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Author Topic: calf injury-Active Release Technique?  (Read 4691 times)
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taylordmd
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« on: September 02, 2010, 12:09:57 PM »

So, 2 weeks out from my first half, I was planning to do about 15km (had done 19.5 the week before), and after about 6.5km it felt like somone stabbed me in the outside of my right calf. I stopped and stretched, rubbed it, etc, and when it calmed a little tried to keep running. After about 1km it felt like the pain moved through my calf to the inside.  It's about half way between my ankle and my knee.  I jogged/walked the rest of the way home, then spent the day with my feet up icing or heating my leg.  I rested till Tuesday, when I thought I was feeling ok, and tried a run. I made it less than a mile before my calf seized up again and I walked home.  More rest, more ice...
So a friend who's in chiropractic college recommended to me that I go see someone who does Active Release Technique. He says it's something done at Ironman competitions and that he thinks it would help. I went ahead and made an appointment, as I'm willing to try almost anything at this point to be able to do my half in 10 days, but I"m wondering if any of you have any experience with or knowledge of this technique to know if it will help? I just don't know what to expect.  Also, any other tips that will have me in shape to run again by next weekend?  I'm really disappointed, as I feel like I was so close and now am so far away from being able to run my first half. Sad
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« on: September 02, 2010, 12:09:57 PM »

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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2010, 12:19:27 PM »

I'd ask toastergirl.
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noelbodwell
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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2010, 12:41:57 PM »

I have three running friends who swear by ART. It has helped them recover from injuries much more quickly. I say give it a try! I hear it is pretty uncomfortable while being done, bur yields good results. Good luck. I know how disappointing it is to train for something and then have the rug pulled out from under you. Is there another half marathon within a month of your scheduled one? I dropped out of the Montreal Marathon at mile 20 one year and 3 weeks later had a good run at the Clarence DeMar Marathon. Check the racing schedule in case you need more time to recover.
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taylordmd
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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2010, 12:49:54 PM »

Thanks, and hopefully others still have more to say?
I am actually registered for another half 3 weeks after this first one, and the kicker is, I originally was only scheduled for the second one as the first was sold out, but I got in off the waiting list about 2 weeks ago and so had to pay a higher registration fee and already booked our hotel. So I was so geared up for it, and it's the bigger of the 2 runs with about 2000 people, where the other one only has 400.  It's all I've thought about for 2 weeks now, and to think I may not be able to do it is super frustrating! So I hope this ART works!!!
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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2010, 12:49:54 PM »

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toothmechanic72
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« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2010, 02:11:46 PM »

I've experienced the same stabbing pain in my right calf three times during the last month.  I tried to ice the calf and then add heat.  Nothing would alleviate the nagging soreness in the right calf.  Then I discovered the Zensah calf compression sleeves at the local running store.  I wear them all day and night and have not experienced any more stabbing pains during my runs.
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« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2010, 09:52:37 PM »

Active release is fantastic for any kind of soft tissue injury, assuming you have a good doctor.  It deals a lot with releasing nerves that are trapped in muscle or, more likely, scar tissue.  It worked wonders for a hip injury I had.
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taylordmd
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« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2010, 12:20:31 PM »

Well, I had my first treatment yesterday, and now have a red and purple calf, but possibly a little looser?  It was sure painful, though!  The dr said it's likely that there were adhesions where the separate calf muscles are supposed to slide past each other, so she's loosening it up, and wants me to go for 3 more treatments before the race next week. I have another one scheduled for this afternoon, and then we'll see about next week.

Toothmechanic, I had been wondering about calf compression sleeves. I don't know if anywhere in town here carries them is the problem, as it's definitely too late to get them online before the race. I may have to check into those a little more, though.
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taylordmd
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« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2010, 11:24:02 PM »

Had a second ART treatment, very sore, but now I can walk down stairs without pain. An improvement. I found some compression socks at our running store in town, but the only compression sleeves they had were too big.  Now I'm trying to figure out how to modify the socks to be able to wear them with my VFF's.  I'm also considering looking for some full length compression tights, but not sure how they'd work.  Also, the chiro wants me to not run till at least Tuesday, when I have my next treatment.  I'm supposed to be tapering at this point, but this is a little extreme!
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taylordmd
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« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2010, 04:57:12 PM »

I had a third treatment of active release today, and thankfully it wasn't nearly as painful as the first two.  I have been feeling really good, with no discomfort while walking, even down stairs, or stretching.  I have waited to run until I saw the chiro again today, and he told me I can try it, but if it hurts to stop.  I'm pretty nervous to try now, although really missing running, as I really, really want to run the half on Sunday and if it hurts today then I know I shouldn't bother going.

 I've been doing everything I can think of, heat and ice 3 times a day, omega-3 oil 2 tsp a day, compression sock during the day some and to bed, stretching as often as I can, not running for a whole week, and subjecting myself to 3 ART treatments.  Anything else I should be trying?  I still, or only,  have 4 1/2 days till the race Tongue
I'll let you know how my run this evening goes.
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noelbodwell
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« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2010, 06:07:19 PM »

Keep us posted! Fingers crossed!!! Wink
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taylordmd
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« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2010, 05:17:42 AM »

 Sad
I felt great for 3km tonight, and then the tightness started, and then worsened, so I had to stop and walk home.  I'm very disappointed, as it looks to me like doing a half in 3 days is out of the question.  Is it even possible to do one in 3 weeks though?  I'm thinking I'll have to try run in my old shoes, that haven't been out of the closet since May.  I don't even know if I can still run in normal shoes, but it seems like my muscles just can't handle the stress of the VFF's right now, as much as it pains me to say it.  I thought I was being careful, going slow and all that, but apparently have an overuse injury. I guess I'll never know if I would have the same injury from the same training program in normal shoes, but for now I'm feeling betrayed by my bikilas.
I guess I'll be continuing to go for ART treatments, as I don't know what else to do at this point and I really miss running!
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« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2010, 09:17:53 AM »

i know this is tough and you won't like it but forget about those halfs. what you need right now is rest to get your calf to heal, trying to force a fast recovery so you can struggle through a race is a horrible idea. the half in 3 days is out of the question, you know that. accept it. try to relax and do whatever you think is best for your legs right now. don't go running two days after your walking pain has vanished, it won't be all good yet. relax and forget the half in 3 weeks, if you're lucky you have recovered until then and can give it a go. if you're unlucky you have to pass on that one as well. screwing your leg up even worse just because you feel like you need to do this half now is going to backfire horribly. you will have to start an even longer recovery after you finished the race and it will suck. bad. there is always another half coming around.
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noelbodwell
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« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2010, 03:07:25 PM »

So sorry to see that you aren't recovered enough to do the half marathon. It is so disappointing. You mentioned that you already booked the hotel. If you can't cancel with a full refund, is it interesting place to go? Maybe you could just think of it as a get a way weekend. Keep up with ART and other treatments. Sending healing energy your way...

NoŽl
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taylordmd
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« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2010, 03:48:17 PM »

Well, I officially withdrew from the race this Sunday.  Any ideas on whether I'll be able to run in 3 weeks?  Or do I just put all running on hold for a few months and hope I can pick it up again in the spring?  Anyone gone through this kind of injury who knows how long it takes to heal? (They say there's scar tissue in my calf muscles from overuse)  Stupid leg!
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noelbodwell
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« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2010, 12:54:41 PM »

It must be contagious! My right calf was a bit troublesome Tuesday on a hike. This AM I had to stop after 1 mile on a trail run. It just plain hurts! The pain is deep in the upper 1/3 of the muscle. I'm icing, ibuprofening, stretching, massaging... Looks like I won't be hiking  Mt.Carrigain for the flag raising on the 48 peaks in NH on Saturday, 9/11:'(
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