Punched in the calf? - KickRunners.com
 
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#1 of 12 Old 12-06-2007, 08:24 AM - Thead Starter
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Every couple of weeks (or less) I seem to be waking up feeling as if I've literally been punched in the left calf. It isn't visibly bruised, but is super tender to the touch (OUCH!) and sore to walk on. It fades after a few days, and then will be fine, and then out of the blue it comes back. Like I've strained it, only I'm not doing anything (that I can think of) that would do that. I haven't been running or doing any other exercise (but walking to and from work) at the moment. No new shoes.

Could it be nutrition? I think I'm hydrating fine. I am also taking those Emergen-C supplements, so my vitamins should be fine.

It is just so weird. If it were just a mild ache I'd let it go. But it is painful, like I've been kicked/punched.
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#2 of 12 Old 12-06-2007, 08:28 AM
 
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Cramping maybe? That sounds somewhat like the way it can feel if a person gets a cramp in a leg at night, the cramp can bad enough to cause feelings of residual discomfort too.
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#3 of 12 Old 12-06-2007, 08:32 AM - Thead Starter
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Well, it could be cramping while I sleep and this is residual pain from it. But I'd figure I would wake up during the actual cramp.
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#4 of 12 Old 12-06-2007, 11:17 AM
 
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It seems likely that if you got a leg cramp, you'd probably wake up, although it may be dependent on how heavy a sleeper you are, along with how acute the cramp might be.

I tend to be prone to cramping which is annoying, but it also seems like I have a bit of tolerance to the pain -- I will feel the muscle spasm but it's not always extremely painful and knowing I can sleep if very tired, I could see me possibly sleeping through a less severe one. But I lack any actual observational data of such an incident and that must be considered speculative at best.

Still, it's a good idea to make sure your diet is getting sufficient potassium, calcium, and magnesium. But that's generally applicable anyhow and doesn't support the proposed hypothetical of it being caused by some cramping while you sleep.

I suppose another potential consideration may be restless legs or periodic limb movements. Have you had bed partners ever observe that you tend to jerk about or move a lot while sleeping?
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#5 of 12 Old 12-06-2007, 01:08 PM - Thead Starter
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I'll work on the vitamins. Can't hurt.

I am a very quiet/still sleeper...moving little, breathing little. My partners are always astounded by this. I was probably some small, hunted animal in a former life and this is an adaptive trait.
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#6 of 12 Old 12-06-2007, 03:54 PM
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I was having cramping issues in my calves for a long while and I kept straining my muscles during them and having pain for days afterward. The magical cure was magnesium supplements.
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#7 of 12 Old 12-08-2007, 11:15 AM
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dude!

I'm a light sleeper. To this day, I believe that I tore (micro) my calf during my sleep back in April. If you wake up with your calf cramping try to massage it out, or let it contract, do NOT try to stretch out of it. After my tear, I still cramped for months. Two days of magnesium supplements and they stopped. I had alway knew about potassium and calcium, wish I had known about magnesium sooner.

Your residual pain might be some microtears. Let them heal. I rested 3 days and (which is usually enough for small tears) then ran..and ripped the muscle.
Bruising was never visible because it was the inner calf muscle (soleus). If you do calf raises on stairs, if it hurts to drop your foot, you have a soleus strain, if you can't go tiptoe, it's your gastroc.
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#8 of 12 Old 03-26-2008, 12:44 PM
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Help me out here!!! Back in January, after battling the flu, I went out for a run and got a major cramp, felt like a heart attack in my calf. I rested, iced, elevated and didn't run for 6 weeks. I'm back to running by the beginning of March - doing great then all of a sudden, I get the cramping again in same muscle on about my 3rd run. I was thinking the hydration thing since I had been sick when originally injuring it. I always make sure to hydrate properly. I've done some cross training in between...anyway... So I had an ultrasound done on the muscle last week - no tears showing. Yay! Two weeks ago today was the last time I ran...I was working out and doing a little cardio at the gym this morning and got that old familiar feeling back again. I can do toe raises, all that w/o what I would call PAIN really, but tenderness. What to do? I've got some new shoes coming. Would the magnesium help? I'm going to try that. Any other ideas????? Gosh, I've rambled...thanks for getting to this point in the post! Oh...and I've heard conflicting opinions about stretching. Any stretches to do before running?
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#9 of 12 Old 03-27-2008, 09:43 AM
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I'm glad RunMamaRun revived this thread because since I've increased my mileage recently, my calves have been crampy. My first instinct is to stretch them out while they're cramping. I guess that isn't the best course of action. Yikes.

Thanks for the thread!
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#10 of 12 Old 03-27-2008, 02:26 PM
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Magnesium will help, take it at night. But if you take allergy medicine, read the label, because some interact with Mg. Also, another good thing to try is Hylands Homeopathic Leg Cramp Remedy. Most of the local drug stores carry it in the pain reliever aisle.


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#11 of 12 Old 03-27-2008, 03:49 PM
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Runners in general have incredibly tight calves with multiple adhesions (or knots) throughout. Foam rolling the calves or getting massage for them is absolutely a necessary part of healthy training, as well as stretching. Muscle tightness causes all sorts of issues...
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#12 of 12 Old 03-27-2008, 06:46 PM
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Oh, okay. I never understood what adhesions were. I could tell they were bad, but didn't know they were knots.

Muscles are amazing buggers.
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