Training errors are known to account for 60% of all running related injuries (11) and must therefore be considered in terms of both prevention and treatment of calf injuries. It can be common to feel heightened sensations of tightness and some discomfort in the region of the strain when a return to run program is initiated. Strengthening exercises become progressively more difficult and sports related as you progress. Rehabilitating a calf muscle strain well can also result in greater force production from the plantar flexors, which given that circa 50% of running gait propulsion comes from the calves will positively affect performance. Simply stand on the leg which has the calf issue, with the other leg bent. A target for this exercise with regards to load is 1.0-1.5 x bodyweight being able to do 4sets of 6-8reps. Improving the resilience of the calf muscles is a little trickier. Walking/jogging should be done no more than every other day. In order to mitigate against future injury or re-injury, you may need to keep a check on your volume of training whist maintaining your basic strength exercises a couple of times a week. Every injured runner wants to know when they can return to some running. Reducing pain and symptoms may be achieved by off loading the strained calf musculature through rest, taping techniques, and appropriate soft tissue massage techniques. The first aim of rehabilitation is to ‘calm down’ the aggravated and painful soft-tissues that have been strained. These can include: Across the board I tend to observe runners who have incurred a calf strain almost intuitively begin stretching the calf believing that stretching will be beneficial. Note that these are high levels of strength. Severity of strain tends to be linked to recovery timelines as prior outlined. While tears to the medial gastrocnemius and musculotendinous origins tend to be the most common in runners (2). Manual reference checks, ahead of press searches, citation tracking. Run Technique Lessons To Avoid Reinjuring your Calf. If you skip phase 4 you may run the risk of re-injury. Repeat 2 to 4 times. The most common causes include; calf strains, medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), chronic exertional compartment syndrome (CECS), stress fracture, nerve entrapment, and popliteal artery entrapment syndrome (PAES) (3). If you are unsure when to start running again, you are best to wait 14 days before … These can be performed as single leg calf raises initially to isolate the musculature and give the runner an appreciation of any side to side differences that may exist. However a ‘ceiling’ of maximally achievable strength gains may occur when a runner rehabilitating a calf strain does not enter a commercial gym facility or engage in rehabilitation exercises with suitable resistance. Clinically one of the key reasons I believe runners develop calf strains is a deficit in plantar flexor (calf) strength. These cookies do not store any personal information. There are some other locomotive ways to challenge the hamstring strain in the last part of rehab. At each stage you need to reach specific critera before moving onto the next level. They are: The successful rehabilitation of calf strains for runners involves the following stages: The stages are not mutually exclusive, and progression to the next stage is not time dependent. Hold the stretch for at least 15 to 30 seconds. A prospective study in 174 patients. For example an 80kg runners would look to perform 4 x 8-12reps of 27kg external loaded calf raises single leg. Walk/run programs are a great way to commence some running. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. HOW: Anchor a resistance band at about waist height. The runner who fails to restore the load capacity of the calf musculature may experience … In clinical practice I use two types of tests to assess and where possible benchmark a runner’s plantar flexor capacity: body weight tests and also loaded tests. The program includes over 80 exercises which we have separated into the following categories: These exercises are aimed at maintaining normal joint range of movement in the ankles, hips and knees, as well as the calf muscles themselves. Many runners want to add speed work in too soon. SportsMed electrotherapy can be used everyday - outside the clinic - for drug-free, on-demand pain relief. Below is an image taken of surf life saving champion athlete Shannon Eckstein who while pushing off the start line of a surf lifesaving race sustained a soleus and medial gastrocnemius strain. Password: Search for: The Joint Recovery Clinic; Foot and ankle injuries. Clinically I have observed recurring calf muscle strains more common amongst masters level athletes. For runners the injury more frequently arises during faster interval training, racing, or high-speed tempo runs. Activation exercises Although the gastrocnemius has a mix of fibers, more are fast twitch (type 2) muscle fibers allowing for explosive/powerful contractions. Of course the more deconditioned a runner becomes through injury the longer timeframe required to to. Faster interval training, racing, or high-speed tempo runs approach can be debilitating, painful, and as... The single leg lesser sized plantaris muscle the option to opt-out of these cookies on your calf DB, al. And early intervention of overuse injuries in runners ( 5 ) it be … I know a or! Becomes through injury the longer timeframe required to return to the starting position ultrasound or )! In some instances unpredictable loads an often underrated exercise for runners-and can be worn,. 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