Page 1 of 2

Calf strain? or worse?

Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 3:56 pm
by Ryan A
Hey all,

I know getting an internet diagnosis is stupid but I don't feel like messing with referrals unless it is something other than a calf strain.

So I was doing clean high pulls and my heel landed pretty hard during the decent of the weight back to the hang position and there was a pop like sound and tightness in my calf.

There is no bruising and no swelling and I can still walk/ride my bike although I can't push off the foot when it is behind me too hard or there is pain in my calf.

It feels like a strained calf but the popping sound is throwing me off. Anyone have anything like this or could refer me to some similar story?

Please don't respond if the main point is that I should see a doctor.

Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:12 pm
by Ryan A
Maybe I answered my own question from here ... prains.htm

at the bottom none of those "when to see a doctors apply" so, I think I am just sidelined for a few weeks. If you disagree, I would still be interested in hearing your opinions.

Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:14 pm
by frogbyte
Does the second comment mean the "Please don't respond if the main point is that I should see a doctor." ban from the first comment is lifted?

Re: Calf strain? or worse?

Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:54 pm
by Stephen Johnson
Ryan A wrote:There is no bruising and no swelling and I can still walk/ride my bike although I can't push off the foot when it is behind me too hard or there is pain in my calf.

It feels like a strained calf but the popping sound is throwing me off.
I've never heard of an injured muscle making a clicking sound, so I would doubt that your injury is a calf muscle strain. It could be a sprain of the Achilles tendon where it meets the gastrocs. But tendons and ligaments usually make clicking sounds in joints, and the point where the gastrocs and Achilles meet is well away from both the knee and the ankle. A partially torn tendon also could cause clicking, but it would result in more than minor pain. Strange.

Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:56 pm
by stuward
I'm glad I get free health care.

Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:42 pm
by Stephen Johnson
Snap, Crackle, Pop: Interpreting Body Sounds

by Dr. Jim Brown

"I felt like something had hit the back of my leg just above the heel and it sounded like a muted rifle shot." This is how Philadelphia orthopedic surgeon Angela Smith described the feeling and the sound when she ruptured her Achilles tendon. "I knew it had to be one of two things. Either my tennis shoes had split or I had torn my Achilles tendon. The pain told me it wasn't my shoes."

The kind of sound and intense pain that Smith heard and felt is very specific to a torn Achilles tendon. There are few injury-related sounds that are as noticeable and as significant as the one heard with her injury. Another is when the anterior cruciate ligament is torn or completely ruptured. That crackling sound is made by the damage to the ligament that connects the ends of the thighbone (femur) and shinbone (tibia). But the sound made when a tendon or ligament is ruptured is different from the creaking, grinding, cracking sounds that most athletes hear every day.

Painless Noise Not Bad
"Don't make too much out of sounds made by movement around a joint," warns Andrew Cosgarea, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at Johns Hopkins. "Painless noise is normal. It could be caused by irregular surfaces rubbing against each other, pressure changes around a joint, or two ligaments coming into contact. The only time to worry about it is when the sound is accompanied by pain."

The creaking/cracking sound with which most of us are familiar is called crepitus. The noise usually goes away or is not as noticeable with exercise. But there are musculoskeletal conditions in which noise may be one of several symptoms to be considered. It is important to remember Cosgarea's warning and not to assume that the sound is synonymous with an injury.

Tendinitis Trouble
With tendinitis in any part of the body the person may hear a sound. Flexor and extensor tendinitis in the foot, for example, means that there is an inflammation of the tendons running from the muscles of the lower leg to the top of the foot. These tendons allow extension and flexion of the toes. In severe cases, a creaking sensation is felt or heard when the toes are straightened or bent. This is especially noticeable when running. Says Cosgarea, "It is true that a sound may be one of the symptoms, but only in some cases." Other examples include a creaking sensation with Achilles tendinitis and a crackling sound that can accompany tendinitis of the wrist.

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:38 am
by caangelxox
test standing on your injured leg only keeping hips level. what does your ankle do? do you have trouble balancing? I had a problem with my ankle and the only thing I had to do was get it adjusted by my chiropractor and put everything back in alignment for it to heal correctly. right after the adjustment, I was able to walk a lot better and not wear an ankle brace anymore in softball. I hurt it learning how to dance in my first class at school in beginning dance class. took me 2 weeks to realize it wasnt healing or getting better, then I went to my chiropractor, then I was fine.

what you got to do though is after you get everything back in its correct alignment to heal correctly, strengthen it balancing and doing toe raises and stuff. Don't see a doctor cause all they will do is either say "you need surgery", "here is some pain medication", etc. waste of money.

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:07 am
by Ryan A
Yeah it is so weird. Pop was definitely down in my ankle, maybe coincidence and unrelated to calf strain.

the pain is definitely in my calf as I have strained my calf before.

Today I have no trouble balancing.

The only remaining problem is I can't push off which makes sense given a calf strain.

Thanks for the replies.

Posted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:30 am
by ApolytonGP
I had something like this. It took me a year of PT to finally get it 100%. i think it is a calf strain...that said, my reading on "calf strains" seems to indicate that there is a lot of similarity with achilles tendon rupture and that what you may have is a tear in the muscle/tendon area...the tendon travels far into the belly of the calf so pain within the calf would be consistent with that.

If you have some good insurance would get to an orthopod or a good sports med doc. They will probably prescribe PT, which will take a long time. :roll: Some docs will say to cast it immediately (there is debate on this).

You might get an MRI also. Some docs will say it is a waste of time...but they always piss me off with that attitude. How can getting something imaged so that you understand the exact area and nature of a rupture be a waste of time?

They can also feel for the location of the rupture and have you do some movement tests.

Seriously go see a doc or three.

Posted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:24 am
by Jungledoc

Posted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:57 pm
by caangelxox
I would recommend an extremity specialist doctor and see what he/she can do and go on from there.

Posted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:49 pm
by Ryan A
Based on my reading, I think whatever I have is minor (grade 1) and most information seems to indicate it will get better in 1-3 weeks given rest, ice, etc.

It is pretty good today, no spasming and I can extend onto my toes of injured calf without pain, although it takes more effort than good calf.

I can also lightly bounce up and down on both feet by pushing off with mostly foot extension.

I am not a huge fan of doctors or chiropractors in general although I am sure there are some good ones. By the time I got an MRI, my calf would likely be better.

I am still waiting on the tissue regeneration supplement and am constantly asking my physiology grad student friends if they are making progress on that. Unfortunately, they are working on curing paralysis, so small thinking, go for it all in one shot I say.

Posted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:21 pm
by caangelxox
Where in your calf is the pain? the outer calf, inner calf, big calf muscle, or soleus or achiles tendon (the bone running down the end of the calf right above the heel)? Mine was the achiles tendon and my chiropractor extremity specialist (full body) fixed it to heal well.

Posted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 10:09 pm
by Stephen Johnson
Calf strains - particularly of the medial head of the gastroc - are common. When I was trying to take up tennis years ago, my elbows were fine - but I became intimately aware of the term "tennis leg:"
A medial calf injury is a musculotendinous disruption of varying degrees in the medial head of the gastrocnemius muscle that results from an acute, forceful push-off with the foot.1,2,3,4,5,6 This injury occurs commonly in sports activities (eg, hill running, jumping, tennis), but it can occur in any activity. A medial calf injury is often seen in the intermittently active athlete, often referred to as the "weekend warrior."

This condition has been termed "tennis leg" because of its prevalence in this particular sport, but medial calf injury can happen in a variety of sports or other activities. One mechanism that occurs is on the back leg during a lunging shot, in which the knee is extended while the foot is dorsiflexed. This action puts maximal tension on the gastrocnemius muscle as the lengthened muscle is contracted at the "push off," resulting in a medial calf injury.
Being over 30 at the time didn't help matters much - these types of strains increase in frequency (and severity) with age.

Unless the calf pain either lasts more than a couple of weeks, or it becomes suddenly worse or it is accompanied by swelling, visiting a doctor is optional. Swollen calves should be checked out by a doctor because of the risk of blood clots forming.

Posted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 10:45 pm
by Ryan A
that sounds about right stephen.

I am going to give it close to three weeks.

The question I am trying to answer now is what kind of stuff I can do when I go back to activity. I would like to be able to play basketball after three weeks, obviously not at 100% but without risk of reinjury.

It has not been one week and the pain is already gone for walking and seems to be better at kind of "bouncing" around. That is encouraging but this coming week I am just going to try straight line jogging and some light lifting for the rest of the legs that will hopefully test the mobility of the calf muscles and keep me from getting too out of shape.

I was thinking light squats and step ups with some deadlifts along with a full upper body workout. Obviously leaving out the power cleans and push press for now.

I am only 26 and play pretty regularly (3-4 days per week for around 2 hours) but I was coming back from a long layoff over the holidays and an irritated groin. the bright side is this way, the groin gets extra 3 weeks of rest as well. off to ice it.