Second Wind

Second Wind
"Run With Purpose!"

Friday, October 5, 2012

Calf strains, pulls, cramps, and tears, oh my!

Calf strains are common ailment in running (especially in speed work).  After receiving several questions on various pulls, cramps, partial tears as of late, here's some good pointers on dealing with rehab during these times.

Think back to ICE therapy:  Ice Compression Elevate.  Use those 3 and add in something with Aspirin in it (Aleve, Ibuprofen, etc - but Not Tylenol) for an anti-inflammatory.  Something to remember on the Elevate part is that the body part doesn't just need to be elevated, it needs to be elevated above your heart.  So, if it's your knee, for instance, put a pillow underneath your leg and lay flat on your back.  If it's an ankle, calf, or foot prop your foot up on the arm of your couch and lay flat on your couch -- put some ice on it, turn on the TV, and watch a show (right now 20 minutes of the news will make you forget all about whatever your ailment is anyway as your head will start hurting much worse than whatever you've injured...).  Ice and elevate it for 20 minutes, no more.
Frequency wise, it depends on the injury (and your schedule).  Try to do at least once or twice a day and no more than once every 2-3 hours.

Compression:  since we're looking at calves for this particular example, look into a pair of compression calf sleeves or compression socks (same thing - one just literally is a sock and the other a sleeve that you wear with your own socks).  The compression can help a lot.  While injured, you can wear them around the house to assist in healing, they're also really good to sleep in (not to mention the sex appeal of sleeping in a nice pair of black leg warmers!).  On the exercise front, they can be worn during exercise and/or after to increase blood flow and reduce DOMS.

Also, if you are cramping pay attention to your hydration, potassium, and sodium - you may be lacking in 1 or all!

For those compression sleeves/socks, check out Zensah, CEP, RecoFit, or Sugoi.
For 15% off CEP use coupon code blog15
For 15% off RecoFit use coupon code CCTC

For some good information on rehab (stretches, what to do when, etc.) check out

out For excellent videos (4 min a piece) on everything to do with what's going on in that muscle, how to rehab it, what to do, why, etc.  Check these out:

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