Stretching & Flexibility/Calf Muscle Injury


Dear Daniel,

I am a 40 y/o active male.  I was playing tennis (which I do very regularly) and after suddenly changing direction my calf muscle felt pain.  I don't know if it was a pull, a strain, or what have you.  I was able to complete my match.  I couldn't run as well and it hurts a bit to walk on.  It never felt worse nor better during the rest of the match and hours later at home.  7 hours later I got on the treadmill.  I'm able to run but it hurts more when I run.  I can't feel it all when sitting down, but I can when I move the muscle or walk.  It feels like a giant knot down there.

Based on the above do you have a clue as to what this is?  Is this what a "pulled" muscle might feel like?

Secondly, how do you recommend I treat it?  Massage it out?  Ice?  

I thank you very much for your help!  :)


Hello James,

Thank you for your question. Many injuries especially with people who are active is usually the result of improper programming for activitty, or not doing a proper warm up or muscular imbalances. Without  doing a postural assessment we don't have too many clues but i do recommend you get that checked out with a physician.

In an injury situation such as a strain the RICE principle is used. We rest the affected area, and apply ice to the area to reduce inflammation 15-20 min to about 2 -3 times a day, compression (light of the area with the ice and last elevate it to reduce blood flow. This helps in the healing process.
As a trainer i am not allowed to diagnose but i try to find clues of what might cause an injury to happen and then apply the best physical activity method to fix the problem. This always starts with the physicians direction.

If you find running is aggravating the injury, try switching to biking to keep to keep your cardio endurance up in the mean time. Running  on a treadmill is lower impact then outside but if its hurting on the treadmill as you mentioned then try doing something different. Running is weight bearing and more intense then biking. If not biking try finding a mode of cardio exercise that isnt weight bearing. I would avoid anything high impact and high intensity. We want to lock down tbe cause of injury and correct it so you can come back at full gear.

hope this helps. Let me know of your progress

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