Background: I'm 35 in Dallas-Fort Worth, ran cross country and track in high school. Did light running (~10 mi/week) for a few years after. Flexibility has never been a strength, but until 25 I had no injury history, not even shin splints, despite same range of motion. Got into 5ks, 10ks, Oly tris, et. al. but for the last 10 years I've struggled with what Dr. Slowtwitch Forum has diagnosed as anything from a Calf Heart Attack to Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome of the Posterior Calf (posterior being very rare, affecting only 5-10% of those diagnosed with the syndrome). I've managed to do 5ks, an Olympic distance tri, but always on limited training due to injury. I don't think it's overtraining. After feeling that familiar catch/pop of the calf spasming/seizing up after 1 to 2 easy zone-2 miles and feeling fresh, I've employed the approach of: no running for 1-3 months, starting at 0.5 miles 3-4 days a week and increasing weekly mileage by no more than 5%. This seems to work well but for a limited time. After 1-3 months of really conservative building I inevitably reinjure my calf within 1 to 2 miles of zone 2 (haven't been confident enough in my calf to do speed work). It seems to alternate almost 50-50 bt left and right calf.
After each reinjury I've tried to focus on a new remedy, from really, really conservative builds, stretching, not stretching, foam rolling, etc. but to no avail. I definitely have a less than average range of motion but I'm still stymied bc my injuries always seem to occur within 1 to 2 miles while i'm feeling good and not trying to run through tightness (see: Compartment Syndrome). I'm finally ready to pay someone to address this. Who should I see first?
- Chiropractor with ART Cert? (Active Release Techniques)
- Physical Therapist
- Orthopedic Surgeon/Sports Medicine Dr. (thinking to get the pressure test to rule out Compartment Syndrome)