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persistent calf pain

Jan 11th, 2014

James Turnbull asked The Guru for the following Physiotherapy Advice:

Hi, I have had this injury for some time now and with rest and stretching it will not go away.When running up to 2 1/2 miles it is fine but as soon as I get over 3 it starts to kick in. It is a quite severe pain on the side/outside of the knee to start with which then gradually works its way down the calf. The further I go the more painful it gets. I have to stop…but then it goes away. It definatly happens more from the pounding on the road. On a treadmill it doesn`t start hurting until about 5 miles. It is very frustrating as I can never run further than 3 miles. I have had this issue for about 3 years ! Can you help ?

Jan 11th, 2014

The Guru Responded:

Hi James
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Sounds like you’ve done all the sensible things. Time, though to get it sorted.
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I think you’ve got a really stiff superior tib/fib joint – when your fibula head nestles against the side of your tibia. You need this to get moving and I think all your problems will melt away…..I know this almost sounds too easy considering you’ve had this for 3 years, but the pattern of your presentation fits, considering what you’ve tried.
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The more important question is why – and I reckon that’s due to foot posture and what you’re wearing on your feet…stiff feet sometimes cause a jarring further up the chain.
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Knock the stretching on the head and see if you can get this joint moving.

Also…. with a 10km coming up:

Try this James. Roll up a small towel as if your heading to the beach. Wrap it behind your knee, so it runs along your knee crease at the back of your knee and your left holding the towel at the front.
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Try now squatting so that as your knee bends further the towel blocks the movement. Try to focus the force and blockyness (!) to the outside of your knee and gentle bounce on this movement for a minute.
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You should feel only mild discomfort as the knee joint is stretched. No sharp pains or anything nasty allowed! Do also try to mobilise the joint – grab it between your fingers and thumb and wiggle it back and forwards.
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I’m sure we can get you back on track, until then try the above and Good Luck for tomorrow.

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