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Question
Posted by: Bronwyn | 2012/02/07

Extreme pain in lower leg when trying to jog / run

Extreme pain in lower leg when trying to jog / run
I am hoping you can assist me. I am a beginner walker / want to be jogger, runner. Walking seems to be great, no problem. The problem seems to arise when I jog for a few meters or run a few meters –  I seem to develop an extreme pain on the outside of my calf muscle (the outside of my leg) strange and it also seems to swell. The pain gets so bad that even if I try to stretch it out it really hurts. The pain usually subsides within a few minutes once I have stopped walking / running
I have brought new tackies last year November 2011 –  I went to a running shop and told the owner (who is a runner about what I am doing, etc.) He measured and checked my feet and gave me a Nike shoe. I am not a light woman –  I have weight on me (105kg and 179tall)and that is why I am walking and trying to maybe get into jogging or running but I can’ t deal with this pain. I have even noticed that my ankles look like they also swell then I have jogged.
Is there something I can do to prevent this pain?
Is this pain something I need to worry about?
Could there be something wrong with the shoe? But like I have said I only got them a few months ago

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi bronwyn

This sounds like maybe it's tightness of the calf, or the fascia that surrounds the calf muscle, and as soon as you run, the increased impact (we take about 3 times our body weight on each leg as we land, much higher than for walking) is causing the problem, probably because that tight muscle is not strong enough to "absorb" the impact. I don't think the shoe is to blame, though if the shoe is quite stiff, it might exacerbate the problem.

I think that you need to continue walking until you do improve the strength of the ankles and calves - the swelling is another sign of the strain they're under. So keep walking, walk faster as you get fitter and see if you can gradually phase the jogging in. The body will adapt to the training and should allow this, but it may be that you need to give it time, weeks worth, in order for it to happen properly.

Also, strengthen your calves by doing heel raises - stand on a step with the ball of your foot, and heel off teh back and then raise slowly up and slowly down. The key is to go slowly, and not to bounce up and down. 3 sets of 10, three times a day, to help strengthen the calves.

Good luck

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Our users say:
Posted by: fitnessdoc | 2012/02/17

Hi bronwyn

This sounds like maybe it's tightness of the calf, or the fascia that surrounds the calf muscle, and as soon as you run, the increased impact (we take about 3 times our body weight on each leg as we land, much higher than for walking) is causing the problem, probably because that tight muscle is not strong enough to "absorb" the impact. I don't think the shoe is to blame, though if the shoe is quite stiff, it might exacerbate the problem.

I think that you need to continue walking until you do improve the strength of the ankles and calves - the swelling is another sign of the strain they're under. So keep walking, walk faster as you get fitter and see if you can gradually phase the jogging in. The body will adapt to the training and should allow this, but it may be that you need to give it time, weeks worth, in order for it to happen properly.

Also, strengthen your calves by doing heel raises - stand on a step with the ball of your foot, and heel off teh back and then raise slowly up and slowly down. The key is to go slowly, and not to bounce up and down. 3 sets of 10, three times a day, to help strengthen the calves.

Good luck

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