Calf Strain...what to do, what to do?

Discussion of preventative and ongoing maintenance for Professional Bodyworkers.

Moderators: riversinger, JasonE

Calf Strain...what to do, what to do?

Postby moogie on Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:16 am

Ok, I know what to do with a calf strain so this really is more of a rant than a question...although suggestions would certainly be welcome.

A little background....over the last year I've lost 77lbs! Exercise has been a big part of that change and is a big part of my daily life. I'm at the gym 5-6 days a week and do a variety of activities. I run (really more like run/walk at this point) take spinning, yoga, zumba and work with a personal trainer 3 times a week lifting weights and doing differnt drills and such. I like to set goals both long term and short term. My current short term goal is to run a 5k and my long, long term goal is to eventually do a triathalon (very long term.)

Yesterday the trainer had us running sprints. I felt a "pop" in my left calf and down I went. It's not the achilles, it's higher up in the muscle belly.

I came home and have since followed the RICE procedure. I've had ice on it almost constantly, even went to bed with ice on it (I have a professional ice pack that stays cold for hours.) I'm keeping it elevated and am staying off of it as much as I can. I'm taking advil and I already take a lot of the muscle "building" supplements....glutamine, carnitine and such.

When there's no weight on it I have about 90% ROM pain free but as soon as I stand up it becomes painful to have any movement at the ankle so I'm hobbling around.

The "insane" part of me goes...."well, maybe I can still take spin class tomorrow as long as I stay at position 1 (seated) the whole time" Yeah...I know that's crazy and I'm not going to do it. I started swimming lessons this week. I can swim but I don't swim correctly so I'm looking to improve those skills. So...I was thinking "maybe I can still swim?" But then I remember the instructor saying how important the movement at the ankles are for the proper fluttering kick. Hmmmm maybe not a good idea?? But...I'm thinking I can swim before I spin???

I think I'm doing everything I can to make this heal as quickly as possible....it just can't heal as quick as I'd like it to..which would be immediately.

:irked:

Angie
User avatar
moogie
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3191
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 5:16 am
Location: Tampa, FL

Re: Calf Strain...what to do, what to do?

Postby palpable on Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:56 am

I would suggest renting a couple of good movies and getting a good book. :D

Seriously, it sounds like you are doing some awesome things, and maybe you just need a couple of days off.
Move on as quickly as you can to people who get you and what you do. -Robert Chute
User avatar
palpable
Registered Member
 
Posts: 1226
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 4:58 pm
Location: northeast u.s.

Re: Calf Strain...what to do, what to do?

Postby ccMarie on Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:16 pm

Angie, would you recommend your client to try to get back to working out as fast as possible? I know you have made great progress with your program, & we all know what is quickly gained is quickly lost. Well, you have been working out for a long time & your gains have been slow & steady. You are not going to lose what you have worked so long & hard for in just a few days, or even a week.

The important thing is to listen to your body, it will let you know when it is time. And, when you get back into it, listen to your body & ease back into or alter your regimen as you need. I really hope this heals quickly for you, too. Just love yourself, take care of yourself & remember you won't lose what you've gained. Or gain back what you've lost. You know what I mean. 8)
You are not on this planet to produce anything with your body. You are on this planet to produce something with your soul. Your body is simply and merely the tool of your soul.

- Neale Donald Walsh Conversations with God
User avatar
ccMarie
Registered Member
 
Posts: 611
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2007 5:23 am
Location: Colorado Springs, CO

Re: Calf Strain...what to do, what to do?

Postby squash_blsm on Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:38 pm

moogie wrote:The "insane" part of me goes...."well, maybe I can still take spin class tomorrow as long as I stay at position 1 (seated) the whole time" Yeah...I know that's crazy and I'm not going to do it. I started swimming lessons this week. I can swim but I don't swim correctly so I'm looking to improve those skills. So...I was thinking "maybe I can still swim?"


LOL - now you know better than that!

I am all for movement while the muscle is healing. So the good news is that you have great ROM pain-free without putting any weight on it.
I am liking the movie idea...of course doing your calf stretches every so often.

Seriously - what I tell my clients is to treat themselves at least as well as a professional athlete. So do you think a pro would be back on the field immediatiely after a severe muscle sprain? :smt009 My next comment to them is to rehab the way athletes do - when you are able to resume activities you have to scale waaay back at first (further back than you are thinking - I can hear you all the way out here). The pros then work themselves back up to speed carefully and progress only about 10%-15% more each week.

Honor your body by listening to it.
I am thinking that your were pushing yourself maybe a little too hard and your body said "no".
Help make a difference in our world by joining the Spa Professionals team on Kiva.org and make a loan to someone in need today.
http://www.kiva.org/...ls/by/cindy9404
User avatar
squash_blsm
Moderator
 
Posts: 1111
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: Calf Strain...what to do, what to do?

Postby cabwy on Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:00 pm

Angie, hon,, I have a friend who did that very same thing, and felt a "pop"! and hers swelled up a lot and she couldn't walk very well, long story short it was a partial tear of her gastroc... maybe you should go see a Dr?

Just saying,,, sometimes its best to be safe than sorry..

But oMG! Congrats on the weight loss and your dedication to fitness! That is the hardest part form my being a MT- finding the time and energy to work out on a regular basis..
Carol
cabwy
Registered Member
 
Posts: 564
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 5:53 pm
Location: Greater Philadelphia Area

Re: Calf Strain...what to do, what to do?

Postby pueppi on Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:17 am

I can tell you of three instances where I knew someone who heard a pop and tore a section of muscle. I have a friend who still (20 yrs. later) has a funky lump in his biceps. "Pop" for me is an immediate "run-don't-walk" to the ortho. But, that's me.

I notice your post is from June 8... it's now the 23... so, have you had any improvement? Enquiring minds want to know.

Hope you're feeling better as you read! :)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, leading to the most amazing view. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through valleys tinkling with bells...
Houston Massage Therapy - Advanced Massage Therapy - Lucas & Lucas, LLC
User avatar
pueppi
Registered Member
 
Posts: 5887
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:01 am
Location: Texas / The Lone Star State

Re: Calf Strain...what to do, what to do?

Postby lovelynb on Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:49 pm

Hi Angie,
I have to agree with everyone else. When you hear a pop that is usually a tear so some kind. I hope you got some medical attention for that. If you treat an injury well you're be less likely to have problems with it in the future.
Sign up for a listing in my free massage directory. It's growing every day. Massage Directory
lovelynb
Fresh Hands
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 1:24 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Calf Strain...what to do, what to do?

Postby moogie on Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:15 pm

If I would have had excessive swelling or any blood pooling, I was prepared to go to the orthopedic. I didn't so I held off. I kept ice on the calf almost continuously (no freezer burn though), stayed off of it and kept it elevated. It's better now, not all the way but it improves daily. I still can't run or jump but I can walk mostly ok and can raise up on my toes without pain now.

I may still go to see an ortho. A friend of mine recommended one who specializes in PT and ??(can't think of the word right now, but like things to put in your shoes?) and I'd been thinking of going to see him even before this as I've been battling achilles tendonitis on the other foot for over a year now.

Thanks for thinking of me.
Angie
User avatar
moogie
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3191
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 5:16 am
Location: Tampa, FL

Re: Calf Strain...what to do, what to do?

Postby Talenyn on Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:46 am

I'm glad you gave us an update. Orthotics (sp?) is the word you were looking for. ;) Glad you are improving, hopefully more and more each day. :D
The Other Side of the Sun - Earth's Treasures Brought to Light - www.tosots.com
User avatar
Talenyn
Retired Moderator - SSS
 
Posts: 1216
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2004 5:15 pm
Location: Florida, Naples

Re: Calf Strain...what to do, what to do?

Postby JasonE on Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:11 am

moogie wrote:If I would have had excessive swelling or any blood pooling, I was prepared to go to the orthopedic. I didn't so I held off. I kept ice on the calf almost continuously (no freezer burn though), stayed off of it and kept it elevated. It's better now, not all the way but it improves daily. I still can't run or jump but I can walk mostly ok and can raise up on my toes without pain now.

I may still go to see an ortho. A friend of mine recommended one who specializes in PT and ??(can't think of the word right now, but like things to put in your shoes?) and I'd been thinking of going to see him even before this as I've been battling achilles tendonitis on the other foot for over a year now.

Thanks for thinking of me.
Angie


I also would have sent you straight to medical for evaluation. Glad to hear it's improving. Hope you are working ROM exercises. Very gentle ACTIVE stretching will be helpful. When you return to exercise, be kind to yourself and rehab it slowly and COMPLETELY. You may need to work with a different trainer during this period, as most trainers are relatively ignorant about injuries and appropriate regression/progression during the initial healing stages. Find one that knows how to work with this safely, so you are better prepared for sprinting later.

Congratulations on losing the weight! :D It sounds like you have made a major life change. However, I was struck by the sheer volume of exercise you are doing. 5-6 days/week is too much for most people unless they've worked up to it. Even then, it isn't sustainable without occasional breaks unless you are very knowledgeable and have excellent recovery habits. Many trainers are eager to bring their clients along too quickly, having them do sprints and plyometric drills before the underlying body mechanics and tissue adaptations have had enough time to set in. Smarter, not harder, is the key to long-term, injury-free progress. Best wishes for your full recovery and future success!
Jason Erickson, NCTMB, ACE-CPT, AIS-TA
Massage Therapist, Personal Trainer
http://www.CSTMinnesota.com

Internet forums are like going to the zoo; if you get enough monkeys together, sooner or later someone will start throwing their poo.
User avatar
JasonE
Moderator-S.S.S
 
Posts: 2247
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2007 9:12 pm
Location: Burnsville, MN

Re: Calf Strain...what to do, what to do?

Postby lovelynb on Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:46 am

Glad to hear you're doing better. Thanks for giving us an update.
Sign up for a listing in my free massage directory. It's growing every day. Massage Directory
lovelynb
Fresh Hands
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 1:24 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Calf Strain...what to do, what to do?

Postby moogie on Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:59 pm

JasonE wrote:I also would have sent you straight to medical for evaluation. Glad to hear it's improving. Hope you are working ROM exercises. Very gentle ACTIVE stretching will be helpful.


Once the pain started subsiding, I began doing very gentle stretches and worked up to using resistance bands. I never did anything that was painful and was very careful not to injure it further.

When you return to exercise, be kind to yourself and rehab it slowly and COMPLETELY. You may need to work with a different trainer during this period, as most trainers are relatively ignorant about injuries and appropriate regression/progression during the initial healing stages. Find one that knows how to work with this safely, so you are better prepared for sprinting later.


I am blessed with having excellent trainers who insisted that I stay completely off of my leg at 1st. They would not put up with any craziness on my part and told me in no uncertain terms to stay home and rest. The 1st thing I was able to return to was swimming (I had just started taking lessons.) I noticed that as long as their was no weight on my leg, I had complete ROM with zero pain so I went to the pool for a test drive and did fine. I was prepared that if there were any pain, I would use the floaty things that you hold between your thighs when you want to only work on your arm strokes but there was no pain whatsoever. The next week I went to the gym and worked with the trainers but only doing upper body and abs. They were very cautious with me and even insisted that I do my pushups on my knees (girly-style) which is normally a big no-no with them. This week I have done some lower body work but again using caution and nothing that required much work of my calves. I still can't run or jump or even walk quickly but it is improving.

Congratulations on losing the weight! :D It sounds like you have made a major life change. However, I was struck by the sheer volume of exercise you are doing. 5-6 days/week is too much for most people unless they've worked up to it.


This is something that was definitely worked up to. I started by doing the ellipitcal machine a few times a week. When I 1st started working with the trainer she asked me if I could run and I told her not yet....so we walked and eventually I could jog for short bursts and then I could jump a little. It took her about 6 months to get me to the point where I could try spinning and it's been over a year since she 1st asked me if I could run and I just recently started really running. It has been a slow process. I know I have to be careful as I tend to overdo things. I've try to find some balance by doing a variety of activites. I don't really consider zumba to be exercise, it's more fun than anything else and yoga makes me feel good. I tend to lift weights too often as this is something that I'm really good at, I love feeling "strong" so the trainer keeps an eye on me and tries to steer me towards other activities to go along with the weight lifting.

Even then, it isn't sustainable without occasional breaks unless you are very knowledgeable and have excellent recovery habits. Many trainers are eager to bring their clients along too quickly, having them do sprints and plyometric drills before the underlying body mechanics and tissue adaptations have had enough time to set in. Smarter, not harder, is the key to long-term, injury-free progress. Best wishes for your full recovery and future success!


I do take breaks. I am not opposed to missing my gym time if something else comes up. I skipped 2 Wednesdays in a row to go blueberry picking. I just really love going to the gym and since I only work 3 days I week, I have more time to spare than most people do.

My trainers appreciate that I have a good understanding of anatomy and good body mechanics. They listen to me and treat me as a partner in this endeavor. Anytime I have said that something was too much or I wasn't ready for it, they have respected my wishes.

By the way....have you ever read the bood The New Rules of Lifting For Women? There is of course one for men as well, but I have the one from women. If you are familar with it, I'd love to hear your opinions.

Thanks,
Angie
User avatar
moogie
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3191
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 5:16 am
Location: Tampa, FL

Re: Calf Strain...what to do, what to do?

Postby pueppi on Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:17 pm

80 pounds (might as well round up...)! You ROCK! :)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, leading to the most amazing view. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through valleys tinkling with bells...
Houston Massage Therapy - Advanced Massage Therapy - Lucas & Lucas, LLC
User avatar
pueppi
Registered Member
 
Posts: 5887
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:01 am
Location: Texas / The Lone Star State

Re: Calf Strain...what to do, what to do?

Postby JasonE on Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:18 pm

Nice report, Angie - Thanks! It sounds like you have a good group looking out for you. :) What you're doing sounds very intelligent and should work well for you.

I am not familiar with that book. I'm already WAY behind on some planned reading, so probably won't add it to my list in the near future.
Jason Erickson, NCTMB, ACE-CPT, AIS-TA
Massage Therapist, Personal Trainer
http://www.CSTMinnesota.com

Internet forums are like going to the zoo; if you get enough monkeys together, sooner or later someone will start throwing their poo.
User avatar
JasonE
Moderator-S.S.S
 
Posts: 2247
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2007 9:12 pm
Location: Burnsville, MN


Return to Self Care and Body Mechanics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest