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.