Achilles tendon or calf sprain?

Discussion in 'Health, Nutrition, Injuries & Medical Conditions' started by Plant Based Caveman, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. Plant Based Caveman

    Plant Based Caveman
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    Hello to all,



    Update on me… I have been running barefoot (unshod) for about 6 weeks. I am up to 1 mile now. I started slow (I have a BF friend who is guiding me through this. He has recently run a marathon barefoot), but I am still having some set-backs. I am not blaming my injuries on BFR specifically, I imagine the same thing would have happened if I ran shod. I am not a runner, or at least, I haven’t run in over 20 years. So these just might be growing pains of running in general (I’m 49 yrs old).

    Anyway, the pain is near the bottom of my calf. I was doing my 1 mile BFR run and ¾’s of the way into it I got a cramp in my right calf. I only had a ¼ mile to go so I tried to mentally relax the calf. It seemed to work to some degree. I wasn't racing (it was a 13:10 mile) or pushing hard. There was no great pain or any “pop” – just a cramp sensation. However, after the run, about 15 minutes later after I got out of my car, it hurt in my lower calf every time I took a step. It doesn’t hurt when I raise my foot (toes) up, but rather when I point my foot (toes) down. So it hurts when I push off as I’m walking.

    Does anyone know how to diagnose these things? Is it a cramp pain or a tendon strain? Is there anything I could do to diagnose it myself and what would anyone suggest as far as treatment for either problem?

    Thank you all in advance for any advice you could provide.

    Regards,

    Joe
     

  2. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ
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    If you don't find answers

    If you don't find answers here, please be sure to copy this post to the Ask the Docs forum.
     
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  3. Plant Based Caveman

    Plant Based Caveman
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    Thanks TJ, I posted it over

    Thanks TJ, I posted it over there...
     

  4. jschwab

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    I have no idea. I have

    I have no idea. I have similar and always thought it was calf strain - now discovering that it is a nerve impingement in my back and the pain just radiates into my calf/achilles.
     

  5. Plant Based Caveman

    Plant Based Caveman
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    Thanks for the reply jschwab.

    Thanks for the reply jschwab. I'm having a lot of physical problems right now. The transition to barefoot (running in general, since i'm not a runner) is proving to be challenging. In some ways it is like going on a plant-based diet; there is a period where things get a little worse before they get better - the body has to adjust. I'm hoping that is what is going on...



    Joe
     

  6. NickW

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    Joe I'm sure that is what is

    Joe I'm sure that is what is going on, but make sure you listen to your body. I injured my calf after about 3-4 months and it took 2 months to heal. Part of that was I didn't stop immediately when I started having pain the first time, which is what actually caused the injury. I have had to learn at the slightest bit of pain to start listening to my body, which in turn I think has helped me to get better and healthier faster.
     
  7. Plant Based Caveman

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    Thanks Nick, it's difficult

    Thanks Nick, it's difficult to be patient, but I'll try to work around it for a while until it feels normal. There are other things I could do like McDougalls 100-ups which don't affect the area in question. I could also do sit-ups (core) and some other things... we'll see... thanks,



    Joe
     

  8. NaturalRunningCo.

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    I agree with Nick, listening

    I agree with Nick, listening to your body is key. Try to keep it stretched if you can, and give it some time before returning.

    Best of luck,

    James.
     
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  9. madhu

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    hi Joe i wrote this some time

    hi Joe i wrote this some time about a month ago http://barefootrunners.org/blog-entry/achilles-gos-twang

    thought you should read. i had similar pains in my achillies area when i started running. If you have any pain in this area i suggest you dont go hard in other sports like basketball, soccer e.t.c. even for a casual game. it is posible you could partially tare your achille's.

    All the Best

    Madhu
     
  10. Plant Based Caveman

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    Wow Madhu, what a sad story!

    Wow Madhu, what a sad story! I can't imagine your pain (emotional and physical). You ask legitimate questions. Some say stretch before running, others say never stretch before running. Very frustrating. I tend to think that the forces used when stopping, changing direction, and bursts of power forward/backward/diagonally (basketball), may have to do with your injury. Perhaps running in a straight line at an even and steady pace (BFR) would not have resulted in your injury? So, don't give up yet. Use this time to read books, articles, etc... you will be an expert on everything by the time you are ready to run again.



    It would be helpful to have access to a lengthy and in-depth article by a qualified person about the achilles and it's function and how to avoid injury (stretch - don't stretch).



    James, I am curious, what types of stretches do you do? Have they been successful for you? Have you heard about the "no stretch" advice and how do you balance that with your own decision to stretch?



    Thanks and Regards,



    Joe
     

  11. NickW

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    Hey Caveman, here is an

    Hey Caveman, here is an article by the Sock Doc on here about not stretching. I believe he has other things on his website too about stretching as well. http://barefootrunners.org/forum-topic/stop-stretching-dr-stephen-gangemi-aka-sock-doc
     
  12. Plant Based Caveman

    Plant Based Caveman
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    Interesting view. I

    Interesting view. I don’t know what to think. I think the average sedentary, lethargic, malnourished (as in over-fed but nutrient-deficient) American might need to stretch (I don’t mean this in a derogatory sense; two-thirds of Americans are overweight and one third are obese). I tend to agree that a healthy, active and well-nourished individual probably doesn’t need to stretch.

    I doubt cavemen needed to stretch; “hey Grog, are you going to the Hot Yoga class tonight?”. "Sure Hagar, right after I'm done with my 100-ups" (I sometimes find it difficult to reconcile how pathetic we have become as a human race. I think cavemen would be mortified). I assume that they were active and constantly reaching, bending, walking and moving in general. They also ate a nutrient dense diet of plant-based foods.

    I’m left with the feeling that stretching might be a case of one size may not fit all. I personally benefit from stretching. I sit on the floor and do easy stretches. I don’t stretch to the point of pain. Two years ago I couldn’t forward bend and touch my toes (sitting). Now I can do it easily. As my health gets better my range of motion increases with the encouragement of some light stretching. The average American is probably suffering from some degree of muscle/tendon/ligament atrophy. I believe I was… I’m not disagreeing with the article, I am just one of those who stretching has benefited. Thanks for the link…



    Joe

    P.S. Now I’ll probably blow out both my hamstrings the next time I do seated forward bends :) … But first I got to knock out a set of 100-ups... :)
     

  13. Barefoot TJ

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    Plant Based Caveman

    Well, if you do, just DON'T stretch it! ;-)
     
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  14. NickW

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    I thought you might find that

    I thought you might find that interesting. I'm still not sure what to think myself, but I know for me since I stopped stretching because of my calf injury, muscle injuries seem to have stopped as well. I don't know if I just haven't run enough or hard enough to encounter another injury yet or if it really has something to do with not stretching. I know that I used to be sore and stiff and painful after a run back when I stretched before and after. Now I am rarely sore and my ankles are the only thing that gets stiff on me from running. The stiff ankles is only in the mornings right when I wake up for a few minutes till I loosen up. I really don't know if it's the no stretching or if it's just me getting into better shape. If you find out a good answer please share it because I am very interested to see it.
     
  15. Plant Based Caveman

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    Good one TJ ! Nick, I

    Good one TJ :) !



    Nick, I don't think there is a "one size fits all" answer to this for me. I try to listen to my body first and foremost. When I don't, my body has no problem reminding me who is in the driver's seat :) . But I'll let you know if I learn anything new....



    Joe
     

  16. Barefoot TJ

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    I too found that if I

    I too found that if I stretched before I ran, I felt tight and my legs felt sluggish while I was running. It took several miles for the sluggish muscle feeling to go away, and on some runs, it never did.
     
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  17. Plant Based Caveman

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    Just an update: I am back up

    Just an update: I am back up to 1 mile BF. The strain/sprain is healed. I'm back in the saddle again; feels great... How did I fix the strain/sprain? I let it heal for about 10 days before I ran on it again. Not easy to be patient... Just didn't want anyone to think I was a permanent casualty of BFR :)...
     

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