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Why Do I Have Calf Pain When I Run?

In today’s FAQ video, we answer the question “What do I have calf pain when I run?” Watch the video below to hear our expert physical therapists explain what’s behind your calf pain. Leave any questions you may have in the comments section below.

If you are dealing with calf pain and would like to know how we can help, call or text us at (512) 693-8849.

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Why Do I Have Calf Pain When I Run?

Video Transcription

[Please excuse grammatical errors due to the conversational nature of the video]:

“Why do my calves hurt when I run?

I see this a lot with my runners when I have patients that come in here. They’re kind of confused because they have these giant calves and they’re like “I do calf raises all the time.”

You look at them and reply, “I think you have this problem because you only really run with your calves.” And they tend to run with the balls of their feet, tending to be kind of bouncy and pushing outside of their feet.

It put a lot of strain on the outside of those calves. So my calf runners are always confused why they have this problem because they’re not really using their hamstrings and glutes, especially the hamstrings.

So you’ll see people with these big huge calves and you test their hamstrings and they cramp or are weak. These people would get tired after maybe five or ten reps. So that’s a big portion of what I see people with calf issues, as they just use their calves way too much.

But they are able to work that muscle group more than others. So you should have them change their form and strength and focus on the hamstrings and glutes, but especially hamstrings. It is such a big part. The more you can pick up with your feet with your hamstrings, the better your calf pain will be. I’ve had calf strains in the past and that’s been my issue. I just worked them too much. But when I really started engaging my hamstrings much more, the calf strain just kind of went away.”