The Guru believes the pinching in Paul’s calf is due to lack of strength, so stop stretching

March 5, 2015


For over a year now I have had a pinching feeling in my right calf (middle to outer edge) I run approx 25 miles a week, and now this is getting progressively worse. (I can still walk and stretch with no pain)

I have had numerous physio sessions and seen a “specialist” who gave a me an MRI (Findings: “There is a single change or ocdcma within the calf muscles or bone marrow. No signs of asymmetry or swelling),

The physio advised me that I to have tight muscles…  I rested my calf for a month last year and there was no change, so I was advised to keep running.

Have you come across this before?

Many Thanks


The Guru required more information in order to be able to help Paul:

Hi Paul

Yes – symptoms are really specific and important to you, the patient but causes are generally not that important and pretty similar, despite there being a myriad of symptoms.

It sounds as if there is nothing structurally wrong with your calf – so you’ve got a functional (what you do to it) issue.

Start with the simple things first.

Can you do 50 single, straight knee and 50 single, bent knee heel raises on right. And compare that number and quality to the left.

Stiff calfs can be very normal…

Let me know and I’ll tell you more!

Paul replied:

I couldn’t manage a set of 50… But I did 25 on each, both calf’s felt the same, they started to fatigue after 20.

March 5, 2015

Hi Paul

The issue is that if you haven’t got enough strength in your calfs – and I think the bent knee heel lift is more important and relevant than the straight knee one.

If you haven’t got the strength then you haven’t got the ability to keep pushing off when running. So you cheat!

You either let your foot roll in or point your toes out. Either way you really load up the inner part of your calf muscle and especially where the tendon becomes muscle – the pinch.

I think you’re overloading your calf because of poor strength.

So stop stretching – it’s normal length at rest but feels tight because you over stretch when running. If I over stretched our neck repetitively to the left it would feel mighty tight later.

Improve your calf strength for the next 2/3 weeks.

Slowly return to running – recovery runs. Not distance, good form and no headphones – you want to hear your foot strike. The quieter the better.

Oh and have a quick quiz at your shoes and single knee squat too – all have to be in order!

Good luck

The Guru

Six Physio

Guru Responded

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