calf/knee injury

Hi everyone,

I need some advice. About a month ago I hurt my calf running a 10k, after about 7k my right calf started to get really tight and the next day it was quite sore. So ok, couple of weeks resting and it felt better. I tried a slow recovery run and after about 5 mins I got pain in my knee, just under my kneecap and had to limp home feeling sorry for myself. The day after I was limping and walking was painful. I've been stretching and foam rolling for 2 weeks since then and it seems to be slowly getting better but still cant run.  I cant quite pinpoint what's causing the problem though as the pain seems to be mostly in the outside of my lower right calf but I get a sharp pain in my knee when I stand and bend by right knee past 90 degrees  The hackney half marathon is looming so I'm starting to worry that I wont be fit in time. I'm going to visit my GP next week (though I'm not very hopeful after reading some of the threads on here about the NHS and sports injuries). Anyone any ideas what the problem might be?



  • Hi Pineapple!

    First thing to say is trust your instincts and listen to your body. Pain is a signal telling you that something is not right and it might be your bodies way of telling you you are not quite ready to go back to full running. Remember, pain when running is not normal. It might be common, but it's not normal.

    Calf muscles are incredibly strong and are designed to work pain free when you run and withstand a lot of impact and strain, but only when they are working correctly.

    If your calf (and knee) hurts it could be because there is some misalignments in your posture, and kinetic chain with your pelvis, hips, knees and ankles.

    Basically, they are out of position so that when you run or walk certain tissues are becoming overworked, chronically strained and 'give out'. In your case it looks like it is your calf which is also causing an issue with the knee.

    If you address the muscular balances in your body, your calf and knee should be allowed to work the way they were designed.

    Try these 3 exercises to re-link the pelvis, hips, knees and ankles and see if that reduces or gets rid of the pain:


  • Hi Ameet,

    Thanks so much for the advice! I'll give those exercises a go and see if they help.  I definitely think I have a weakness somewhere as its always my right calf that gets tight first (though never painful before now) so that muscle is clearly being overworked.

    Very true that listening to your body is important, but also learning to distinguish normal tiredness from training from more serious discomfort. I've only been running for about a year so maybe my muscles and joints aren't as strong as they could be yet.  My friend who's training to be a personal trainer suggested a weights workout to improve all round leg strength for running so I'm going to start doing that once I'm back to full fitness.

    Fingers crossed I can get fit enough in time to do Run Hackney!



  • How's the recovery coming along Pineapple?

    I sincerely hope you're still able to run Hackney in a few weeks time, I've been through the dissapointment of missing a race through injury myself and it's quite deflating.

    If you're not able to recover however and you'd like to recoup your entry fee, I have a friend who would be happy to take your place (they've been undecided for the past few months and as soon as normal entries closed he decided he definitely wanted to run it!).

    If you're still not 100% sure if you're going to run or not, I'm sure you'll want to leave a decision until as late as possible, but if you do decide you aren't able to run then do let me know (fingers crossed for you that you are able to make it though - looks like it will be a cracking race!)


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