Need help - recurring calf problems

I have had calf problems on and off for years. I have had the same thing happen to me several times already this year.

I can only describe the feeling as a grab. It’s not a cramp and not a tear of the muscle. I really feel its fascia or connective tissue. They “grab” in different spots each time. Always somewhere around the middle of the gastroc or lateral. Never medial. Never as far down as the achilles. Could be at any sort of pace. They have gone while jogging, doing run-throughs, sprinting, doing negative calf raises almost doing anything. It usually takes me out for several weeks. I did it again today. This is the sequence of events that led to todays episode.

6 weeks ago they grabbed - both calves, the pain was on the lateral side and right on the gastroc/soleus junction.

So I rehabbed them and continued with the rest of my training

Monday - Leg weights, mainly squats
Tuesday - Pool session 3 sets of 8 x 30on 30off
2 x 5 jumps from the bottom of the pool, arm running in the pool
Wednesday - Walking drills, high knees, high knees with extension, lunges, kick bums, skipping, progressed to higher skipping
progressed to hopping up and downstairs over the 6 weeks.
Thursday - Upper body weights, calf negatives 30kg max
Friday - Pool session
Saturday - Track - 250’s in flats quite slow (37s fastest).
Drills and hopping up and down stairs.

I do this bent knee walking as well which really helped strengthen calves.

I got massage once per week and got stuck into them myself every other day.

Physio said that deep massage and ultrasound would help as there appeared to be some scar tissue in calves.

He said that i shouldn’t sprint until I can hop forwards with no pain.

So last Saturday I get back on the track especially since I can hop up and downstairs with no problems. 4 x 140, 4 x 120, 4 x 100 (11.8 pace) so not very fast. I made it through the session fine. Pulled up very sore generally in calves but not in the problem areas.

I did a pool session Sunday, rested Monday, Squats on Tuesday. i go up to the track today and jogged stretched and did walking drills. Barely got out of a jog for run throughs and the right calf "grabbed just a tiny bit. I was angry as hell, but as I walk off the tightness and pain just gets worse and worse. Toe-off is the worst pain.

Does anybody have any ideas. It’s really sore to touch. Had a light rub tonight to try and loosen up around the area. Seeing physio tomorrow.

I have bought an ultrasound machine which shoudl arrive soon as I think this will help. Please - any ideas would be helpful. I am desperate.

It sounds a little like cramping to me.

What is your felxibility like?
Oh and an injury history … is there old scar tissue there or is the physio just pulling stuff out of the air?

Oh yeh and you say you bought an ultrasound machine?

Search painfull points in you calf or foot (sole) with referred pain (in calf area).

As says No23 see for flexibility or old scars.

I know exactly what you mean :mad: but I generally only have issues with 1 of them. One of the best things I find is hill runs. I was able to carry on training (admittedly not exactly what I planned) without any issues. As others suggested flexibilty could also be an issue so work on that and self massage.

I really appreciate the replys - thanks. Flexibility is OK. I do stretch regularly - maybe neural flexibility is a little low (if that makes sense) - I don’t do many slump stretches etc.,

I am generally not a fan of physios but this one is one of only 2 I respect in this country (harsh i know!). I do feel his scar tissue theory is right. Hence why I bought the ultrasound machine (although its been 10 days now so I may have been scammed on ebay!)

I forgot to mention that I think it has something to do with my big toe. Flexor hallicus longus is always tight and tender.

John - I know what you mean about the hills. In the past I have goe back to hills and steps and have been able to continue training. Never quite sure why that is though. Less blocking?? No overstriding? I always did it in flats so maybe spoikes are the issue?

Whenever I have a problem with lowerbody injuries, the first thing I do is go to the chiropractor. I’ve said it before, but aligning the spine and hips is huge and the injury will normally go away after my body is back in proper alignment. If I ever feel tightness in my calf, achilles or hamstrings I can almost guarantee the problem is spinal alignment. Just the other day I felt tightness in one of my calves. I went to the chiro and the next day I was good to go.