Calf pain that just won’t go away is actually a fairly common complaint.
It can start as calf tightness or a knot in your calf that won’t go away and gradually becomes more painful.
Frustration with persistent pain often comes from difficulty in figuring out what’s causing your pain.
“It should be simple”, you say.
What’s the best way to work out what’s causing your pain?
We’ve devised a simple approach to confirming your own diagnosis, detailed in the section below.
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 late 2021.
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?
Likely diagnosis: an inflammatory response from a tendon or even a muscle attachment point on the edge of the shin bone.
Does your calf pain gets worse as the run/walk goes on and last 1-3 days after the session?
Likely 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 soon after you stop and get worse as soon as you start again?
Likely 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. This will also occur in compartment syndrome.
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?
Likely diagnosis: Blood flow issues (we’re not talking about DVT or acute vascular issues) will usually get progressively worse as the duration of exercise increases. The calf pain eases soon after you stop running and gradually builds again as you return to running.
Shoes, exercises and training with calf pain