Why do I get calf pain when running ?

As a Sports Specialist Osteopath I often get asked this question and yes sports massage may help in the short term but the long term underlying problems need addressing.Tight calf muscles tends to be most common amongst relatively new runners. This gives us a few clues already. It can be linked to a number of problems which can affect those new to the sport:

-A lack of flexibility in general
-Fatigued calf muscles
-Inappropriate footwear (we have a Podiatrist in Clinic who can help)
-Wearing high heels daily(shortens the calfs)
-Running too much, too soon(overload)
-Inadequate warm-up / cool-down
-Muscle imbalances elsewhere
-Running form (we perform gait analysis in Clinic

Overloading the calf ….? What’s this?

The first question we often ask in Clinic is what’s changed recently that coincides with your calf problems?

Common causes can be introducing hill or speed work, increasing weekly mileage and increasing training intensity. It’s also very common for people transitioning to barefoot running to have calf pain. Running barefoot often involves landing on the forefoot and this usually loads the calf muscles and achilles tendon more than running in shoes. Another factor is exercise you do in addition to running – if you’ve started to introduce gym sessions and running on the same day, or the following day, the calf may already be somewhat fatigued before you start.

There is a cumulative effect to exercise that can be quite subtle. If you run regularly you might be quite accustomed to running on heavy tired legs. You can become unaware just how fatigued muscles are getting. If you’ve developed calf pain then pop in the clinic to assess you properly