Problem is the Calves Not the Achilles Tendon3 Comments January 27, 2009 / Posted in Injury Prevention, Mindful Running
Tendons for all intent and purposes are not suppose to stretch. The muscles above the Achilles tendon, soleus and gastrocs are suppose to do what muscles do: Contract and relax. Your calf muscles are contracting but only partially relaxing. When a knot in the calf occurs it tightens up to protect itself and won’t let go when you stretch it. If you continue to stretch, you stretch the good muscle fiber on either side of the knot. It, over time, gets over stretched and joins the knot. The end result is that you end up saying, stretching doesn’t work. It would if only you could stretch the knot.
First work out the knot in the calf. Sit down. To find it, put your belly of the calf muscle over the knee of the other leg. Move the knee back and forth in the belly of the calf and you should find the knot. Remember when a muscle is sore and contracts, in the contracted state it doesn’t let you know it’s sore, until you start to feel around.
Put your calf muscle over your knee, a railing, the back of a chair. Remember it’s the back of the calf muscle. You put the belly of the muscle over the back of the chair, or railing or knee. Slowly (lovingly) rotate it back and forth, that is side to side about a inch. Slowly move(slide) the leg up or down the back of the chair, etc. so that you “lovingly massage side to side the entire belly of the calf.
Remember it you go too deep, too fast, too hard, you will only get the muscle to tighten up even more—getting the opposite of what you want.
But remember your body is a system, so you may take the pressure off the Achilles, but the calf problem may be due to an overly tight shin muscle which only partially relaxes when the calf muscles are contracting, causing the calf problem. And the tight shin may be caused by the quad or ham from the other leg being tight so that you get more impact on the leg with the calf problem caused by the shin problem caused by….. Back to the reminder that the body is a system and that it compensates to maintain function. If it is functioning incorrectly, then somewhere down the road it will catch up with you. You’ll know because a problem will develop because of the compensation started way back when.
And the reality may be due to the way you sit at your desk all day in poor posture which causes…..
Anyway, see if you can massage out the calf. Then you can slowly start to think about the form and style of running.
Let me know how it goes with the calf. Remember, what I’m sharing is folklore. That is, if it works use it. If it doesn’t, don’t give it any energy, Just chuck it out and look for something that makes more sense and works.
Remember “DO NO HARM”