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Upper calf/back of the knee pain


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TOsteve
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PostPosted: 04/12/05 - 07:47    Post subject: Upper calf/back of the knee pain
I was at about the 8.5 mile mark of a 10 mile run last night and I started to get this stabbing pain in my upper calf that shot up behind my knee (I wasn't running particularily hard - probably just below LT). I have been experiencing some tightness in the glute on that same leg and I think I had adjusted my stride to favour my sort butt.

When I stopped running my calf tightened up and I thought maybe it was just muscle stiffness. This morning it feels more like a ligament/tendon thing. Its pretty painful though and I'm finding it hard to walk. Anybody had experience with this before?

I've run off and on for most of my life (for fitness) but I've never made such a concerted effort to build a base weekly mileage. As a result I've been experiencing pains that I've never had from running before.
TriBob
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PostPosted: 04/12/05 - 08:59    Post subject:
Sounds like ITB problem
http://www.time-to-run.com/injuries/thebig5/itb.htm

Rest a few days and starts lots of stretching.
TOsteve
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PostPosted: 04/12/05 - 09:47    Post subject:
TriBob wrote:
Sounds like ITB problem
http://www.time-to-run.com/injuries/thebig5/itb.htm

Rest a few days and starts lots of stretching.


Thanks!
I'm still such a newbie. Embarassed
Phar lap
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PostPosted: 04/12/05 - 18:18    Post subject:
Steve you mentioned some time back that you were now running outside.
Are you running on roads? if so does the road have a noticeable camber?
Is there any swelling behind the knee?
Do you feel pain during full-range knee movements ie. squating?

In the mean time. REST and ICE ICE ICE.
JACKED UP
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PostPosted: 04/12/05 - 20:29    Post subject:
I had ITB issues last year and it was nothing like you described. It was more the outer knee. One thing for sure is rest and ice.
xsPrINT_old
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PostPosted: 04/12/05 - 21:00    Post subject:
I think that you probably just hurt your hamstring and the glute being tight thing could just be because you need to stretch it more.

If it was ITB it would most likely only be in your quads and knee area, not all the way down at your calf.
Running Brewer
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PostPosted: 04/12/05 - 21:41    Post subject:
JACKED UP wrote:
I had ITB issues last year and it was nothing like you described. It was more the outer knee. One thing for sure is rest and ice.


I agree with this.

Is the area that hurts inflammed? If not then I don't know what ice is going to do for you. If so be sure to ice it to reduce the swealling. It could be a muscle that has tighten up and referring pain. (that is what ITB is, icing where it hurts won't solve the problem) Sounds to me more like a glute problem, possibly piriformis but I am lending towards glute.

I would check out Julstro. I have the pain free tri-athlete e-book and it is indispensable. Below is a trigger point chart from that e-book. I would recommend looking at that website. If it is a trigger point stretching out your muscle won't help it release. Massage or some of the self-help stuff may.

TOsteve
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PostPosted: 04/14/05 - 15:00    Post subject:
Thanks for everyone's input, I've been away at a conference for the past day and a half and just checked out the responses this afternoon.

It definately feels like a tightness in the upper calf to behind the knee. There was no inflamation or swelling. It hurts most in the morning or after I've been sitting for a while. The pain intensifies as I push off from the ball of my foot while walking (and for the first two days it was quite hard to walk, everyone was asking why I was limping ). Its definately getting better - I haven't run for three days now and I think I'll keep resting until th pain is gone. Its just kinda weird to me because the pain came out of nowhere almost instantly during a pretty leisurely run. I have been running outside all winter on paved (ashphalt) multi-use trails that have a lot of short steep hills and I haven't had any (real) pain in my calves or behind my knee. I'm a pretty anal about stretching post run and since I've had this injury I've been constantly stretching my calf by extending my leg and pulling my toes back toward my shin (helps to stop it from tightening up while I've been sitting through hours of boring seminars for the past two days).

I'll do some more nosing around on the internet and thanks again for everyone's input. Hopefully I won't be sidelined for too long!
Phar lap
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PostPosted: 04/15/05 - 05:52    Post subject:
Steve I'd be prepared to take an educated guess and say you have strained your popliteal tendon (you mention sitting)
Two features make pain from the popliteus different from ITB friction pain
First, pain during squatting/sitting.
Second because the popliteus is further from the skin surface than the ITB, you have to press harder over the damaged spot to find the tender spot. If the tendon is damaged near the thigh bone, you may be able to feel the spot if you bend your knee up, rest your knee on your foot on your other knee, and let the knee relax sideways. Then you may be able to feel the sore tendon by pressing over the thigh bone 'knuckle', just in front of the taut band of the knee's lateral ligament, about four centimeters from the knee cap.

The tightness in the calf is related.

Let's know how you get on Steve, in the mean time :-
REST ICE. ICE. ICE. avoid sitting and twisting knee movements.
No cross leg sitting.

If I'm right and I'd like to have money on it, I'll send you some recovery exercises
Soigneur
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PostPosted: 04/29/05 - 04:12    Post subject:
Could be popliteal, could be plantaris or could also just be a calf strain - the gastocnemius (calf muscle) originates from the posterior condyles of the femur ie on the back of the knee, just above the crease. Like popliteal, one of its actions is to flex the knee. Increase in intensity or hill running can be precursors for problems like you describe.

Calf raises and calf drops are a great rehab exercise.
TOsteve
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PostPosted: 04/29/05 - 13:52    Post subject:
Soigneur wrote:
Could be popliteal, could be plantaris or could also just be a calf strain - the gastocnemius (calf muscle) originates from the posterior condyles of the femur ie on the back of the knee, just above the crease. Like popliteal, one of its actions is to flex the knee. Increase in intensity or hill running can be precursors for problems like you describe.

Calf raises and calf drops are a great rehab exercise.


Yeah, after a while I realized that I was probably just dealing with a pretty bad strain in my upper calf muscle. It took about a week and a half to sort itself out and I had to rest for about 5 days . As it got better I felt the area of pain slowly move down so that behind the knee didn't hurt any more and it was just the upper calf. When the pain was behind the knee it really affected the mobililty of my leg so I physically could not run (and could barely walk). My leg feels 100% better now.

Thanks again for everyone's input.
terrry100
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PostPosted: 06/09/09 - 10:36    Post subject:
LOOKING FOR PHAR LAP

Please send me the recovery exercises. I am in TORTUOUS AGONY and am considering sitting for the rest of my life in order to avoid more pain.

This was posted as a response to STEVE in 2005:
Steve I'd be prepared to take an educated guess and say you have strained your popliteal tendon (you mention sitting)
Two features make pain from the popliteus different from ITB friction pain
First, pain during squatting/sitting.
Second because the popliteus is further from the skin surface than the ITB, you have to press harder over the damaged spot to find the tender spot. If the tendon is damaged near the thigh bone, you may be able to feel the spot if you bend your knee up, rest your knee on your foot on your other knee, and let the knee relax sideways. Then you may be able to feel the sore tendon by pressing over the thigh bone 'knuckle', just in front of the taut band of the knee's lateral ligament, about four centimeters from the knee cap.

The tightness in the calf is related.

Let's know how you get on Steve, in the mean time :-
REST ICE. ICE. ICE. avoid sitting and twisting knee movements.
No cross leg sitting.

If I'm right and I'd like to have money on it, I'll send you some recovery exercises
delrazo
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PostPosted: 12/26/11 - 15:56    Post subject:
I think I have this same pain. Its been hurting for months. Please let me know how to recover. Thanks. These responses have been very useful. I am new to the community.
gabemccoy
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PostPosted: 12/31/11 - 02:08    Post subject: popliteal injury
I've been dealing with a popliteal injury for over a year now. The pain was almost gone in late August but sprang back to life after a hard run on a treadmill. I sometimes wonder if the treadmill is more dangerous than running outside?? Anyway, the upper calf tightens up immensely. The injury is to my left leg. I can feel the tenderness on the right side between the leg joint - is this the knee pit? Anyway, icing helps but it takes a long time to recover. It almost seems as if rest makes it worse. Keeping it active without straining it is the key, and a difficult thing to balance. The injury can also reactivate if I put too much weight on the front of my foot, straining the calf. With leg press I have to emphasize pushing from the heels only. I really hope this eventually goes away - I love to run. Would appreciate exercises as well.
speedygirl1220
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PostPosted: 01/26/12 - 22:25    Post subject:
Popliteal injuries many times occur out of the blue with runners. The popliteus is a muscle that runs from the outside to the inside of the back of the knee at an angle and it controls rotation of the lower leg bone (tibia)on the upper leg bone (femur). This pain usually hurts worse if you are running or jumping at an angle/ changing directions or running on a treadmill because your muscles have to respond to the movement of the belt instead of them knowing ahead of time which direction your legs plan on moving. In short they have less time to react in regard to stabilizing your knee when you run on the treadmill than when you run overground. key not to re-injuring this muscle is: 1. follow the RICE protocol when you first injure it- rest, ice, compression (can use an elastic bandage but be careful not to make it too tight and cut-off blood circulation or nerve conduction), and elevation. 2. start back with building a base of straight-line slow running, do not progress to running fast or sprinting, until you have built up long distance at a slow speed without any pain. 3. You need to build stability of your knees, so start with exercises that build rotational stability, for example, single leg stance straight leg deadlifts holding a weighted ball, single-leg balancing (first on the ground, then on unstable surfaces like a Bosu ball, foam, or balance board), and lunges, keeping knees lined up perfectly, no twisting! 4. Progress from stationary to slow to fast exercises, and progress from straight plane to angular to rotation.
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