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Thread: Repeated Calf Injuries

  1. #1
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    Repeated Calf Injuries

    After some advice as I'm at my wits end!

    I get repeated calf injuries, pretty much any time I run up a hill! Always in the lower calf/soleus but at various points in it, and in either leg. The onset of the injury is never during the run, but comes on like DOMS during the next day. It doesn't fade away like DOMS though. I'm currently nursing a calf injury of this kind picked up in a XC race last Saturday, just to the inside of the achilles and I can feel a sore spot in the soleus.

    I have seen a sports physio earlier in the year but massage and a program of heel raises didn't seem to help that much. I've been mainly OK for the last 6 months but I was just doing shorter distance road running (and track sessions) and I was always worried that as soon as I ran up a hill I'd get injured again and so it has proved.

    My theory is that because I have poor dorsiflexion I am forced onto my toes at the first sign of a hill and this causes eccentric loading of the soleus, hence the DOMs and then injury. But what can I do to stop it?

  2. #2
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    Did you do heel drops with a bent knee, 30, 3 times a day on each side, taking 5 seconds to go down?

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    Hi R0bh,

    Sounds like you need to work out/find out exactly what is causing the issue...then make some change to stop it from recurring. Maybe a start is to improve the poor dorsiflexion if you know that's an area that could be better. Nothing will change unless you find out the cause and remove/improve/strengthen.

    Lynne

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T View Post
    Did you do heel drops with a bent knee, 30, 3 times a day on each side, taking 5 seconds to go down?
    ...and when they're easy to do, start doing them with a rucsac on and gradually increase the weight in the sac.

    and stretch (calf stretch with a bent knee), and ice after running.
    if I can't see blencathra it's raining
    if I can see blencathra it's going to rain

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by blencathrafrommykitchen View Post
    ...

    and stretch (calf stretch with a bent knee), and ice after running.
    calf stretches need to be done with both a bent and a straight leg. have a read of this to see why: http://globaltherapies.wordpress.com...alf-stretches/

  6. #6
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    I had a very similar problem to you by the sounds of it.
    lots of physio sessions, lots of stretching of all kinds, lots of strengthening exercises and yet it keeps on reoccuring........
    I can tell you how to fix it in one simple step - run barefoot. I strongly recommend buying Ken Bob Saxtons book to tell you how to do it correctly (virtually everything I found on the internet is codswallop, listen to it at your peril!).
    My calf injury simply dissapppeared overnight.
    I am now running up hills with zero problems and haven't even had a minor twinge from it. I spent about 4 months going backwards and forwards to the physios and wasted a lot of money. Spend 15 on that book and impliment what it talks about - I almost guarantee it will fix the problem and give you a real insight into how your body SHOULD be working. Going to physio's is simply going to treat the symptoms and NOT the cause.
    Aferall the 15 for the book wouldn't even cover half a physio session....what have you got to lose.
    Oh and it's really great fun

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikekeswick View Post
    Going to physio's is simply going to treat the symptoms and NOT the cause.
    Glad you found a way to cure your experience of this problem. I'm obviously going to be biased given my profession, but that's quite a generalised statement you make. Not all physio's (or therapists) work in that way.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclops View Post
    Glad you found a way to cure your experience of this problem. I'm obviously going to be biased given my profession, but that's quite a generalised statement you make. Not all physio's (or therapists) work in that way.
    For sure it maybe was a bit too generalised but then that's generally what you get with forums!
    I'll clarify what I said a little. The various physio's I went to (all with very good reputations) all pretty much shrugged their shoulders as to why my calf did what it did in the first place. Sure they knew why it kept doing it after the initial injury but as to the actual cause....I never got an answer. I'm not saying that physio's are bad people or knocking them - I understand they do some great work and have been very grateful to them in the past myself. However when it comes specifically to running injuries they are blind to the fact that the majority of 'over use' type running injuries are definately related to the use of the modern shoe eg. cushioning and a heel. I mean it's pretty obvious when you look from a biomechanical point of view that our bodies as a whole are not meant to be walking on squishy platforms that are inclined forward. This is an indisputable fact - it's not about opinion, sure people will have many opinions on walking around barefoot but forget all that sort of stuff and just look at what happens when you put a modern shoe on....it tips you forward if you don't change your body posistion compared to standing on the floor barefoot. So to counter this we squat slightly, stick our behinds out and bend the upper body forward at the hips to maintain balance. This is a stressful posistion for your body to maintain - this stress has effects. You also can't feel the ground with all those nerve endings that you have in your feet which do a massive amount to help with your balance by sending signals to your brain constantly....with these signals cut off our muscles have to work harder all the time to simply maintain balance. So picture that posture that you have to assume just stood still and carrying it throught to how it would affect you when you run....

  9. #9
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    I've got a similar problem but I seem to get the problem when actually running. I went to the Physio last week after trying stretching, foam rolling, heel drops/raises, compression sleeves etc for a good 12 months now.
    She came to the conclusion that my tight back muscles along with weak glutes were contributing to the problem. Lots of stretching for a few weeks and we'll see what happens.....
    Kind of disappointing as I thought I'd got more flexible and stronger recently but her face when assessing range of movement left me under no illusions to the fact I've got lots of work to do!

  10. #10
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    many opinions on walking around barefoot


    I'm still waiting for you to start a blog on a BFBGR, genuine interest.
    pies

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