Calf Injury Recovery

  • Almost two months ago I tore my calf playing squash, my first proper injury (have been pretty lucky). I took my physio's advice and have rested properly, and gradually introduced exercise like cycling and now running.

    The idea is to get back into shape and play squash again, and in time play team sports again.

    The problem I'm having is I can't even manage the first two stages of the running recovery which are;

    10min walk, 5min run, 10min walk
    10min walk, 10min run, 10min walk (the run section increases as you complete each step)

    with two days rest in between the runs. I can't get through them without straining the injured calf, and in a new fun development I've now strained both calves (I guess I was favouring one leg?).

    The first time I re-injured it I took a week off to let it recover and didn't run until there was no pain and I was walking comfortably.

    For the love of god, does any one have any advice about how to heal these things? I'm walking like a bloody duck, and it's a battle for me to fit at the best of times yet alone two months of this crap.

  • have you tried swimming? swimming was the first thing to pop in my head.

  • [quote name='Quo vadis']have you tried swimming? swimming was the first thing to pop in my head.[/QUOTE]

    No I haven't, I'm a pretty rubbish swimmer. For the non impact stuff I've just been doing the cycling, calf doesn't seem to mind that.

  • stink bro, I feel your pain. A calf injury was the last injury I got playing rugby and lead me to give rugby away.

    Is it a lower/upper calf injury? mine was higher so I had pain when I was pushing down, even pushing on the gas pedal hurt!! You put an awful lot of stress on your legs when you run so maybe a crosstrainer or lower impact exercise might be the best place to start?

    Have you felt confident to stretch it before exercising? it can be one of those double edged swords, you need to stretch and warm it up properly to avoid further injury but you never know quite how much you can push without re-injurying it.

  • Stretching is no problem, I wasn't allowed to run until I had the full range of motion back and could do pretty fast calf raises (standing on stairs so I could do a full range of motion down). Mine is a lower calf injury, by the way.

    It feels great before I run, and lasts about five minutes of running and then just starts slowly tightening up until it's pretty unbearable. Yesterdays run was a sharp pain int he other calf and as soon as I stopped I got pain the other leg too, but was OKish running.

    And I've had a few weeks of cycling, this was supposed to be my next step up in intensity. Big fail at the moment.

  • self massage too. Often the scar tissue is the problem. So while sitting watching tv have your leg up and just keep rubbing - thumbs into the muscle, give it a good workout - as much pain as you can stand. I did this for hamstring problem years ago when playing code, kept re injuring it, so would just get stuck into it each night along with all the other recovery stuff. DOn't know how 'correct' it is, but it worked!

  • How long has it been since you did proper fitness/running? Could be a biomechanical issue...

    I'd highly recommend going to see John Sloane at the Karori Medical/Podiatry Centre (you're still in Welly right?). I went to see him when I developed shin splints that just wouldn't go away. Was mainly due to putting on a heap of muscle over a 6 month period when I couldn't run so focussed on gym. Long story short I went to see John and he was fantastic - although it certainly wasn't easy - I had to change my running style drastically and develop my core and upper leg function correctly. But was back better than ever within a few months.

    Anyway, have a geez:

  • I think that's the issue as well. My wife has been doing Pilates classes here for her back and the difference with her has been marked. So am going to do the same thing, the guy that runs it is also a physio and has been highlighted some areas of weakness (besides head to toe I mean....) that's causing some imbalances and stress when I'm exercising.

    Hope it's the answer.

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