reply to ]
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Dan invented it.

Find out what it is in life that you don't do well, then don't
do that thing.
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Re: Mad Calf Disease [trifellow] [ In reply to ]
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I've periodically have had it over the years once I hit 50. Same symptoms as you describe. After a few episodes over the years, I have attributed to switching to the Computrainer in the winter and riding in the ERG mode. For some reason, this seems to correlate to my calf heart attacks. Just had one and I've had no problem for two years until I rode the CT.

My solution is dry needling, then slowly come back to run/walking until I can run a few miles with no problem. It always takes about two to three weeks until fully recover and I'm no longer protecting it or running weird.

Lot's of stuff on this board but its always the same - stretch, massage calfs, dry needling and come back slow or it will happen again. I don't know exactly what causes it but it seems like some type of nerve impingement, which quickly tightens the muscle to a cramp like feeling.

Good luck. Link below on best article on coming back from calf heart attack




http://www.runnersworld.com/injury-treatment/calf-heart-attacks?page=single
Last edited by: summitt: Dec 9, 14 14:02
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Re: Mad Calf Disease [trifellow] [ In reply to ]
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I don't have the exact symptoms that you do, but I've dealt with frequent/chronic calf cramps. It started with running and then I started getting them while cycling and swimming. I could generally feel it coming on, tightness then followed by twinges before cramping. Stopping and stretching helped. I would also get them frequently in the middle of the night, waking up in pain. Foam rollers and rolling with a lacrosse ball helped. However, those things only provided temporary relief. I had ran a marathon where I cramped at mile 16 and pushed through it only to get an Achilles issue which took me out for 6 months. FYI, electrolytes aren't the issues. You will have more generalized muscular issues if that were the case.

What worked for me was dry needling, which I started receiving earlier this year. I've done a HIM, an olympic distance tri and a marathon without issues. I will cramp once in a while, but it is only when I restart training after a break. Also, I have not gotten night cramps since. I think better training is also a significant contributing factor. When I was younger, I was inconsistent with my training and I was able to get by with cutting out 1-2 training sessions a week. This year, I was religious with my training schedule (missing 1 training session every 2-3 weeks). As I age, I realize that I cannot push as hard (i.e. beyond my training).
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Re: Mad Calf Disease [trifellow] [ In reply to ]
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HOKA
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Re: Mad Calf Disease [trifellow] [ In reply to ]
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Most of these are benign, however, sometimes symptoms like that could indicate disease. If it only happens in relation to exercise, its likely benign. If it worsens, or happens in other muscles, or unrelated to exercise, you should see a doctor. Cheers.
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Re: Mad Calf Disease [hubcaps] [ In reply to ]
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Most thoughts on MCD echo what Senor Empfield wrote in his article.. But dry needling gets a lot ink and seems like a big help. Ii just finished a mile loop on my bike, running the dog pace, and the twitching is back... somewhat disturbing.. I also just received compression sleeves and hokas and will try them..
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Re: Mad Calf Disease [trifellow] [ In reply to ]
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Check your bike fit and cleat placement. These are very likely the cause of your problem.
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Re: Mad Calf Disease [trifellow] [ In reply to ]
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If you live in or visit Phx I know a guy....

In all seriousness - best fix it guy in the biz.
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Re: Mad Calf Disease [trifellow] [ In reply to ]
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I have had this issue for nearly 10 years starting in my late 40's. Went 13 months without an issue until this past August when I got slammed at the 1.0 mile mark of an easy 2.0 mile jog. Spasm and limping immediately afterwards. The next day I rode my bicycle as I normally do without issue but was still limping and could not run period. No trouble riding my Comptrainer and it did not worsen afterwards. A mixture of icing for 48 hours, foam rolling, electrical stim via "people" retail units one can find at Walgreens and similar, calf sleeve, swimming and walking-calf stretching in the water helped. I had three HIM races in the following eight weeks that I managed to pull off with almost no run training and a walk-jog routine during the HIM.

Once I feel this issue is "gone", I utilized a slow pace run-walk routine that is every important for the first 15/20 minutes. My experience is the mad calf disease will strike in the first 20 minutes if it is to occur. Riding the bicycle for a long time frame prior to running seems to prevent the on-set of this issue.

Good luck.
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Re: Mad Calf Disease [trifellow] [ In reply to ]
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I have only had calf cramps swimming after long bike and run. usually does't happen until I swim at least 1.2 mi. I've never had to stop and once I finish it goes away.
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