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2572 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Jun 12, 2011 6:41 PM by Designeer
delli25 Rookie 3 posts since
Dec 16, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

May 21, 2011 2:07 PM

Lateral leg pain

I'm hoping someone can help....I was training for my first half marathon, running my last long run before my taper.  I had no pain during the run, but was very fatigued because I had been sick earlier in the week.  Later that night, I had significant lateral calf pain, followed by posterior-lateral knee pain on the left.  I would experience pain in the calf when trying to straighten my knee.  Going up stairs was impossible, as well as coming down stairs.  Sitting with my left ankle crossed over my right knee also caused pain.  My knee felt generally weak-I didn't trust it to hold my weight.  This lasted for four days.  X-rays, ultrasounds were negative. Special tests for ligamentous and meniscal damage during exam by sports med doc are negative.  Also, I discovered that I would get posterior knee pain when trying to push my foot into a shoe or use my opposite toe to slide the heel of my left shoe off.  I have iced, rested and taken ibuprofen to address.  I had pain with walking for about a week.  I have been doing stretches, strengthening exercises and walking without flaring it up, so I tried to run today (light easy jog, on a flat dirt trail) for the first time in three weeks.  I had minimal pain during the run, but then the pain started coming back like before this afternoon.  I have already missed my half because of this pain and am supposed to start training for my first marathon in a couple of weeks.  Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions?  I'm getting frustrated because I feel like I'm doing all the right things, but still can't run.

  • Shilpen Patel Rookie 1 posts since
    May 27, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. May 21, 2011 2:59 PM (in response to delli25)
    Re: Lateral leg pain

    Oddly enough I have the exact same symptoms right now and am having the hardest time figuring this out. It doesn't hurt when I run, it only hurts at the end of the my run when I am walking. It hurts to bend the kness post run. Stretching helps get rid of the pain with time but I can't figure out what is going on!

  • whasianbilly Amateur 20 posts since
    May 20, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. May 21, 2011 5:04 PM (in response to delli25)
    Re: Lateral leg pain

    When you say posterolateral knee pain are you referring to one of the cords

    (tendons) in the side of the posterior aspect of the knee?


    What kind of pain? Sharp? Dull? Burning?


    Can you press on the lateral side of lower leg and produce any pain?

    "The answer is a duck. Maybe a mallard." -Lyle McDonald

  • whasianbilly Amateur 20 posts since
    May 20, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. May 22, 2011 10:51 AM (in response to delli25)
    Re: Lateral leg pain

    Two things come to mind... nerve issue or stress fracture/reaction. I'm leaning

    towards a nerve issue though. Common peroneal maybe? As I'm sure you've

    heard before, best to see a professional.

    "The answer is a duck. Maybe a mallard." -Lyle McDonald

  • JamesJohnsonLMT Legend 1,183 posts since
    Aug 23, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Jun 8, 2011 2:42 PM (in response to delli25)
    Re: Lateral leg pain

    Sorry this comes to you so late. You are  doing many things  right, but there is something missing from your list.  Your symptoms  point to lateral Gastrocnemius muscle strain, which should  have been the first thing explored by  medical personnel. I am always  baffled when every test is done except  for myofascial causes, since  they are the most common source of this type of pain.  Then I realize  that, based on what I've seen, there is not much money  to be made paying  attention to the elephant in the room.. and quite an elephant it is!


    This  upper rear calf  muscle spans both the knee and ankle joints (via  Achilles tendon), which  is why the muscle strain becomes evident when  both joints are extended,  as in standing while leaning forward. The  muscle is located between the  joints, menisci, tendons, and ligaments  that everyone has been looking  at, and weighs more than all those other  things put together. Muscle  strains do not respond to the  usual  rest, ice, compression, elevation,  strengthening, or stretching   protocols designed for trauma control.  Anti-inflammatories do nothing to treat an ongoing muscle strain, even though symptoms are suppressed. In this case, the muscle is affected not only by your exercise, but by how you stand and sit.


    As   you suspect, weakness after extended training was no doubt compounded   by your illness, but pressure on the hamstrings from chairs, or on the   calves by an ottoman in an attempt to elevate it, both combine to   restrict circulation in the muscle, and increase the likelihood of   painful spasms. Extended stretches, as when propping your foot up onto a   wall, will aggravate the strain and set up spasms and dysfunction in   this and other calf muscles.


    A good example of how  easy  it is to provoke these responses from your muscles happened to me  last  night. I fell asleep with my feet propped on an opposite chair.  When I  got up, I could hardly walk. my knees buckled and would not  support my  weight. There was sharp pain in the back of my knees. This  only went on  for 5 minutes or so, but your training has lasted a lot  longer, with  longer lasting results. Muscular strain symptoms can be  frighteningly  dramatic. In my case, a small muscle called the Popliteus, which is in  the back of the knee and used to unlock it, was aching from being  stretched out so long.


    So what to do when the strain seems  so permanent?  While doctors once used a "spray and stretch" technique  to treat these  kinds of strains (temporarily chilling the cutaneous  nerves over the  strained, but still warm muscle allows it to be  stretched with better  results), the timing of this technique is  generally considered to be too  sensitive for self treatment. It's also  messy and involved the use of  CFCs as a refrigerant, and has since been  replaced by manual therapy.


    Simply  get your thumbs into the muscle and compress focused portions of  the  muscle until the spasms subside and the muscle relaxes,  circulation  restored. A relaxed muscle can heal; one that is left  unattended will  heal more slowly. OK, I make it sound too easy, but it  is. You get  better at it with practice. I've been doing it  professionally for years,  and often drive over a hundred miles a day to  unlock people's muscles.  Fortunately for my car, I have a day job  where people come to me (just  put a guy to sleep, woke him on some  rough spots, and put him back to  sleep again). If I didn't see this  work every day, I would not be so  bold. If I can do this for doctors,  you can do this yourself, or find someone else to do it. It's the  missing element in your list.

  • Designeer Pro 125 posts since
    Jan 28, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Jun 12, 2011 6:41 PM (in response to delli25)
    Re: Lateral leg pain

    I am just an amateur and a patient at that, I have learned alot about soft tissue damage after my bicycle crash..................reading about your symptoms, I agree with James and would like to add that when I get prolotherapy injections into stretched tendons or ligaments I have bent the needles suddenly when something lets go, my doctor says he found a trigger point and man it feel great to release those, if you can do it with your thumb, all the simpler...I have heard of ACT...Active Release Therapy I think James is describing........


    Prolotherapy does not recommend icing an injury and they dislike anti-inflammatories by the way.......

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