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nanny-rosy
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Author Topic: calf injury-Active Release Technique?  (Read 4728 times)
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qcassidy352
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« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2010, 04:14:35 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!

Good for you, withdrawing.  I'd advise forgetting about the one in 3 weeks, too.  I think you should never have performance goals at the same time you're treating an injury.  The former is going to make you rush the latter.

I had this issue in my hamstring/hip about a year ago, which is how I know about ART.  I initially thought it was a pulled muscle, so I didn't start ART for a while, and I didn't understand why it wasn't getting better.  Once I did start ART, I went 2x a week for a couple of weeks, then once a week for a couple of months, then a few more times over the next couple of months.  It was 5 months total until I was deemed "healed," BUT I was running way before the end of that time.  I think I was only completely out of action for a couple of weeks.
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« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2010, 04:14:35 PM »

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taylordmd
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« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2010, 04:59:10 PM »

good to know, qcassidy.  I've been wondering how long this could drag on. I asked today at my treatment and he said it can be 6-8 weeks for soft tissue injuries to recover, but he's seen people heal a lot quicker too so it's hard to say.  At this point if I do run the half in 3 weeks my goal would simply be to finish, even if I end up walking a fair bit.  It would still be fun to participate as my hubby, sis, and bro-in-law are all signed up too. 

I did a bit of an experiment last night, I put on my normal running shoes for the first time since May 9.  I didn't know if I'd be able to run in them with a forefoot strike, but I was able to!  I only did 2 blocks, to the mailbox and back, as I didn't want to push it, but it felt pretty good!  So, I'm thinking I'll go back to normal shoes until I'm better and then work back into the VFF's.  Part of my reasoning for this is that when I tried to run on Tuesday my calf felt perfect until I started up a hill, so I think the little bit more extension of my calf muscle might be what's irritating it. Therefore, by having a heel on my shoes I think it will protect it until it's stronger.  Does this make sense, or is it wishful thinking?

The chiro gave me some strengthening exercises to do this time, besides just doing the ART, and he was surprised that I was able to do some of them with no pain.  That gave me hope that maybe I am healing? I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much, but just going to play it by ear and try to follow instructions for healing as best I can.
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qcassidy352
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« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2010, 05:51:10 PM »

I think recovery was longer than it should have been because I tried to push through it at first (a common theme with me  Roll Eyes).  Also, by the end of that "5 months," I was just going in every 2-3 weeks, so I was definitely able to run pretty normally well before that.  I'll check my log tonight and see how long I was really "out."

"Does this make sense, or is it wishful thinking?"
It makes perfect sense.  With an injury of this kind (I'm assuming, since you're at ART, that what you have is a nerve trapped in or stuck to scar tissue), extending the muscle is a predictable trigger for pain.  Given where my injury was, driving (leg flexed for a long time) and downhill running made it worse; for you, it makes total sense that uphill would be worse.  So yes, I think shoes with a heel would probably reduce the amount your calf flexes and be a good idea for now.

It sounds to me that your injury is not that terrible.  The fact that you were able to go 3k without pain the other day is a good sign.  When I had a badly trapped nerve, I couldn't run at all without pain.

Also, the "good" thing about this injury is that you don't have to take time totally off until you're healed.  If you can run 3k pain-free, you're not setting yourself back by running 3k.  (compare with a stress fracture, where any running before the bone is totally healed will set you back considerably, even if it doesn't hurt at the time.)  So as I ran as I continued with the ART - at first I could only go 1/2 or 1 mile without pain, but it increased as I kept going to ART.  (Obviously, if your doctor disagrees with this, go with him!)
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kdub
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« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2010, 09:14:57 PM »

The same thing happened to me, except I had bought a pair of Terra Plana Evos last week and tried running in them after running in my Bakila's exclusively since June. My first run in the Evos was just a quick 5k. Then, I ran a 10k three days later and had to walk the last km due to severe calf pain in my right calf. My calf was ballooning up, so I thought that I was running to much on the front of my feet in the Evos. Today I tried running again and could only run about 2k before my calf seized up again. It is weird, because I haven't had any calf pain since the first week when I transition to the VFFs in early June. I was just about to sign up for a half marathon in a month too. I got the Evos, cause my VFFs were too tight in the toes and it would really start to hurt when running further than 10 miles. I guess I need to transition slowly from VFFs to Evos.
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« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2010, 09:14:57 PM »

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Booch
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« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2010, 10:19:08 PM »

very similar to ART is Graston technique.  it uses many of the same protocols and methods but the doc uses different shaped instruments instead of their hands.  its often much more comfortable for both patient and doctor.  you can find providers at www.grastontechnique.com  kineseo tape is another option at add along with either therapy.  i personally do graston and find that it works wonders on soft tissue injuries, especially plantar fascitis, hamstring strains, etc. 
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taylordmd
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« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2010, 12:21:00 PM »

Actually, booch, my chiro did graston too at the first 2 visits, and it was incredibly more painful and what I believe caused the majority of the bruising I experienced!  Although I'm sure people would have slightly different techniques, what I experienced wasn't helpful!

kdub, look up "scar tissue in calf muscle" and see if that sounds like what you're experiencing, it should take you to an ART site and you can see if it would help you.

qcassidy, I like your advice, but yeah, don't want to "push through it" if it's going to prolong healing that far! I thought I'd try to do some cross training and dust off my bike, but it's been raining for days, so not yet. 

I'm still holding a thread of hope for the Flatlander race in 3 weeks, but, again, trying not to get my hopes up too much or have too much expectation.
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« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2010, 05:30:11 PM »

I found that compression tights or sleeves help greatly. I use Zoots compressrx active tights while running and they are amazing. I also sleep in the zoot compressrx recovery tight on days that I run and they help reduce soreness and recovery time. They are pricey but do what they say and have the highest compression rating without a prescription. Also, they are avaulable on zappos so you can get them shipped overnight for free and if they don't fit return shipping is free too.
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taylordmd
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« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2010, 06:04:30 PM »

Do they ship free overnight to Canada too? I doubt it Sad
I just got some zensah sleeves in the mail though, so we'll see how those work.  My half is on Saturday...6 days! 
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taylordmd
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« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2010, 10:06:02 PM »

I did it!!! Ran my first half marathon, and in bikilas!  My time was 2:19, which I'm happy enough with.  Originally I wanted to do under 2:15, but after taking 4 weeks off pretty much I was hoping for 2:30, or really just to be able to finish.  The last 5k was pretty hard, especially because of a wicked headwind, but I did it.  My calf actually feels fine, it's my hips that feel like I ran too far!  Now I'm planning to take some time off and then build back up slowly over the winter to do another half at the end of May, and see what I can do when I'm actually prepared!
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« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2010, 11:46:15 PM »

Congrats on finishing.  Grin
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« Reply #25 on: October 03, 2010, 06:06:32 AM »

Congratulations Taylor!!!! So happy that your calf co-operated with the rest of your body. Wonderful accomplishment in the face of the last month's recovery. I love that you've already set a spring goal, nice for motivation during the cold winter!

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« Reply #26 on: October 30, 2010, 07:00:58 AM »

Happily reporting pain free 4 mile trail run in my Treks. Calf is feeling great. Going back for possibly last ART Monday. Interesting that I developed a little knee discomfort a few weeks ago and attributed it to the arthritis I have in that knee. My chiro thinks it is my hamstring, not the knee joint. That makes me very happy ;

NoŽl
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taylordmd
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« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2010, 06:18:36 PM »

That's great, Noel!  I haven't run a whole lot since the half, but what running I've done has been pain free as well! Yay for ART!  Smiley
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