Calf injury

I’ve been suffering with recurring lower leg and calf injuries for the past 2 months.

If it’s not achilles it calf etc.

I’ve been getting massage and they have been loosened out well.
I’m also working on my flexibility big time.
However there seems to be still a small site in the belly of the calf muscle.

I’m icing it twice/three times a day and trying to follow that with ems.

Has anyone advice for me on the use of ems for the lower leg?

Do I just postion the pads in the ‘X’ fashion above the site a zap it?
What are the intervals for zapping for recovery for the calf?
Is there any difference from hamstring considering the fibre type?
Should I use ems before or after ice?
Should I use ems before or after stretching?
Which stretching approaches have people found best for the calf muscles - as PNF is quite difficult to use?

Just on this point -
Can ems affect blood flow through tendons?

Charlie, Number2, Xlr8, Clemson, anyone advice ??

Anyone got a view?

Does anyone use EMS …

  1. … after cool-down before a shower or
  2. … Pre-training/match

I obsverved a top class soccer player getting what seemed to be EMS treatment pre-game in a physio room on an ankle joint.

Does this make any sense?

Anyone ?

Which part of your calf, the soleus or gastrocnemius? I have not used EMS on my calf muscles. When they get sore or if I start to get shin spints, I find that vigorous massage works wonders.

I have also played around with eccentric lifts for the calf muscles in the past and found them helpful for rehab purposes.

23 i used ems on my achilles pre warm-up with great results.the achilles has very poor blood flow and with the use of ems i was better prepared for sessions.i usually use ems before bedtime in the pulsing mode to give them an extra flush out.

Thanks guys - the ems has started to hlep alot.

I’ve been using it solely for circulation and restorative purposes to date and I feel it’s made a bif difference.

It seems to be in the Gastro.
Each evening I am doing 5 secs of ems with a 20 mins rest (times 10) where I stretch it and thsi seems to be helping big time along with some eccentric work and stretching in the morning.

Have you ever used it directly Pre-comp Xlr8 to increase blood flow ?

  • or do you use it purely for strength benefits?

I haven’t used it near my achilles yet, it is alot more painful where the muscle mass it less.
Just on the pad placement?
Do you place two pads either side of the tendon and two diagonallly opposite at the top ot the calf?

What do you guys think of using ice on the area directly after ems ?

Ive tried EMS on the arches of the feet which has helped previous calf/achilles injuries.

Do u have any aches further up the leg? if so could be a nerve problem.

23 i would vary it depending on conditions.somethings i use pads with the size of 1c and place two at the base of the tendon and two at the top where it runs into the calf.this i would do before track especially in the cold weather with greta success and i’d always ice after practice or therapy.

don’t ice unless the area is inflammed from injury or workout but the whole thing is about getting adaquate blood flow into that specific area!!!

Thanks man,

I’ve tried icing though a few times in the evening hours after practice to see if I could improve circulation - don’t you think this might help?

23 the icing will not increase circulation at all,it will reduce swelling.

i pulled my calf today, you guys like TENS or EMS for healing slight tears? and whats your protocol?

The best advice for that would probably be found under the hamstring injury threads - It realy should be ‘Muscular injury thread’.
The protocols are are listed there …

To elaborate on what xlr8 said, I’d consider some slow eccentric work. These have helped me quickly clear or prevent minor injuries several times, including an achilles problem earlier this year. I stood on a brick with both feet, and did a set of bodyweight calf raises, doing a real slow (10 sec) eccentric. At first I did these a couple of times throughout the day, for a few days in a row. My problem was gone within a few days, and I now include one set of the same exercise in my daily warm up, no recurrances. Hope this helps, be careful.

Yes eccentrics are extremely effective - there is a very good (I think Swedish) study on eccentrics for achilles injury …

Find someone who does ART or deep tissue massage. From what it sounds like, your calf needs serious manual therapy, none of that wimpy Swedish massage stuff. At least not for a recurring problem like what you have.

If possible, use the recovery setting on your ems unit before getting a massage. From my own experience, I can deeper much quicker with ART on my athletes after an ems recovery session of about 10 min. The muscles are much more relaxed and easy to work through.

Thanks Chris -

I have actually got over the injury for some time now guys but the advice keeps coming!!!- Thanks

You’re right some serious deep tissue massage was needed along with alot of stretching and very frequent,regular EMS.

That’s a very interesting idea though about the EMS.

I generally use the EMS post-therapy at a pulsing setting to try and ‘flush’ the muscles … not sure if it actaullly helps recovery directly - but the theorectically it should help.

I have had devastating calf injuries (1 to each) & MSM is amazing in recovery. :wink:

Just a thought. Did any of you with these calf injuries ever work your calves in the first place? If so what were the rep/set/intensity numbers?

Yes, varied training over the years. When doing a lot of sprints as well as cleans & plyos I do not do specific calves (they get huge, not optimal).