I thought I'd do a quick update on how my rehab is going on my calf injury. Friday was the first real opportunity to assess the damage, and it didn't appear to be quite as bad as I thought it was going to be. Everyone is different, and every injury is different. The muscle was certainly tender to the touch and there was a reasonably sized area that was both tender and firm to the touch. Dorsiflexion (imagine pointing your toes towards your nose) was the most painful movement, and I was most definitely limping. Running was out of the question!
I'd applied a Physicool bandage the previous day and rested it. I'd also put on a compression bandage, the good old tubigrip sort of thing. I decided that I would try walking and although it was obvious I was limping, I managed to do a steady, if rather slow, 4Km. Once home I reapplied the cooling bandage for 30 minutes before removing that and putting the compression bandage back on. About every 20 to 30 minutes I made sure I got up and walked around a little.
Saturday morning I went out for another walk and this time things were much better. I did a little bit of gentle massage of what had been the rather firm and tender area before setting out on the walk. My stride pattern was much more even, and I concentrated on making sure I was flexing my ankle while not stressing the soft tissue by going too quickly. There were still a few movements that were painful, but generally it was okay. I still couldn't run and when we were at the rugby match that afternoon it was pretty clear that running was difficult every time I needed to get across the pitch to deal with an injury.
By Sunday, walking was good, with very few issues. I even went for a faster 2Km walk on my own to finish off my sets for the day. Hopefully, by the end of the week, I will be ready to try a little running. Before I try that, I will do some simple weight-bearing exercises, and if they are pain free I'll try some short intervals.
And that's my rehab plan! I guess the lessons are pretty simple. Start moving sooner rather than later. Work within pain free ranges. Don't push too hard too soon. Listen to the feedback your body gives you.