Calf pops when running or going up stairs

Discussion in 'Ask the Docs' started by curraheeeasyc, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. curraheeeasyc

    curraheeeasyc
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    Last summer/fall I trained for a 50k, and towards the peak of training, I would get slight popping sensation behind the left knee when going uphill/stairs, when my left leg was the leg lifting me. After the race I took it easy for a bit with low mileage and it seemed to go away. Recently, when running up a hill in the first 1/2 mile of my run, I felt some popping, but I kept running since I was used it, even though it hadn't been an issue. However, afterwards my calf was sore. I've kept the running to a minimum in the 2 weeks since, but now when I run, particularly on gravel or uneven surface (and especially up hill) my calf has a noticeable and uncomfortable (but not painful) popping with each left step. I also feel it when standing up and straightening the left leg or walking up stairs. Is this just a calf strain that needs rest? It doesn't pop when walking normally, and there's no pain. What can I do to expedite the healing? Thanks very much for your help!
     
  2. Pes Planus

    Pes Planus
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    Probably best to see a doc ;)

    What do you mean by "pop"? Where exactly?
     
  3. curraheeeasyc

    curraheeeasyc
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    When running, in my upper calf, in the center. It is literally a feeling that something is popping. It isn't really painful, just uncomfortable. When standing or going up stairs, it feels more like it's behind my knee, or maybe at the very top of my calf. It happens with each step in those instances.
     
  4. Pes Planus

    Pes Planus
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    Could be a number of things (cruciate ligaments, meniscus, tendon of the soleus muscle, a cyst, fibula subluxating...). So... this is probs not going to help, but probably better to have a doctor or physio have a look at it. Sorry I can't be of more help :(
     
  5. Backfixer

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    The type of popping you describe is likely a problem in the back of the knee. Typically, if the structures in the back of the knee, namely the popliteus, posterior tibialis, or medial and lateral heads of the gastroc get tight, they can cause the fibular head to move because of the tightness. Another cause could be that the ankle and the structures surrounding it is quite tight. This will cause the hip to lock up and the knee will strain with each step. I see this quite commonly in practice, where part of the kinetic chain does not move properly, causing another area to strain. Many knee injuries are caused by this. This is the most likely cause. I would recommend seeing a chiropractor who knows active release or perhaps instrument assisted soft tissue to evaluate this and do some deep soft tissue work. Be careful not to look at just the knee, but also the foot and the hip on the involved side. A good sports doc will have knowledge of methods such as this and can fully evaluate the kinetic chain (series of joints from the foot, to the knee and to the hip.

    The book, Cheating Mother Nature may also be helpful in understanding this, since it discusses kinetic chains in the third section of the book. I hope that helps.
     
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  6. curraheeeasyc

    curraheeeasyc
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    Wow, I hadn't considered that. Thanks for the info. I've had tight hips too, and it could be that. I'll take a look at the resources you provided, and try to get it solved on my own before I resort to the doc. I get the feeling they'll prescribe rest anyways before proceeding to a sports doc, so I'll try your answer first. Thanks for the thoughtful response!
     
  7. Jonathan Koffler

    Jonathan Koffler
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    Hi Know it's been a while since you posted but I have the exact same thing. Wondering if you ever had any resolution.
     

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