I've been rehabbing my calf. It's going pretty well.
Here's the deal. All season long I've felt a twinge in my calf. Only once during the season did it force me to stop a run. So I didn't really think it was that big of deal. That changed after the Denver 1/2 Marathon.
I was throwing a football around in the park with a friend and when I was running, I definitely felt the twinge. The problem is, it forced me to come up limping. I iced it and we tried running again the next day, but I made it about 10 feet before I felt pain. Ok, I decided, this wasn't going to work.
I rested it and iced it and elevated it, but nothing seemed to improve it. I still felt that twinge. Finally, we decided enough was enough. With T recovering from back pain and my calf still bothering me, we made an appointment at Cherry Creek Spine and Sport to have someone take a look at us. This clinic specializes in Active Release Therapy, or ART. Our friend Steve in a Speedo has undergone this, and it comes very highly recommended.
I met with the doctor who told me this was a common injury among runners and I would recover quickly. Telling me that I had significant scar tissue built up from 4 years of running, maybe improperly, maybe just the way I run, he explained to me the calf muscle. He showed me that towards the bottom of the calf, the two muscles come together and unfortunately, blood flow becomes limited. (I forgot the terms. Dr. J can perhaps help?) Furthermore, because of this area the injury is in, it can affect your hamstrings, hips, and your Achilles. I guess it shows that everything in your body is truly connected.
After some vigorous work that had me groaning in pain (I broke the rule of a massage...don't groan) he showed me some stretches that would help me heal faster. He said the scar tissue had to be broken down and once he broke it down, I could run to keep it loose and stretch it to keep the scar tissue from forming. Sure enough, the day after he broke it down, I was able to run a mile. It was only a mile, and it was slow, and there was some pain, but it wasn't so bad that I didn't have to stop.
I have been consistent with the stretching and my calf, dare I say, is on the way to recovery! I am going in to see him again tomorrow and we'll see where we're at. I hope to be running more seriously very soon.