This week I was having calf problems. They come and go now, but for a while it was a huge challenge as my calves adapted to the Pose Method of running, or running more on the balls of your feet. Although they say it takes 2-3 months to adapt, it took me a good year to be running without consistent calf soreness. Thank god for ART to realign built up scar tissue and make my damaged calf muscles functional again!
But this last week it was one of those times when my calves acted up, as they will on occasion over time. I went in to see my Graston Technique sports medicine doctor. After some painful but incredibly helpful scraping of the calves with Graston tools, the knots were cleared out.
Then, she took this weird tape out and proceeded to cut it into a 3 strips, but attached at the bottom. Sort of like a pitchfork. She takes this tape configuration and tapes it to my right calf, which is the most problematic. Very funky.
This tape sticks to skin like nothing I've seen. You can swim with it and it won't come off. It causes some sensation in the muscle to the body that it's being supported, and the tape does help keep the muscle supported and not swinging around to cause or at least minimize damage.
She tapes me up knowing that I am an athlete, and athletes seldom just sit around with injury. I tell her that the next day I need to do my long run so she knows that I'm going no matter what, so might as well try something to help.
I go out for a 14 mile, 2:18 run. My calf starts hurting midway, but hell I have to finish my run so I keep going. It's pretty sore all the way to the end. But then, when I get home, I do notice one difference. The pain has stopped! It was only sore while running and when I got home and subsequently walking around, I find that there almost no pain at all! Somehow this tape did really support my calf, even though it was sore through the run. I am sure it would have hurt more and been hurting for a long time after if I had not. I probably would have injured it again. I suspect the pain was more protesting while it was in the healing process. After all, she treated me and then I immediately went running on it without giving it enough time to truly heal!
This tape is called Kinesio Tape. It's expensive but I highly recommend it. You can get it at: Kinesio-Tape.com. They even sell books on how to tape up your muscles. Cool!