Calf pain that just won’t go away is actually a fairly common complaint.
It can start as calf tightness that won’t go away and gradually becomes painful.
Your calf pain gradually grows in intensity with activities like running, especially if you’re pushing further than before or adding more vertical.
Frustration with the persistent pain often comes from the difficulty in figuring out what’s causing your pain.
It should be simple, you say.
Calf pain is probably a calf muscle strain, you say.
So what’s your best way of working out what’s causing your pain?
We’ve devised a simple approach to confirming your own diagnosis.
If you are looking for something more accurate, obviously a trip to your local physiotherapist would be your best bet.
If you would rather not spend your cash on a physio visit, the next best option would be a diagnosis via e-medicine.
Our app, for iOS and Android, is due to launch in early 2020.
Best of all, it costs you nothing to get an accurate diagnosis!
How to diagnose your calf pain
To narrow down the possible causes of your calf pain, you need to start with the pattern of pain over the course of a run or fast walk.
Does your pain starts as soon as you start and improves over the course of the run/walk?
Diagnosis: an inflammatory response from a tendon or even a muscle attachment point on the back of the shin bone.
Does your calf pain gets worse as the run/walk goes on and last 1-3 days after the session?
Diagnosis: Bone stress will typically ache for 1-3 days after every run. It will ache even when you’re not putting pressure on the leg.
Does your calf pain gets worse as the run/walk goes on, eases when you stop and get worse as soon as you start again?
Diagnosis: Muscle fatigue will usually be sore when the muscle is active or stretched but the pain goes away if you’re not loading or stretching the muscle.
Does your calf pain gets worse as the run/walk goes on, eases when you stop and only get worse after another extended period of exercise?
Diagnosis: Blood flow issues (we’re not talking about DVT or acute vascular issues) will usually get progressively worse as the run continues.
Diagnosis: Nerve problems, such as sciatica, can also referred pain to the calf.
But typically as the condition worsens, the pain will extend down into the foot and/or up further into the hamstring.
Note that blood flow issues can also have symptoms that extend down into the foot but not up into the hamstrings.