recurring calf injury / varicose vein

Hi all,

I've just joined and been looking through the forums on calves and varicose veins. Loads of stuff.

I ran a lot in my 30's and 40's : marathons , halves, 10 ks  etc...

In my 50's the recurrring calf pulls started and bit  by bit I stopped running. Every year (normally after the London's on the TV) I vow to start again: new shoes, new training schedule, the lot.

Yet again the old calf pull / strain comes back.....2 k is all I can manage before it goes.

I can cycle without probs and my general fitness is good. I do all the usual things : exercises, warm ups and downs etc.

 I have a large varicose vein snaking over this causes no probs and no pain. Don't look pretty but at 60 yoa  who cares .

COULD this be the cause of my recurring prob, and if so what can I do?


  • Hi Parobbo,

    I've just read your post and just wondered if you have an update or further thoughts. My age and recent history similar to yours and am wondering if my varicose vein is connected to frequent seemingly minor calf pulls which don't sem to heal despite rest/physio/ice/stretching etc. is it worth getting it stripped? 


  • Well I had the vein done last autumn. Leg is generally fine after op but it has made no difference to the muscle pulls.

    Looks like it's cycling for me from now on.

    In my opinion if your vein is causing you no other problems , don't get it stripped. It's not a difficult op but the recovery time can take ages. Guess you need to speak to your Dr.

    Sorry can't be more help, I still miss the running but guess i'll just have to live with it.





  • Thanks that's very useful. Cycling may be the way forward for me to but I'm not giving up on running just yet.

    Best of luck,




  • have you considered compression guards....  or compression socks.  These help triathletes combat cramping and muscle tears.  Something like these (link to a site

  • Thanks, that seems a terrific idea. I'll try them for comeback number 27! 

  • Tried them

    Didn't work for me .....

    Wear them anyway, just to avoid anything getting worse




  • Oh well, I've ordered them now (birthday present!). I'll let you know how I get on.

  • Hi Guys, i see this conversation is a little old, but I thought I would add a reply in case what I have found is of use to anyone else. I started having problems with calf cramps 2 years ago. There was no tearing or pulling. I would simply be running gently and my right calf would cramp and refuse to go any further. I too have varicose veins in my lower legs and on a visit to a very good physical therapist in New Zealand, it was suggested that the veins were the cause and that the problem was pooling of blood around my feet and ankles. I can't remember the exact reason why this caused the cramps but it seems to send a message to the calf to stop. Anyway i'm not in a position to spend the thousands on having the veinsk fixed, but I get around it by putting my legs up at the end of my runs and letting them drjain. A little massage too. It seems to make all the difference and my running is going very well.

    whether or not you suffer from calf strains, if you have varicose veins,  you may be interested in the recent (2005) research on Vit K2. It seems a deficiency of Vit K2 (and almost all of us are deficient) means that we lie excess calcium along the walls of our veins and arteries making them stiff and inflexible and liable to valve damage. I'm not a health professional, so if this piques your interest, check out 'Kate Rheums 'wonderful book, 'Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox', or simply do a Youtube search. 

    i hope all this is useful to someone

  • tricialitttricialitt ✭✭✭

    I suspec tthat compression socks/calf guarda re the best answer to vari veins. I'm not at all sure how they rekate to cramp, but can certainly contribute towards leg/ foot swelling, stripping operations seem to be falling into disrepute.

  • VDOT52VDOT52 ✭✭✭
    From what I have seen in people I know, stripping is a short term fix, but when lifestyle choices remain the same, the problems return sooner or later and usually for the worst. Excess weight, high BP, and lack of activity are your enemy.
  • I'm almost 50 and have suffered from calf strains for 30 years.  Tried slow build up in miles, keeping it slow, stretching you name it.

    I've found the following

    1)  Having a sedentary desk job against doing 40 miles a week brisk walking as a postman makes no difference.

    2)  Building up the pace or start back flying makes no difference, I can keep the pace of a 5k jog at 27 minutes or 21 minutes and feel fine for the first few weeks.

    3)  After a few weeks running I have very prominent calf muscle definition and quite an increase in them despite being slim to medium build.

    4)  Once I get the first feeling of a glass like tinkle in the calf, nothing will prevent them getting worse other than a month of no running.

    5)  I can cycling until the cows come home, climb over mountains and not a sniff of calf problems.

    6) I have hardly had another injury in these 30 years apart from a what I'd call a slight bit of plantar facilitis which is never far away in my left heel.

    7) I am over flexible, I've stretched for 30 years probably due to my calf to the point I can nearly put my forehead on my shins and drop my heels almost vertically over a step.

    What works?

    Running with 4 days off might be the only hope I have of running into my 50's unless anyone has a better idea?image


Sign In or Register to comment.