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Hurt my calf on the stairstepper...

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Old 03-18-2008, 07:34 PM   #1
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Default Hurt my calf on the stairstepper...

and really don't want to go to the doctor. I went yesterday about my asthma, and I just don't want to be one of those people who are constantly at the doctor.

Knowing I can't get medical advice here, I still wanted to know general opinions. I was on the Stairstepper, after about 45 minutes on the elliptical, so my muscles were pretty warmed up. I ramped up the difficulty on the Stairstepper to 10 (out of 12), and I felt like I was doing great when my calf started bothering me a little. Not a big deal - I get occasional aches and pains and this was just a dull ache. So I kept going, but then I felt a sharp pain in my calf. I stopped. It is not really painful at all, but I walk with a limp because it hurts a little when I walk on it. I took a slow walk around the track just kind of feeling it out, and it didn't go away, but didn't get worse either.

I'm training for a half-marathon in June, and would really like to stay on track. (Plus, the other time I was slightly injured, I quit exercising for a week and gained ELEVEN POUNDS in one week.) So, maybe it would be okay if I just rested it tonight, and then ran my scheduled two miles tomorrow as long as it's only a dull ache? Or should I cross-train by swimming or doing the elliptical tomorrow (as tolerated, of course)?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-18-2008, 07:40 PM   #2
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1. If it hurts, stop. You know your body...if it is a muscle ache, you could probably keep going on a run. If the pain increases or the pain feels different than other garden-variety aches, stop.

2. If it hurts for more than a few days, see a doctor.
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Old 03-18-2008, 07:50 PM   #3
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I would try icing it. Hold ice or an ice pack on it for 15 minutes, then leave the ice off for 45 min. According to my trainer, you want the ice to make your calf numb, so it will probably hurt to have the ice on it. Go through this cycle (ice on for 15 min, off for 45 min) two or three times. Also, keep your leg elevated (not up in the air, just off the ground, say, on a footstool or up on the sofa). And take some Ibuprofen.

It also sounds like you'd be smart to take it easy on your calf for a few days. It might be good to avoid lower body stuff--could you maybe do upper body strength training? I don't think I would run on it tomorrow if it is still hurting, even if it is a dull ache. I've learned this lesson the hard way. I had a knee injury that I ignored (I thought "I'm tough, I can workout through the pain!"). The next thing I knew, I also had an ankle injury and all running and stairs were out of the question for two months. It's now four months later and I still can't run outside and am making appointments with sports medicine specialists in the desparate home that they can do something for it. It's better to take a few days off now then to push on, do more damage, and have to be off running for two months (which would really put a dent in your marathon training).

And, if you don't feel an improvement in a few days, make an appointment with your doctor.
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Last edited by BlueToBlue : 03-18-2008 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 03-18-2008, 09:25 PM   #4
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Hon, I don't think you should run tomorrow. Wait till the limp is gone.
Ice it and pop an Ibuprofen.
Good luck with the half-marathon!
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:28 PM   #5
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Thanks so much for the advice. Sadly, my calf felt worse this morning, even after ice and rest. So, I will take a rest day. As Barbara said, it's better to deal with a minor injury and a short rest than allow it to become serious and cause me to forgo the half-marathon. If it doesn't feel better tomorrow, I probably will go see a doctor. Not happy about it, but it's so much better than having a truly serious injury.
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Old 03-19-2008, 01:36 PM   #6
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Also, I wouldn't worry about gaining 11 pounds in a week, especially not due to lack of exercise. 11 pounds = 38,500 calories! It's more likely that some of that was water weight and not actual weight gain.

I hope you feel better soon! If you are still injured, I know there was a thread in here a week or so ago about how to work out when you've injured a leg. It's HARD, because so much of what we do for exercise relies upon our legs. But if your gym has a handcycle, you could try that; swimming may also be good as long as you try to power yourself more with your arms than your legs. But because swimming is low impact, it may not bother your calf too much anyway.
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