Silly Soleus Strain

I strained my soleus doing eccentric heel drops. I contintued to run and stretch the tight muscle, turning a level 1 strain into a level 2 strain. Now, I’m battling muscle spasms,  a deep ache, worst of all I have to ride a bike to get some amount of cardio. No barefoot running for a few weeks.

I took the wrong approach. I’m training for 30 mile run, but during my training  the deep innards of my calves were sore and my Achilles was barking. I decided to stick with my mileage and ignore the aches. That was a mistake.

I’m treating the strained soleus with MICE (Movement, Ice, Compression, Elevation) instead of RICE. I am not stressing the muscles, but I am using them until they start to ache. Then I rest and recover and use them again until the onset of the ache, then I rest and recover. And by movement I mean walking on the treadmill or around a stroll around the block. I’m also walking up hills BACKWARDS. That’s a great trick for sore Achilles too. When you run or walk backwards up inclines, you dramatically decrease the load placed on your Achilles and Calf and dramatically increase your ability to trip–in fact, everyone who sees you walking or running backwards and barefoot will think you are “trippin”.

From what I’ve read, the movement increases blood flow to the damaged muscle and keeps it working, preventing atrophy from disuse. The trick is NOT to overdo it; otherwise I’d just be resetting the injury and building a bunch of scar tissue which would lead to further issues.
I’m also adding some massage with tennis balls. The tennis balls or other hard, curved objects break up the scar tissue.  Some people use broom sticks, rolling pins, and of course the stick. The Stick is a total gimmick, a rolling pin does the same thing AND you can use it to ward off reptilian humanoids.

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5 Replies to “Silly Soleus Strain”

  1. the same thing happened to me a week ago. I had a mild strain, but i kept pushing until now a week later my calf still sore. I probably did go from a grade 1 to a 2 and Im freaking out because I am supposed to be running my first marathon in 2 weeks. There is no way I can run 15 steps right now. It is so hard to be patient.

    I can totally relate to your story I was running 35- 45 miles per week and my left calf was getting so sore but I ignored it and all I was concerned with was my running schedule and putting on the miles, and then one day I was running 5 miles at a low 7 minute pace and my calf said I cant run any more and half a mile from finishing my 5 miler I was stopped dead on my tracks by this strong pain on my calf. I get so mad at myself sometimes for not listening to my body and taking the time off when my body was asking for it.

    I thought about buying some compression socks for my calf. I dont know if the really work or not? but I am willing to try anything.


  2. Thanks for posting on this. I injured my calf a few MONTHS back and went to see a well-meaning but misinformed PT who advised me to continue running…in fact, she told to “run right though the pain.” Here I am, haven’t been able to run more than about a block in almost two months…feels like someone is stabbing me in the leg.

    Short story, got an MRI yesterday and was told that I ruptured my plantaris tendon. Apparently it’s not a big deal, but between that and the strained soleus, I’m totally out of commission. Here’s hoping that cortisone shots will do the trick…going in tomorrow.

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your injury. I will send you positive healing thoughts. PS, I used a calf sleeve while I recovered. It helped a little.

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