Home > Case Studies > Rushing Back Too Quickly After a Calf Strain: A Case Study

Rushing Back Too Quickly After a Calf Strain: A Case Study

By: Mike Kiely BA (hons) - Updated: 10 Mar 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Pain Lower Leg Overuse Calf Strain Tear

“I remember distinctly when it happened: about 10 minutes into my normal route and it felt like someone had stuck a knife into the back of my lower leg. Initially I thought I had landed awkwardly on the pavement and continued, hoping to run it off but the pain didn’t go away. Being pig-headed, I limped around the rest of the two mile route.”

What Paul suffered was a classic ‘overuse’ injury known as a calf strain. In reality, this strain involves a tear in the muscles at the back of the leg that help efficient movement downwards at the Achilles tendon and upwards towards the knee joint.

Incidences of such calf injury vary in terms of severity, however commonsense should tell anyone that rest and recuperation are the bare minimum requirements for getting on the road to recovery. However, Paul let his over-eagerness to be back on the road get the better of him and less than a week later, following some stretching during which he says he felt nothing, he went out again.

“The first half-mile, I felt nothing. But it wasn’t too long after that that the pain I felt the previous week began to progressively come back in the same spot. It wasn’t that I didn’t know I had an injury, it was just that I didn’t think it would take very long to heal”.

Recovery period

Paul sensibly decided to give himself a longer recovery period but about a week and a half later, still having not restarted his running, the injury manifested itself in seemingly the most innocuous of surroundings. “I was at the supermarket checkout and realised I’d forgotten to pick up some mineral water. There was a queue so I dashed down one aisle, turned right to go up another and that’s when I felt what was like a tearing sensation in my calf.”

Unwisely Paul did not seek the advice of a physiotherapist but instead stopped thinking about running for two months, instead using an exercise bike and then his own road cycle to keep fit without putting too much strain on the calf.

Recurrence of the injury

It was three months later that he finally went back to running, and one year on has not suffered a recurrence of the injury. That may in part be down to the fact that his exercise regime is no longer centred around running but also takes in cycling and swimming.

The aid of a physiotherapist would have speeded up his recovery from the injury and been very useful in terms of identifying preventive measures. Paul, however, feels he has achieved the latter himself but holds his hands up in terms of realising the injury was the result of not seeking advice on his initial fitness programme.

“In hindsight, I shouldn’t have been running so much. That’s why the injury happened, I feel. And I certainly shouldn’t have pushed my luck by running again so soon after the initial problem. The big lesson I’ve learned is to train more sensibly and build more rest periods into my programme, to allow my body time to repair itself and recover. It’s so frustrating being injured, to not be able to slip on my shoes and go for a run. That is something I think about when I am tempted to add an extra run into my weekly schedule.”

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Jackie
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    I would really like to get fit and am interested in joining the running club. I live in Swansea area and am a beginner . Please…
    18 November 2017
  • Kitkat
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Hi I'm looking to join a club in the bassaleg or newport or cardiff east side area...ive previously (make that 3 years ago!!) Done…
    1 November 2017
  • Scooby
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Looking for a beginner running club for adults in jarrow
    15 October 2017
  • Karen
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Hi I'm looking for meet up with anyone in the Alfreton area of Derbyshire. I want to be able to run with other women in the…
    8 September 2017
  • EmmsB
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Hi, I'm looking for a ladies only running club for fun with the possibility of working towards a race or 2 in the Daventry,…
    20 August 2017
  • Tracey
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Looking for beginner running club in exeter
    30 July 2017
  • Bev
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Hi . Looking for a beginners group in Swansea on a Wednesday. This is for two ..
    5 July 2017
  • Sandra
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    I live in Thornhill in Cardiff and wonder if any of your groups meet in Cardiff or Caerphilly which is next town to me. Thankyou
    5 July 2017
  • I don't have one
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    I would like to find out more about joining a women's running clun/net9work for company and to motivate me to run more.
    11 June 2017
  • tina arthur
    Re: Joining a Running Club
    Hi Sue, I live in neath and I know it is a way from Swansea but I have set up my own running groups, one is couch to 5k which I undertake…
    17 April 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the RunningForFun website. Please read our Disclaimer.