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stuff you can do with a (mild) calf strain?

(52 Posts)
Mitchy1nge Fri 17-Jan-14 10:06:35

want it (soleus if that makes a difference) to heal completely and utterly before I run again but have a half marathon in March and a full in May so a bit anxious about losing what fitness I have. it's got better enough to do calf raises so it is well on the mend but still hurts round the clock whether am doing anything or not

spin is off the menu because that seems to aggravate it more than running

so far I have yoga, riding and possibly swimming (scared, trying today) - grateful for any ideas, thanks

Mitchy1nge Fri 17-Jan-14 20:14:21


(I LOVE swimming though shock so much so I will stick with a lesson a week until I can do Proper Swimming ie front crawl)

youbethemummylion Fri 17-Jan-14 20:17:02

Swimming or aquafit type activity. Exercising in water will take the pressure of.

Mitchy1nge Fri 17-Jan-14 22:23:27

I could try an aquafit class, thanks

Mitchy1nge Wed 22-Jan-14 11:26:51

in case anyone was wondering (nobody was) you can do a sort of RUNNING on an adaptive motion trainer with a mild calf strain smile

iseenodust Wed 22-Jan-14 11:31:51

Swim lengths with your ankles crossed.

Mitchy1nge Wed 22-Jan-14 11:33:51

I can only just about do demented frog stroke breast stroke at the moment, but if am ever confident enough to try something else I will try!

I can at least power up and down the pool in a 'ohmyfuckinggodIamgoingtodrown' way which seems quite fast though

Lazysuzanne Wed 22-Jan-14 12:04:35

Pretty much all strength training would be fine, you could try HIIT style exercises to keep your cardiovascular fitness up

(suspect that ain't the kinda answer you want but I done gone said it anyway grin)

Mitchy1nge Wed 22-Jan-14 12:14:14

I can just about walk and do calf raises, but anything that involves 'pushing off' from the ball of my foot is out, I can't use my spin bike either

but lovely range of upper body things are open to me and it was nice to do some weights today for the first time in ages

what sort of hiit style exercises do you mean? scared confused

Lazysuzanne Wed 22-Jan-14 12:31:20

Well it's something I've only started doing myself but lots of things can be used, it's a matter of doing it fast for a minute or less, then a short rest.

If you search youtube for tabata press ups or tabata squats that should give you some idea.

Mitchy1nge Wed 22-Jan-14 12:33:36

maybe I will just make an omelette first and then watch them while I enjoy that grin

am really lazy for someone who does so much exercise, don't let myself get out of breath or whatever blush

Lazysuzanne Wed 22-Jan-14 12:38:24

It seems to be the basic principle behind such things as the shred/insanity/cross fit/fast training.

Whilst I'm not personally in favor or some of the exercises used the principle behind it is making more and more sense to me the more I look into it.

Getting out of breath is central I'm afraid, but only for a minute at a time wink

Mitchy1nge Wed 22-Jan-14 12:45:48

oh I loved insanity

obviously that involved getting out of breath but it was really well paced, with bouts of lower intensity/recovery - unlike the hiit class I tried once (and injured myself and which is no longer running, unsurprisingly) that had everyone working flat out continuously for extended periods with little to no break

it is a brilliant idea, thanks, I get what you mean now

I didn't know having An Injury could be such a good opportunity to learn or try so many new things grin

Lazysuzanne Wed 22-Jan-14 12:57:59

I should point out that I've no experience of insanity / shred / cross fit.

I run intervals on the treadmill and I recently started adapting my strength training to include HIIT.

This was all promoted by Mosely's fast training, I saw the documentary and dismissed it, read the book and was a bit more interested.
Then read some stuff by James Timmons and it began to make more sense

orangeflutie Wed 22-Jan-14 12:58:48

Hi I'm not sure how much help I can be but I've done something to my right calf. Initially I thought it was a strain but after a visit to the physio, he thinks the muscle is just protesting from overuse but it isn't torn which is some good news.

Anyway he gave it a massage, used ultrasound and has given me advice on what stretches to do.

I can't run at the moment either so I feel your pain. I'm gutted because I'd got up to 12 miles. I'm supposed to be training for a half marathon in March and the London Marathon. I love running and it's so frustrating not being able to. Also the lovely weather seems to be mocking mesmile, especially as I've been going out previously in wind and rain.

Love your comments on swimming, you sound as if you love it as much as mesmile Other option obviously elderly aqua fit class but they're all at wrong time. I really should do something about my puny upper body strength but am not good unless I'm in gym environment and I'm not a member at the mo. I'm considering trying a bike ride but dd3 is off school today so that rules that out for now.

How are you today? Do you think there's been any improvement?

Mitchy1nge Wed 22-Jan-14 13:52:41

oh no, am sorry you have the same trouble (although is always nice to not go through it alone!) I have a bit more time than you until Edinburgh but it's not a massive consolation yet and March is - right THERE, any minute now shock

what was the ultrasound treatment like, does it hurt? do you have an idea when you will start running again and how much/how often you will do it?

the physio didn't do much on the first visit, she could see the injury without touching it and graded it 1-2 which is about as mild as it is possible to get blush then just taped it all up (and my foot confused) and told me to keep it warm and do calf and soleus stretches, but now I can do calf raises too smile it is definitely mending as long as I don't go on a mad dancing spree like I did at the weekend blush

am pleased about crawling back to my gym anyway, not that I missed it much while I was running, but one of the coaches from my Proper Running Club met me there and set up some new exercises and activities for me that will continue to help when I am running again

but generally the advice from physio and everyone else is to be able to walk for at least half an hour without pain before running, and if it does hurt then stop running that very instant and trudge miserably home hmm

orangeflutie Wed 22-Jan-14 15:41:02

Yes March is quite soon especially as Feb is such a short month. I'm trying not to panic. Physio suggested laying off running for at least a week but it depends. I'm going to try a run on Fri as I went out last on Friday last week, but I'm not convinced I'll be able to. Physio also suggested doing stretches at different points during run and obviously only short distances to start if it feels comfortable enough.

The ultrasound didn't hurt at all but the massage did! I'm sure it must've done some good but at the moment my calf muscle feels sore, a bit like it's bruised which is a bit worrying and last night in bed it felt like I had cramphmm.

It's good yours seems to be getting better. You're doing all the right things so fingers crossed you can run without pain soon.

Mitchy1nge Thu 23-Jan-14 18:16:41

I'm so impatient, it feels like I've been waiting forever and it's barely a couple of weeks (plus have been for at least one ploddy run since then)

however today I can barely feel it despite doing quite a bit of walking so was wondering about going out over a short route at walk with the the odd spurt of running

it will be all new and daring when I start again, like a whole new sport smile

orangeflutie Thu 23-Jan-14 21:09:29

I'm impatient too and it's only a week without a run for me. I feel really grumpy and lethargic too, I have much more energy when I run.

If I were you I would try walking at first then a short run as you feel you're getting better. I'm going to try a walk/ run tomorrow. If it doesn't work out then I'm going to have to find an alternative form of exercise.

The trouble is one of the reasons I started running on the first place is that it fits in. Other exercise has to be planned more which is difficult with 3 dds, especially as two have been off school this weekhmm

I also need to stop comfort eating chocolatessmile

kaizen Thu 23-Jan-14 21:42:09

This is an interesting article on calf strains- I had one last year and pulled it again twice within a mile of my house as I didn't leave it long enough, so take care with it.

sausagefortea Thu 23-Jan-14 22:02:44

I've recently almost just recovered from a calf strain. I got the injury in Nov and it was almost better after 2 weeks so I went back to doing stuff too soon and it made not only my calf flare up but felt like my Achilles was going to pop too. it's only almost better now (so almost 6 weeks on). Rest it! I also found that massaging the sore points helped (friction type massage that they do at physio). Ibuprofen to reduce the inflammation even a week or so after. I also found that really good stretching helped of upper and lower calf (especially lower calf for me). The calf raises we're good too but building up to doing down and up off the edge of a step, and then doing only the affected leg.

Btw the thought of doing those fast type exercises makes me shudder with a calf strain (unless it's not one that involves the calf at all). I think those fast explosive type of exercises on a strained calf would be likely to damage your leg more. (Mind you I strained my calf in the first place with explosive fast type movement - on a fully warmed muscles, so I'm not the greatest fan.....although could be an age thing!!!).

Mitchy1nge Fri 24-Jan-14 13:35:21

nooo sausages not 6 weeks! every time I wake in the night I flex my foot to see if it has gone yet blush it's become a hobby in its own right, Care Of The Mild Calf Injury

that was an interesting article kaizen, am NOT having compartment syndrome have already had a discussion about it with physio (in the event of it recurring), then I asked a sort of proper doctor and it sounds far too scary and serious

on plus side am getting quite good at belly dancing and am learning to crochet and I can swim and I'm enjoying going to the gym again for the first time in ages, and it's nice only being the normal amount of tired and hungry all the time, instead of the extreme amount

kaizen Fri 24-Jan-14 17:12:52

I used to wake in the night and squeeze my achilles to see if they were sore (and go to the loo to test them out) - yep- injuries are a hobby in their own right. I didn't mean to scare you with the article - but I did pull mine again twice straight away. Belly dancing and crochet sounds like you are making better use of injury time than I did grin

sausagefortea Fri 24-Jan-14 19:16:33

Well I think the 6 weeks was because I didn't leave it to heal properly and just went back to doing business as usual as soon as it felt better. But sounds like you're being far more sensible and so you'll probably be back fighting fit much before 6 weeks!

OneHandFlapping Fri 24-Jan-14 19:25:00

When I did mine, I could still train on the cross trainer.

I also did eccentric Achilles/lower calf exercises - stand on a step on your toes, and lower yourself slowly until you heel is below the level of the step. 3 sets of 10. You can do them one leg at a time for extra loading.

I also bought compression socks, and some 1/2 centimetre heel lifts, to take the strain off my lower leg. I'm not sure if either of these were any more than psychological help!

It was still 6 weeks until I could run again. Sorry.

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