Monday, June 17, 2013

The answer to my calf injury and continued strain?

It's been a week of confusing symptoms. I have been reluctant to blog, because I knew I would be a whiny, sullen, and insufferable poster. 

Before and after my bike ride on Sunday the 9th, I was still having calf pain with stairs and walking. If you recall, I blew my calf out again on the 6th, my second day returning to running. Biking was painfree, however. Go figure. Non-weight bearing cross training has it's advantages. 

On Monday the 10th, I saw the doc again, and told him what happened. He treated me again. It was excruciating. We were both pretty bummed. He agreed with my plan to hold off running until July, and continue to bike. The following day, the right calf was feeling a tad bit better. I was climbing stairs in a senior living facility to go visit patients. I had developed a very small spasm in my LEFT calf now. Needless to say, I was a bit concerned. This had NEVER happened to me before. Again, thoughts of neurological diseases started rearing their ugly heads in my imagination. I got to the 3rd floor and massaged and stretched it before heading to my patient's room. After the visit, I pretty much had forgotten about it, because it was gone.  Later on, when I got home, I found that while I still had pain in my RIGHT calf, (the one with the supposed tears) if I stood up very straight and maintained correct posture while I walked, the pain would virtually disappear. I could even walk down stairs with less pain if I maintained a straighter back and held in my abdominals. How curious. 
The morning before my Dr's visit the following day, I was having trouble just sitting at my computer for longer than 3 minutes. My legs would start to feel heavy and constricted. I found myself rubbing the tops of my thighs without even thinking about it, almost like I was loosing circulation without the numbness or tingling. That's really the best way I can describe it. I needed to get up and walk around. After 3 attempts of trying to read my email, I became desperate, and thought it might be coming from my spine. I got down on the floor with my legs out in front of me, and I was horrified to find that I could not bend forward at the waist! I'm normally very flexible, and this has never been a problem for me. I milked the stretch for as long as I could before I needed to get back to getting ready for work. I would say I was there for about 12 minutes or so. By the time I was finished, I was almost as flexible as usual.
I got up off the floor very gently, as I really felt my lower back had become unstable in some way. When I stood up to go down the stairs, I felt a tremendous warmth in both legs. I felt 2 inches taller. I was able to walk down the stairs with NO calf pain. I made my way back into the kitchen with no pain. I was able to sit down at the desk and finish my morning routine without the bilateral leg constriction.

I was elated. 
Then I found this:
Lower Limb Strains

I was on cloud nine all day during work. My legs felt light and walking was effortless. The flexibility had returned to my right ankle. Someone even mentioned how much better I was walking. I was still feeling awesome when I went to the Doc - and I told him what I had done. I did not bring the article in with me, which I should have. He palpated, did some active release and Graston. No pain. I asked if he was using the same amount of pressure as he did the previous week when I thought I would die from the treatment. He said he was. He did not think it had anything to do with neural involvement of any kind. Not from the nerve root, not from collateral branches into the fascia to the muscle. He thought the initial injury could have been a spasm,then subsequent tear or micro tears caused by an electrolyte imbalance. He wanted me to add electrolytes to my water. I ordered some. As of today they have yet to arrive, but I will be using them on my runs, perhaps even as a daily supplement.

I have not had any calf pain with activity or palpation (?collateral branch entrapment causing a low level resting spasm?) since right after I stretched on Wednesday morning, the 12th.

I have been stretching at least once a day on the floor. 


 after a few minutes


On Saturday my legs felt cold, and my right calf felt tight, but not painful. I stretched, and I felt better. I went to a yoga class, and felt fine afterwards. I biked Sunday morning for 28 miles. No calf pain (as usual with riding). I went in for my final visit with him today. Again, treatment, and NO pain. He feels like I should start running again before July.  This weekend, on a track. 10 min run, walk 2 min for a total of 30 mins. I asked, "How about 5 min run, 2 min walk for a total of 30?" He agreed. He is going on vacation on the 27th into the first week of July, and he wanted me to try to run this weekend, so in case I continue to have a problem, he could see me before he leaves. I was more than happy to agree. The training is going to be a little more conservative then last time, however. I'm off on Monday, so I'll get another run in on that day.

Ah.. happiness ensues.
I sure hope this is the end of it.

Bike Ride from Sunday:

Magellan Data
Runmeter Data

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