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Persistent calf pull/strain

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  • Persistent calf pull/strain


    Just wondering if anyone had any tips aside from rest, ice/heat, and compression for a persistent calf pull?

    I felt it 'go' on Good Friday when running around with my 4 year old son, and it has had periods when it feels OK. But then I do something like chasing my daughter on her bike as she was learning to ride without help and it pulls again. Crazy as it sounds, mountain biking does not seem to have any effect, whereas 2-3 miles running and it bothers me for a week and more. I can't even dig my garden at the moment without feeling some discomfort.

    Any help appreciated!


  • #2
    It is possible to tear the calf muscle - there are multiple tiers of calf tearing. The treatment ranges from surgery (but there tear is so severe that you can't usually walk at all) to rest with ice. Unfortunately the rest part is frequently at least 6 weeks. What is the longest rest you've given it?
    Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )


    • #3
      I had the same, it would be fine for a while then Bang - i'd be limping for a while and unable to run for a couple months.

      I eventually gave in to my wifes suggestions and went to see a sports motion specialist, he spotted that my feet collapse inwards when I run, put some cheap (20 GBP) insoles in my shoes to give me more support under my arches and I've been absolutely fine ever since.

      I've also tried to make my fore-foot strike slightly less extreme, so I now still land fore-foot first but my heel is touching down very quickly afterwards, to take some of the load off my calves asap.


      • #4
        One week between first injury and chasing daughter as she was learning to ride her bike. She was so determined and we were on holiday in a safe place for her to learn. I was OK as long as I was running bent-over holding on to her bike saddle. It was when I started letting go of her and running normally next to her. Went for a mountain bike ride the next day in the nearby forest without any discomfort.

        Another three weeks to the latest recurrence brought on by a short run. The stiffness built over the next 5 days to then become quite uncomfortable even walking or using a garden fork. It was not giving me any bad feeling at all before the run.

        It is quite difficult for me to back off completely - I can stop the lower body exercise, but life is so active. My boy is autistic and there are days like last week when I got home and he was outside. He pushed my hand in the way that says he wants to run around with me. I don't have to do much as he keeps going when I stop, but it is some effort. Then there is the garden - we have a large veg patch that we are getting in to shape, so now is the most important time. This is why I want to accelerate the healing, if possible. I will not be taking anti-inflammatories if I can help it - I want this to heal right.


        • #5
          I'm using VFF all the time (casual and exercise) - worn normal shoes once in the last month. Work shoes are Vivobarefoots, so no heal rise and large toe-box. The run last week was in Inov8 Evoskins. I've got a forefoot landing as I have transferred over to barefoot a while. Heal does touch down lightly, as it should.

          Any food that promotes healing? Using lots of flax oil on salads at the moment.


          • #6
            I've stopped running in my VFFs, too many calf issues.

            I'm doing a lot of walking in them, and will try and use them again but I'd rather than run in trainers with an insert to support my collapsing ankle than not run because I'm injured. I'm doing a lot of weights work to try and strengthen my calves, which should help!


            • #7
              Massaging it couldn't do any harm. What about some anti-inflammatory gel at night to (a) ease an apin and (b) promote healing. Probably not a good idea in the day if you are on it as it could mask any pain warnings. Would the deep heat/wintergreen gels help?
              F 58 / 170cms / SW 131.5 kgs / Current 112.4/ GW 65
              following Primal Lifestyle and swimming my way to health

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              • #8
                Trying a foam roller to help. Don't want anti-inflammatories at all if I can help it - they do interfere with healing. The prostaglandins and other signalling molecules are there to promote cellular repair, so why block them?

                I do use Tiger Balm, but it is very smelly, so using it too much at work...


                • #9
                  The stick (massage roller) helped me. My problem was just a tight, knotted sore muscle. I used the stick on it just about every time i had to sit down. You work the areas that you feel a dull ache when you roll it over. Also lay it on the floor and roll the bottom of your foot over it. Tight calf muscles can have many causes. The stick for the lower leg and a foam roller for the hip and upper leg will work to keep the entire legs muscles from tightening up. I now just roll over a 4" diameter PVC pipe. It doesn't wear out like the foam rollers do. If it's cramping muscles you're experiencing, you'll have to fix that with diet.