Is My Calf Related To My Back Pain?

“Why am I getting a calf strain every time I run? Why does it come along with my back pain? So are the two related? Can other things happen when you have a back issue?” So, in other words, are things starting to compensate for the lack of stability of the back and the answer is absolutely yes. Whether it’s related to the back or not, I can’t tell you sitting over a blog but there are different compensations that can happen when you start to injure your back.

So a great example is if you have a back issue and you’ve got instability through the lower part of your spine, the muscles around the spine, the core stability will start to work differently than if you didn’t have any pressure through the spine, especially if you’re doing things like longer walking or even running as well. When you’re putting your body under different stresses, the body will always try and compensate or use different areas to allow you to keep functioning at an optimal level.

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So that’s why you often see people who walk around to the side when they’ve got a back issue and the head is going one way and the hips the other. Your body is trying to keep you nice and balanced as you walk. So you keep on walking until the body says, enough is enough. I need to get this sorted and that’s when people have to seek professional help.

Is My Walking Causing My Back Pain?

So often when you do longer walks or runs, the hamstrings begin to get tighter because you’re trying to give more stability to the spine. Also the calves have started to tighten up, particularly if you’re running on your toes or in a midfoot strike just because you’re trying to get more equal posterior stability to make up for that lack of back support.

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Very often we sit too long, especially these last 18 months. We’ve been working from home on different chairs. The glute muscles are huge supporting muscles through the base of the spine and have to stabilise our pelvis when we walk around or when we go for runs.

If they’re not working at 100 percent or close to where they need to be, then we’re going to start using other muscles to get that extension and often the calves, the Achilles tendons, they got more stress to try and get that dynamic movement to push the foot through and extend through that gait stance.

So that’s often why we start to get more stress in those areas. So calf tightness is one of them. Really important to get that looked at. If it does become a recurrent problem, is it coming from somewhere else? You can stretch the calves as much as you want. You can do foam roll as much as you want. You can massage gun them. But if it keeps on coming back, is it time to start looking elsewhere? Is it coming from a different part of your body, different part of your anatomy?

So I think with the spine as well, you know. Back pain isn’t always just linked to the back. It could be coming from instability lower down the leg, sometimes with ankle instability, sometimes from knee problems as well.

So it’s really important to try and view the body as a whole holistic approach to get the best results that you need to keep you walking, keep you running, keep you as healthy as possible as we start to, come out of this lockdown.

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