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Jeremy Shepard
06-21-2009, 07:43 PM
Does anyone else have persistent pain in the calf muscles from weightlifting and squatting?

Ever since I swapped over to high-bar squatting and weightlifting full-time, I have been dealing with calf pain. I'm assuming this is from my hamstrings slamming into them repeatedly over the course of any given workout. I've been visiting a soft tissue therapist for months for this. But, it doesn't help since the next workout will just cause them to knot up and hurt again. If I sit in the squat position for any period of time, standing up is more difficult than it should be because of the pain. I put up with it, but I'd rather not if I can find a way to correct it. I've even thought about getting some different height shoes to see if anything changes.

Any ideas on how to fix this?

Steven Low
06-21-2009, 07:49 PM
PNF stretching + heat + self massage + foam rolling

Gotta hit them up multiple times a day + cut back on your lifting til they improve

Garrett Smith
06-22-2009, 07:01 AM
Where in the calf region is the pain? If it is towards the midline, around where the calf meets the achilles tendon, you could have a tear.

I don't think you could "slam" your hamstrings hard enough to cause calf pain, but if you are, that isn't correct.

I've torn both calves. The only way it got better was to avoid all stretching for a good while (otherwise you keep microtearing the same injury). If all the stretching/squatting isn't helping, you might need to back off of those for a while. Once I did this, it got 75% better within a couple days.

Steven Low
06-22-2009, 09:16 AM
Good catch Garrett.. certainly possible

Garrett Smith
06-22-2009, 09:33 AM
I suffered for two weeks until another triathlon coach suggested he thought it was a tear and I should stop stretching. Afterwards, it became a "duh" moment.

Lower leg injuries are not very easy to research. Between my calf tears (my dad had them too) and my high ankle sprain, I've become well-versed in injuries below the knee by necessity.

Jeremy Shepard
06-22-2009, 10:45 AM
Thanks a lot, guys. I really don't like the idea of a tear, as we're finishing up our last squat cycle of the year, then have competitions the next couple of months. I will try to rest the legs as much as possible when not training and give them some extra attention during recovery work.

The pain seems fairly deep, with most of the pain toward the mid-top half (around most of the meat of the calf). The pain seems to get a little sharper toward the outside of the leg. When it first began happening, I thought it was some sort of bone bruising going on. Why I thought that, I'm not sure, other than it felt tender like a bruise but there are no outward signs on the skin.

Garrett Smith
06-22-2009, 02:39 PM
If it is bilateral and started at the same time, likelihood is it is not a tear. Outside of the calf also supports this.

I'm guessing it's something to do with your soleus origin, since bent-knee calf-stretched positions are what you're saying aggravates it, the "depth" would also seem to point towards this. Have you had issues with your calf flexibility in the full squat position?

Try poking around this website, see if you can find anything familiar... http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/cybertherapist/lowerleg_ankle_injuries.php

Jeremy Shepard
06-22-2009, 03:58 PM
Thanks Garrett, I'll check it out.

I've had no issues with calf flexibility that I'm aware of, but I'll be more mindful over the next week or so.