Boll**ks It's just not fair.

After being out for 3 months earlier this year with a bout of claf muscle tears I thought I'd finnaly regained my racing fitness.

Then on sturday morning whilst doing some sprint reps around the local cricket pitch ...... ping. It's gone again, not too badly, I hope, but I certainly won't be able to train this week.

I know it sounds extreme but, is this problem corectable through surgery.

Yours in desaration,



  • Pizza man
    Sorry if I'm barking up the wrong tree in your case, but I used to suffer from exactly the same problem, put me out for months. The answer? NEVER stretch before a run. Don't like to try to generalise these things too much, but it worked for me - instantly, no recurrence in six years.

  • Thanks Glenn,
    I've tried that. Glad you've found a cure for yours. I hope that I can find something equaly as simple. Did you change your foowear at all.
  • Did start using more stable shoes. Went from Saucony Jazz to Procyon (sp?) in those days. However they didn't fix it on their own, the problem recurred a couple of times until I modified the stretching thing.

    BTW I don't think runners should stretch the calf muscles at all when they've got this problem, before or after. From your profile you're also doing a lot of miles - can you ease back by about a third?
  • Since returning to running 3 months ago I've stopped all stretching. I ust cool down a lot by jogging & then walking.

    If I can't get it corrected by surgery then I'll just have to cut back on my miles & cross train on one of my hard days. (I've said that before)

  • Pizza Man, have you tried deep tissue massage, sometimes recuring problems can be due to scarring and massaging the area can break down this scar tissue. A guy I work with has been traing for the Chicargo marathon and his calf kept going but 2 visits to a physio sorted the problem completely.

  • Jenks,
    I've 2 physio's, one just blasted it with ultra sound & the other gave me acupuncture and chatted while the needles were "you don't want look 'round at them" deep.

    One sports therapist, who told me to stretch and then stretch some more. "You can stretch without warming up" was what she said.

    I'll get the phone book out & try the sports massage lady next.

    Won't a nice simple opperation paid for by BUPPA fix it?
  • I'm with jenks on this one.
    Had the same thing, PM; rice, feel OK, then ping! Bloody thing knocked 5 weeks out of my marathon training. Several visits to the physio and regular massage have sorted it, but I always jog for about 10 mins before some gentle stretching and then a slow build up to the proper training.

    I must admit I'm terrified about it happening again and if I feel even the slightest twinge now I rest for a day or so.

    My physio did recommend some calf strengthening exercises and said a balance board would be OK to build up the muscles in that area now that it's OK.

    Hope you get it sorted, mate it's a right royal pain in the *rse otherwise.

  • Pizza Man, good luck with your quest for a surgical cure, I'm right behind you if you find someone that does leg grafts...

  • I hope they find a good match, warts n'all.
    Thanks for your help guys. I'm off to do 100 lengths now.
  • HELP!!
    I tore my calf muscle and tendon for the first time ever a month ago and am still not running but am swimming and doing a little x training on an eliptical thing in the gym. Keep being given dire warning about returning to running too soon and what might happen. Any idea how long before I'll be training again as I'm so fed up as the improvement seems to have slowed right down and its still quite swollen!!
  • General rule of thumb for a mild torn calf muscle is, 7 days no weight bearing excercise followed by a further 7 days cross trining (as you are doing). When you return to running in the third week it should be nice and gentle.

    I don't know about a damaged tendon though. A month does sound like a long time. You might have overdone it & it might be worth starting your rehab from stage one again. Sorry, but sometimes you have to go backwards to go forwards.

    Have you taken a trip to a physio to have it looked at?

    Best of luck

  • Pizza man, I'd investigate jenks's suggestion of deep tissue massage if I were you. I've had several treatments for my illiotibial band and I'm running with no pain now. I know that your problem is your calves, but jenks might be right about scar tissue damage. The physio who does my IT band says that microscopic scars in muscle cause the fibers to stick together and stop the muscle from being flexible. Over time the muscle will become too firm and won't stretch. Deep tissue massage is very uncomfortable - it hurts in other words! - but it's working for me. I may have to find a second job though in order to pay for it!!!
  • Thanks Katie, I'll definatley give it a go. There's a number on the notice board in the club house, I'l give it ring.

    Was your IT band injury a one off or was it repetitve, over a period of time. I had it once for about 6 weeks so I eased off a bit & it went away, touch wood it it hasn't come back yet. It did go totaly numb after the FLM though.
  • Pizza man - My IT band injury was made much worse than it should have been by my refusal to stop running. I had a serious case of 'head in the sand'! I just hoped it would go away if I ignored it. I hadn't been running for long and had come from a cycling background where injuries are mostly unheard of - unless you get mashed by a car of course - so I was rather ignorant about the idea of actually stopping running! As a result I had the pain for 6 months before I realised I ahould do something about it. Then I had ultrasound, which had no effect at all except empty my wallet. I got advice on my posture though and tried to improve that, which did help a lot. I finally stumbled on a website listing sports masseurs and found the name of a member of my cycling club - I'd forgotten that she was a physio. She's the one who's been beating my leg up with deep tissue massage. I have to grit my teeth while she's doing it, but it seems to be having the right effect.
  • Thanks PM for the advice. Yes I've been having physio for the tears, ultrasund, some massage and manipulation. Physio says it's coming along ok but wants to take it slowly due to the amount of damage. Been given exersises and ice before and after these. I'll just have to start from scratch again and hope that patience pays off!
  • VR,
    Did the physio say anything about stretching it, whilst you're in recovery or just generally.
  • Hi PM
    Exersises I've been given so far have been VERY gentle stretching, but not pushing into pain rather to try and get the range of movement back again. I go to physio tomorrow and am hoping that I'll be given the green light for some running. His take on stretching is that it is of ltd benefit, the real saviour is warming up properly before a run. Stretching is needed to get the full range of movement back though.
    I'll let you know what happens at the physio tomorrow.
  • How'd you get on VR.
  • I suffered for about 1 year with on/off calf injuries. Finally went to a physio and he immediately felt the old scar tissue. Basically he explained it to me as being like a layer of blood between 2 slices of muscle. After a few runs friction would cause it to get sore and then I would be injured. Rest for 10 days, inflamation goes down and start the cycle all over again.
    4 sessions of physio (just very deep pressure and ultrasound) fixed the problem.
    I have had the problem once since and 2 visits to the physio sorted it.
    Now I ALWAYS stretch my calf muscles before running and whenever I get the chance. Sometimes at work against the coffee machine, or in the kitchen against the sink.
    Works for me

    Good luck

  • Another session of ultrasound and pressure to trigger points, can now add cycling to the eleptical machine and swimming for x-training in the gym. Still no running this week but to continue with iceing before and after exersises. He is not in favour of any stretching or running until all pain has gone, this is to prevent the build up of scar tissue which can be a problem in itself to sort out later!! It's extremely frustrating but things are settling down so do feel that there is progress.
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