About 5 weeks ago about half way through my normal 6 mile run I pulled up with a calf strain. I went through the normal RICE routine and then gentle exercising and stretching. Followed this with calf strengthening exercises. After 3 weeks I went for a short 2 mile run and a short way from the end the same thing happened. Have now been back through the same process and am thinking of trying it out again in a week or so. Anyone got any advice for rehabilitation of a calf strain and should I leave it longer before trying it out again?

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Hey Chris - Have you changed anything during this time? Shoes/form/tech/terrain?
For rehab try massaging/rolling the calf and THEN stretch it. Do this several times a day and I would not use ice treatments. Stay active on it, but also listen to your body and don't go beyond your pain tolerance.
E
Yes I did indeed. I mostly trail run and entered a couple of road races for which I started training and running in different shoes - Brooks Adrenaline. My calfs have seemed tighter since using these shoes. I also suffered a sprained anke (hit a tree root) shortly (4-6 weeks) before the calf strain. Thanks for the advice.
Chris
The calf issue might be more from your road training and should lessen. Be sure to massage them well and then stretch - but they should get better as you do more specific road training. Doing some short, very easy barefoot runs might help strengthen them and help.
E
There is a great article on www.thestick.net about recovering from calf strain. The article is called "Calf Heart Attacks". It is the best recovery approach I have found for this type of injury. It worked great for me in the past. Hope it gets you back to running soon.

Jim
Managed a short run last night as suggested in this article and survuved unscathed. Shall now be building up slowly back towards full fitness!
/thumbs up!
Chris, unfortunatelly i have gone through a similar problem. in the end the only thing that has worked is going to see a ART - active release technique practitioner/chiropractor to break up the scar tissue (you will know its working because it hurts like hell).. After 2-3 sessions you will feel 100% better and it will not come back.. Only after the tissue is broken up can you start rebuilding it.. otherwise you are building on top of a bad platform, and it will soon break again.. You can google ART technique in .... YOUR TOWN.. or close by..
Best of luck..
- DAN

I've had a chronic problem with calf strains over the last two years (I think seven or so separate instances).  It seems like as soon as I'm finally feeling better, it happens again.  It has meant that I've only been able to run about 75% of the time over that period, which has been really frustrating.  I'm not sure that I have any solutions, but but here are a couple of things that I've picked up:

 

1. the "medicinal run" concept from the "calf heart attacks" article that Jim mentioned earlier (http://www.thestick.net/Articles/Calf_%20Heart_%20Attack.htm) seems to make a big difference in getting over calf strains more quickly.

 

2. I went to a well-respected orthopedist (who's a pretty serious runner and ironman triathlete as well) and his answer was that the solution is strength training and plyometrics.  He sent me to a trainer that gave me a pretty extensive lower body focused workout program.  The orthopedist didn't have a very high opinion of the "scar tissue buildup" theory that you see a lot on the internet for these types of injuries (i.e. that recurring calf strains are the result of scar tissue that can be broken up with some form of deep tissue massage).  That said, there are lots of people who say that they have been cured that way, so I'm not sure who's right.

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