Not sure whatís going on with my calf/hamstring. Vitamin I, Starr or train through?

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Thread: Not sure whatís going on with my calf/hamstring. Vitamin I, Starr or train through?

  1. #1
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    Sep 2017
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    Default Not sure whatís going on with my calf/hamstring. Vitamin I, Starr or train through?

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    Forgive the long story but Iím not sure what to make of whatís going on with my leg/back. Life got a little crazy and I was out of the gym for about 2 months, so after my last scheduled business trip about 3 weeks ago I planned to get back in and re run LP for however long and get back on the wagon. 34/M about 2 years of training if that matters. The day before I flew home 3 weeks ago I took a funny fall after stepping in a pothole, basically I felt my ankle twist and I was able to fall before I put my full weight on it so I didnít sprain it, but something obviously had to absorb the force. Nothing hurt that day but the next day after I got home I had this pain thatís either top of the calf or bottom of the hamstring, couldnít really tell.

    It wasnít bad so I did my first few workouts of LP and while there was no pain during the lifts the pain got worse to where I was basically limping. I took a few days off and the pain in my leg went back to where it was (didnít really get better but improved from when I was lifting), but now Iíve got what feels like a spasm in my thoracic spine like thereís a knife in between the vertebrae. Thereís no big bruising on my left leg but it looks a little swollen and discolored compared to the right one, I can walk but I canít run, when Iím stationary the pain feels like itís in the calf when I move it feels like the hamstring. Anyone with an orthopedic bent have any idea what this is? No improvement in a couple weeks makes me think about the ibuprofen protocol is a place to start and obviously I need to train. Should I try Starr rehab with squatting alongside vitamin I or should I try to continue LP?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Hi Jake,

    Sorry to hear about your recent fall. It sounds like you have a relatively minor proximal gastrocs strain going on here. The gastroc (which is your primary calf muscle) actually crosses the back of the knee and attaches to the femur, so it can help the hamstrings to flex the knee. Regardless, the fact that you had no immediate pain, loss of function, or bruising are all good signs that this is something that will pass for you relatively quickly.

    I would recommend starting back with a LP probably a little bit lighter than you think you need to, use a very slow and controlled repetition speed, and progress up in weight cautiously over the course of the next few weeks. If your symptoms continue to worsen with training, then see a doctor, but they will most likely just take an x-ray, tell you to rest, and possibly prescribe you some anti-inflammatory meds.

    Keep us posted on how your next session goes.

  3. #3
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    There's also some overlap with a possible posterior lateral meniscus tear in this symptom description. We'll see how it resolves.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    There's also some overlap with a possible posterior lateral meniscus tear in this symptom description. We'll see how it resolves.
    I agree that a meniscus tear is a possibility, Rip. However, I would not necessarily change the recommendation to train through it provided the OP doesn't have any mechanical locking or catching in the joint. Most of the recent recommendations in regards to meniscal injuries discourage rushing into surgery anyway, so I think training should still get a high priority at this point.

  5. #5
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    Absolutely agreed. I have meniscial tears, and they were all trained through.

  6. #6
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    Sep 2017
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    Gentlemen thanks so much for taking the time. Good news bad news: good news itís definitely a calf strain, bad news I know because I got up out of a chair with a little too much power this afternoon and felt a kind of a tearing clearly in the upper calf muscle, and now itís nice and swollen and I canít fully extend my knee or ankle (though it doesnít hurt to bear weight on the leg long as Iím not stretching too far so I assume itís still grade 1). Dutifully ibuprofening and icing and when it calms down and I can walk again in a couple days Iíll follow Coach Petrizzoís advice and report back.

  7. #7
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    Sep 2017
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    Just closing the loop, return to training went fine, back to regularly scheduled programming. Thanks so much!

  8. #8
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    starting strength coach development program
    Good to hear you are back to your regular training, Jake!

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