Patient: I’m planning to join the army in the next few months, and I’ve started working out again. I’m in decent shape, but I need to get in to great shape. I have a problem that could be a deal breaker though. Every time I jog, whether outside or on a treadmill I develop calf pain. The pain is sudden, and moderate. It becomes more severe if I don’t stop. It goes away after a few days. Right now it affects my right calf, but in the past when I jogged it affected the left calf also. The pain seems to affect different parts of the calf during different occurrences. Sometimes it strikes the lower calf. Sometimes the inner calf, and sometimes the outer portion. It usually takes about 10-15 minutes of jogging before it hits, and again it only happens when jogging. Calf raises, leg presses, elliptical, bike, and walking are all fine. Please…I need some help!
Doctor: According to your description, possibly you are experiencing a Calf Tendinitis, The calf muscle is made up of three mus scles. The two heads of the gastrocnemius and the soleus, these three muscles end in a common tendon: the Achilles tendon. Usually the complain is a dull aching pain and in severe cases a sharp intense pain. If you have a partial tear of the calf muscles then I do not recommend jogging for 4-6 weeks depending on the severity of the injury. If you are suffering just inflammation of the muscle then you can resume training after 7-10 days. Ineffective warm up and warm down routines can lead to calf strains. Excessive hill work, running, jogging with a sudden increase in mileage can cause a calf strain. Many runners carry on running even after the initial signs of a calf strain. They adjust their running stride to increase the forefoot foot slap and decrease heel strike. This further exacerbates the condition. Calf strains can be caused by dehydration. Many runners don’t adequately hydrate. Deficiencies in calcium, trace minerals and magnesium can also lead calf strains. Therefore I would recommend to ensure adequate water intake and multi minerals. Initial treatment should consist of ice packs. Some runners prefer to use a wet towel that has been in the fridge, you can use also commercially availableice packs for focused pain relief. An anti-inflammatory such as Ibuprofen (“Motrin”, “Aleve”) will help you to reduce the swelling; this should be taken with meals and never before running. It is recommended complete rest for 5 days for a mild calf strain and then a gradual increase in mileage. Massaging the calf also helps to speed up recovery. View the calf Massager with four free rolling heads it’s particularly good at giving yourself a deep calf massage.