Very sore calf

Set out for an easy run last night – well wrapped up against the cold – after 15 steadily paced minutes and half way up Chislehurst Hill experienced a tightening of left calf – slowed to a walk and the tightening eased – started to run again and experienced a sharp sudden stabbing pain deep in the calf – thinking it was cramp I tried stretching it – big mistake as this made the pain even more intense. Woke up this morning with the soleus throbbing and can hardly walk on it today (stairs are very painful) – constant nagging pain is starting to make me feel nauseous.

I must have damaged some muscle fibres (and probably worsened the damage by stretching) but how? I’d warmed up; I wasn’t running fast and had shortened my stride going uphill to maintain a lower heart rate. Now I’m looking at a minimum three weeks out before new muscle tissue has grown and even then the new muscle fibres will require strengthening before they can cope with anything other than less intense slower paced runs.

Apart from allowing time for the muscle to heal (and maybe get some sports massage) is there anything else I can do to assist the healing process? I cannot run and cycling is probably not advisable – will long bouts of pool running, swimming and/or rowing allow me to maintain some degree of aerobic fitness without causing further or damage or hindering recovery?


  • See a good physio? Who can also check that it's nothing sinister.
  • Thanks Stickless - I've had a calf strain before but this is starting to feeling much worse so a physio it shall be - tomorrow lunchtime if I can get an appointment. Gels and sprays are no relief at all as the pain is too deep within the calf - Ibuprofen is the only thing that temporarily reduces the pain.
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