I am recovering from a torn calf muscle that turned into a major DVT. It has been 12 weeks since the original tear and I am now recovering. I have started cycling(gently) but still can not run (or walk properly for that matter). I am not sure what to do now in relaton to starting running again. I feel that in a couple of weeks I could start running but I am not sure if this is what I should do? Does anybody have any advise? I stretch my calf every day and do the exercises my Physio recommends. I know what to do re my calf but it is regarding the DVT I am not sure about. How soon can I start normal training, how soon can I start pushing myself and try to regain my fitness? can anybody HELP?


  • as long as you are adequately anticoagulated(you ARE on warfarin, arent you), then you can run from the DVT point of view
  • I had a DVT last year extending from calf up to thigh level.Poss as a result of being bedridden with a flu type virus/ poss dehydration from night sweats. I agree with Hippo; I started running after I had been on warfarin for about 3 mths ; the clot should be well stanilised by then; but ask your Doctor for his/her opinion before you run.Incidentally a year later I am running without any pain, very minimal above ankle swelling and faster than before the DVT.
  • Does your calf really swell up DVT, just wondering as have very bad calf myself at the mo. Wondering how you know whether its DVT?
  • I only suspected DVT and went to the Dr about a week after I had had the calf pain ( which felt exactly like a torn muscle)when I noticed that my ankle was swelling. When I had my leg measured at the DVT clinic, I was shocked to be told that my whole leg was actually swollen; thigh as well! The clot had propogated up in to my thigh.my advice with anyone with bad calf pain;is to get it checked out. DVTs aren't just caused by flights; they can be caused by inactivity of any kind; ie; train journeys, car journeys , being cramped in front of the computer. With some genetically susceptible people they just happen.
  • DVT's are often disregarded by medical staff if you're young and active. Unfortunately that means they're often undiagnosed. In fit people, the symptoms of swollen legs and red, warm skin aren't always experienced. The doctor will assume you've torn a muscle. If your injury is unexplained, and you're worried, you can request a simple d-dimer blood test. It measures the enzymes typically given-off in reaction to a blood-clot. If that reading is high, it doesn't necessarily mean you have a clot, but it does signify the need for further investigation. That will probably be a venogram, whereby a fluid is injected into your foot and your leg is scanned. The scan will show if the fluid passes unhindered through your veins.

    Take runnerbeen's advice... get it checked! And if you have got a DVT, and can't think why, ask for a Protein 'C' and 'S' deficiency test. That might explain a genetic cause.
  • I believe I am fully recovered from my DVT and torn calf muscle. I am now running regularly as well as swimmimg. The only thing is that I am now getting severe cramps in the leg where I had my torn muscle/Dvt. Do you think this is related or is it just over exercising the muscles. The last cramp I had which started after a run and a swim lasted for a couple of days.
    Had anyone had similar problems???

  • Cramps can be brought on by dehydration, salt deficiency, circulatory problems, muscle stress, injury etc... the list goes on. There's no way of knowing what might be causing the cramps, so I won't guess. I would say that it's worth a visit to your GP. You might not yet be 100% recovered, but sure enough still getting better each day. I've had 3 or 4 DVT's myself, but my running doesn't suffer as a consequence. But everyone's different. It takes time to build back up again after a clot. And you need to do it gradually. Sometimes a DVT can damage the veins which takes some time to repair. Get it checked, and don't overdo the exercise in the meantime.
  • I am experiencing swelling above my ankle (outside) and lower leg pain (middle of leg - not shin) when I run. I also have a weak spot in my calf (inner) which when I had sports massage felt like there was glass in it. So far, I have assumed an old injury to the calf, and ankle swelling/leg pain due having broken ankle 5yrs ago. But reading about DVT is worrying! Would DVT give a constant pain? I'm OK until I run for more than 15-20 mins.
  • The chances of you having a DVT are very small. Statistically, it's more likely to be a muscle or tendon/ligament injury (DVT is associated with sedentary lifestyles). However, these forums aren't the best way to get a diagnosis. I have just recovered from a calf strain which caused an identical swelling in my ankle as I got when I had a DVT. But from my own experience, a DVT doesn't really feel like a muscle injury. It's also not a spot pain. To put your mind at rest, here's the symptoms I suffered: my leg would actually feel "tight". Not like a tight muscle, but like my skin's too small. The sensation wasn't a "sharp" pain, but more a constant dull throbbing across the whole lower leg that got worse when I stood up still for long periods. The pain almost disappeared when I elevated the leg. There was no difference in skin colour or temperature. In the early stages, the leg got tighter as I exercised or walked, until it eventually immobilised me (I couldn't straighten the knee). In the later stages, excerise actually reduced the pain.

    Go see you doc if you're worried, it'll put your mind at rest.
  • Thanks. The sharp spot in calf is different from pain I get in the middle of the leg. I too find relief from elevation (I even sleep with my feet on a pillow) but as you say this could be a number of other things. The doc gave me Diclofenac which is making no difference but I have arranged a physio appointment tomorrow so hopefully that will sort it out.

    A girl I was at school with died from DVT, aged 30, after a flight to Spain. I hadn't heard much about it until then.
  • Hi All -

    I've just found out that I had a DVT about 13 years ago, age 21. At the time it was misdiagnosed as a torn muscle, I was off games for about 6 months though & on crutches for much of that time. I got the dull throbbing & stiffened/immobilised leg like you g-f, but my calf was also really hot and swollen and from memory there was a "pain centre" half way up my calf.

    Since then I've had a permanently (slightly) swollen leg & ankle, generally a bit stiff, sometimes with cramps like you HHH. I did do the FLM this year though!

    I finally got round to getting it checked out and an ultrasound has showed quite a lot of vein damage right up my thigh (the veins are pretty much divided in two right down their length by the clot, the return valves aren't working very well hence the ongoing swelling).

    I don't think that much can be done to fix the veins (as the DVT is so old, warfarin etc is no use and the clots aren't going anywhere).

    So the question is, to any passing medical forumy person - is this right? So long after the event, are there any physio exercises that can help? E.g. is weight training any good, or is it a bad thing post DVT?

    Are there any long term post-DVT issues that can be avoided if you exercise properly?

    All contributions gratefully received!


    PS EyeSpy21, I would talk to your doc about possible DVT's. Without being alarmist, I was doing a lot of exercise at the point I got mine, and your injury has some similarities with mine.

    DVT's are pretty rare so it's unlikely you've got one, but mine did go unspotted (in fact my GP did spot it, told me to go to A&E asap, and at A&E they said it was just a muscle tear, without doing a scan). The only reason that I can think of that I got one is that I broke my tibia several years before, which I guess could have caused some local vein damage. The sorest bit when the DVT happened was close to the original break.

    Just in case it is one, time is of the essence in being able to patch up the damage properly. Worth a second chat with the doc for peace of mind.
  • I can only speak from my own perspective but I found (and still find) that exercise is the best way of reducing or eliminating the after-effects of a DVT. As for what type of exercise, anything cardio vascular. I do running and light weight training. I'll admit to doing way more than the doctors advised soon after my DVT. I don't recommend doing that, it was a risky kill or cure strategy.

    Oh! Take note of this: I had a DVT in my lower leg at the end of 2003, and after about 3 months suffered no symptoms. 8 weeks ago, I did some leg curls and suffered another 6 weeks of DVT-like symptoms. Why? Because the pressure on the backs of the knees stressed my veins again. Don't do leg curls!
  • Hello. I was diagnosed with DVT five weeks ago. It was bad, from ankle to halfway up my thigh, so it's probably going to take a long time to recover. I'm asking for advice! What was the best advice you received? What worked for you? I've just started running/walking very gently again, and yesterday had a recurrence of symptoms. I'm hoping it was a coincidence...
  • The best advice is to follow the advice of the medics, as not all DVTs are the same, and some are more threatening than others. If they suggest that gentle exercise is good then do it. I was always told not to run, but I did. It was risky, as you increase your chances of a PE. At first it really hurt, but over time (months) it got gradually easier. Now it's 100% normal again. Be careful about following any advice that anyone posts on this forum, it's your doctors you need to follow.
  • I got DVT after a long haul flight last week. Took three attempts and an Ultrascan before the diagnosis was confirmed. I didn't fit the profile. There was no detectable swelling. It is a small clot in the lower left leg. The initial diagnosis was muscle strain. This I couldn't accept. I could not stretch the calf muscle in question. I could not put any weight on my left leg. However driving was not a problem. It is a small clot localised in the calf muscle 2-3cm below the knee on the inside of the leg. The pain was excriciating at that point but not above or below. This led me to distrust the initial diagnosis of calf strain. That coupled with the fact that I had no idea how I had strained the calf muscle. Medics are woking to a set of criteria that don't include fit people. The lack of swelling  and being fit was a barrier to getting the correct diagnosis.

    I can walk without difficulty today just tightness in the affected calf muscle. In Ireland lower leg clots are not treated. I am taking aspirin. Anybody any advice/ experience about when to start back running?

  • I had a large DVT in my right calf diagnosed at the begining of July last year. I didn't run for ages, or even walk for that matter, I have never experienced anything so painfull. I came off the warfarin in October and started running properly in December. I have been told that as long as I keep myself well hydrated I'm on for the London Marathon next year which is good as I've signed up to raise £2k for my charity! My leg doesn't hurt when I run but I know with some people it does. I keep a training log and record how my legs feel after every run. I did find when I started again that I subconsiously overcompensated with my other leg so that hurt a bit, always going down pavements on that foot etc but that soon wore off. I wasn't allowed to do any exercise for a good few months due to the risk of dislodging the clot and you don't want to go down that route. I'd say get some advice from your doctor first but it's just a case of being patient really.
  • Thanks for the advice. I spoke with my Doc yesterday and she suggested giving it a break to allow the clot to dissolve.  I'm not good at being patient, looks like I'll have some practice.


  • Hi, i too have been diagnosed with a dvt which began in my calf but extended to my groin. True to form, i went to a +e and because i run, they told me i had torn or pulled my calf muscle. At that stage i could put no weight on my leg but was not even offered crutches. We then went back the next day and was given crutches. Thankfully when i saw my doctor last thursday to get a sicknote, he took one look and sent me staight up for a scan. Now i am beginning to be able to walk although still find it difficult to extend my leg properly and am still on the cruthes. I had no previous trauma although i have PCOS so was on the full pill. I didn't think that at 37 i would be where i am today. I hope to be back in work in the next fortnight but my job as a community home carer requires alot of walking. Am i over too ambitious? Also feel very scared about the idea of resuming running but miss it terribly. Would love to hear and whinge from fellow suffferers. Take care all

    Vicky x

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