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Tight Muscles

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
This past weekend I skied with an unusual amout of pain in my calves. I really took one run to many. My calves were pained to the breaking point. After a day or 2 of rest they felt better, but now when I am on my feet the muscles are tight, tight, tight. I have been stretching a lot, but they just aren't coming loose. Should I stop streching to give the muscles more recovery??
I am drinking more water and eating a banana or 2 a day for Potassium. I also have started to take a multi vitamin. What other sources (nutrients) can I take in that will help?? Exercise??
How can I help these muscles?? They need help!!!
post #2 of 23
I need to run off to work, but if you do a search for foam roller, there's a bunch of stuff on that in this forum. To over simplify, the roller can release the muscle lesions. Sort of like a massage.

If you happen to be in Summit County on January 14th, I'm doing a workshop on this at my studio.
post #3 of 23
Try some gentle exercises such as walking to help loosen the muscles up. Only do the stretching after the muscles are thoroughly warm, for example after 15 mins of exercise.

I'm guessing that the foam roller is some kind of product to massage yourself, but you can always just use your own hands, or someone else's
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies!

I do walk a mile or two every day. The dog demands it of me. Last night it did feel better after the walk. It also feels better a good nights sleep. And, I will try stretching after a "warm up."

Lisa.....I wish I was in Summit County on the 14th!!!! I'm not so lucky.
But, I'll be in Utah the first week of March!!
Man, I hope my muscles feel better by then!
I'll check out the foam roller. Thanks.
post #5 of 23
Hi Sugaree,
How are your calves feeling? I have a number of questions for you:
1. Has this ever happened before?
2. Did you travel from sea level to higher altitude?
3. Where is the tightness (i.e. lower, mid or upper calf)?
4. Is one calf tighter than the other?
4. Do you walk a considerable amount uphill?

Foam rollers can help "loosen" tight muscles and "break up" the facia but you may want to rule out any other possibilities as well.

If I get a little more info from you I might be able to give you some ideas on how to progress. Best of luck.

Stay Fit Skiing!
post #6 of 23
I agree that a low level workout like walking or slow jogging is good. I used to experience regular cramping after long distance running and marathon training. The cramping was from a buildup of lactic acid in the muscles. Massage therapy and light workouts a day or two after a big race or training run worked well. You don't want to overexert yourself (including stretching btw) while muscles are cramped up.

I've heard certain vitamin deficiencies can lead to cramps also (vit E, iron, magnesium) but I'm no supplement expert. I just take a multivitamin with 100% RDA across the board esp when I'm training.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
fitskier, here are some answers to your questions....

1)No. I have never been pained in this area before.
2)I traveled from roughly 800' up to roughly 2,000'.
3)The pain is in the lower calve.
4)Yes. The right is tighter than the left.
5)No. My walking is relatively flat.

Thanks for any help.
post #8 of 23
If the pain is on one side more than the other, have someone check out both your gait and your ski technique. If you post a photo, I may be able to do a brief poture analysis.
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi Lisa.

Can you tell me what gait is??
post #10 of 23
Gait is basically the way you walk. Some people have a tendency to shift their weight on to one hip, which causes a multitude of problems.
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you Lisa.

Could you please read my post in this forum under the thread "Quads and Calves."

My new skis (Elan's) felt like they put me in a totally different stance than my other skis (Fischer's).

post #12 of 23
Try putting Arnica gel on you calves that works pretty well. Use it before you go for a walk also. It will help loosen up your calves.
post #13 of 23
Originally Posted by Sugaree View Post
Thank you Lisa.

Could you please read my post in this forum under the thread "Quads and Calves."

My new skis (Elan's) felt like they put me in a totally different stance than my other skis (Fischer's).

That's an interesting post. I'm not a boot fitter or a ski instructor, so I don't want to take a guess at this. Two thoughts: Repost in the gear section on the Jeff Bergeron thread, or post a video of yourself skiing in the technique forum.
post #14 of 23
Is your right calf feeling better or about the same? It sounds as though you may have poor circulation in the lower leg or what is commonly known as claudication (please see below*. I am not a doctor so this is certainly not a medical diagnosis). Are you dominant on your right side (in other words do you kick or throw a ball with your right side)? You might check with your doc regarding poor circulation to the lower leg if the problem persists. It sounds as though you have been stretching regularly and massaging, etc.. essentially doing all the right things to "loosen" your calf but to only mild success. Do you have new boots or have them been adjusted recently?

*Claudication refers to cramplike pains in the calves caused by poor circulation of the blood to the leg muscles.

Stay Fit Skiing!
post #15 of 23
I neglected to ask age and fitness level. Circulation could be something if you smoke too.

The one side vs other thing could be as simple as the slopes are double fall lines and one leg is working more. But it could be a flaw in your skiing as some suggest.
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Yesterday the calves felt the best since my day at the slopes. The right calve at one point yesterday just seemed to "relax". Today they were tight from time to time and "sore". Frankly, they feel prone to injury. Circulation could be the culprit, I guess?? Not ruling anything out. The Utah trip is the first week of March so at the 6 week mark, if feeling fatigued, I will contact the Doc.

I am in new boots. This past weekend they did feel tight at the calves. Going back to the fitter tomorrow for more adjustment. No black and blue marking so I don't think it's a bruise??

ct55...I am 44 and not in the best of shape. I do NOT smoke and I do walk a mile or two each day. Early in the day my technique is quite good, IMHO. I have skied for 25+ years and in the past was an instructor. I would say I am an aggressive skier, carving big muscle turns. As the day progresses my technique goes downhill.

Also, I joined the gym a week ago and I will be talking with a trainer tomorrow on exercises and nutrition to help. Any input on Potassium or Magnesium?? I am now taking a multi-vitamin and eating a banana a day.

Thanks for the input. ( I hate it being all about, me!!)
post #17 of 23
Do you work out your calves at all in the off season? This is an overlooked area IMO. I found adding calf workouts (toe raises and the like with ++ weight) made a big difference in controlling the tips of my skis.
post #18 of 23
That sounds like it is about 2 days from when they first sore to now feeling better so it could be the fairly usual soreness in muscles you experience if you do something with more exertion that usual. I assume it's been a while since you skied last? If the boots feel a bit tight then it probably doesn't help matters. If it is delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) then you after you experience it you usually have some protection from it happening again for a while. As ct55 suggests, working your calfs in the off season is a good idea because it helps to get your body accustomed the work that your calf muscles do when you are skiing.
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
In the last week I have 4 workouts and lots of walking and drinking water under my belt. Did I mention stretching?? I am feeling better but I am still not out of the woods. It seems to be a long, slow recovery.

all white......Trust me, I may be out of shape but this is NOT the usual soreness for a day or 2 after hitting the slopes for the first time!! It has been more like an injury. If it was the usual soreness I wouldn't have posted here asking for advice.

I did take my new boots to the fitter in which he opened up a couple of buckles to give me more adjustment. I will keep doing the right things to get past this and if I have any set backs I will post again.

Thanks for all the replies!!
post #20 of 23
Hey Sugaree, if it's more than muscles soreness lasting for a couple of days followed by general tightness in the muscles I'd recommend you visit a physio. As you say it's more like an injury so probably best to get it checked and hopefully get some treatment or at least an explanation so you can prevent it next time.
post #21 of 23
ahh - yeah good idea. I mean, free advice from us is nice and all but probably only worth the price of admission
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
I appreciate the advice, however, I don't go to the Doc for every little sprained finger or muscle ache. If this problem persists for a couple weeks, I will. I mean I am on my feet and I am at work. Day to day life is NOT hampered.

I am progressing, slowly. I hope to ski this coming weekend. If the activity promotes what I went through last weekend the Doc will get a call.

We'll see??
post #23 of 23
I hear ya - I think this is a common skier trait or something - I do the same thing. The thought of sitting there waiting in the office is enough to send me off .

You just brought up the possibility of injury which is a red flag for me. I've overdone it in the past through what I thought was soreness and caused myself harm so I'm probably a little more sensitive to that.
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