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Gastrocnemius Pain from Squatting

I’ve been recently getting some gastrocnemius pain. Everytime I squat down to depth, or to the point where my hammies press on my calf and come back up, it hurts. Sometimes if I stay in the hole for too long, squatting back up is insanely difficult, the pain will run down to my feet and make me lose some balance.

I also realized as I move up the muscle with a lacrosse ball, it hurts more.

Anyone ever had this? Or know any ways of fixing it other than the normal foam rolling and icing.

Is it only when you squat or is it a constant pain? Google piriformis syndrome, this could be the problem. I dont know a lot about it but ive seen lots of people on here seem to have a similar problem.

Edit: i must be retarded i read gastroc as glute for some reason…

it’s only if i squat ATG or to normal depth with knee sleeves. I assume the knee sleeves is pushing onto the muscle and that’s when the pain occurs. If I just normally squat down ATG, like an Asian man, and proceed to stand back up after about 5 seconds, the pain becomes so excruciating I have to hold on to something to get up.

will do a quick google search right now, thanks.

EDIT: I don’t think it’s piriformis syndrome. The pain comes from the gastrocnemius muscle. I have no pain in my pelvic region whatsoever.

This happened to me when I was upping my squat frequency. I just pushed through it and it went away after about 2 weeks.

[quote]ishinator wrote:
This happened to me when I was upping my squat frequency. I just pushed through it and it went away after about 2 weeks.[/quote]

I had the pain for most of my smolov cycle. It then went away when I went back to squatting 3x’s a week instead of 4. Hopefully this time is different.

i just got over what i believe was piriformis syndrome, i dont think it is that either. i actually have had yourproblem a while back a few sessions while front squatting but it eventually went away.

no idea what it was

2 things:

  1. Jam a lax ball into your popliteus muscle and smash those tissues until the pain goes away.
  2. Load a barbell with 135, set it on the floor, sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you resting on the barbell, and roll from yout heel all the way up to the back of your knee.

Your lower leg is supposed to have a little external rotation at the knee. Many lifters have slight dysfunction here. Try both of those drills I suggested for 2-5 minutes on each leg and see if that helps.

[quote]StormTheBeach wrote:
2 things:

  1. Jam a lax ball into your popliteus muscle and smash those tissues until the pain goes away.
  2. Load a barbell with 135, set it on the floor, sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you resting on the barbell, and roll from yout heel all the way up to the back of your knee.

Your lower leg is supposed to have a little external rotation at the knee. Many lifters have slight dysfunction here. Try both of those drills I suggested for 2-5 minutes on each leg and see if that helps.[/quote]

Second this in a big big way. After this I suggest stretching the gastroc too. I noticed an increase in effectiveness when I stretched after using the drills Storm described above. Not before though, only after.

Might also suggest rolling the bottom of your foot with a golf ball or 1" PVC/wood pipe before you do the drills. Sounds strange, but it works to help loosen things up in preparation

Thanks for the suggestions. Will try both and rolling my foot and report back if the pain subsides.

Sounds like you probably have some nerve entrapment at the tibial nerve or the superficial fibular nerve (depending on where the pain is radiating). It could be from the knee sleeve squeezing on the tunnel that the nerve runs through (which is easily done with the superficial fibular nerve as it is superficial). Also, the nerve can get bound down inside the tunnel and trapped against the fascia, but what STB recommended is good. Also, try this: Sit or lay on your back with your hip flexed to 90. First, extend your knee (to be straight) and plantar flex your foot (point your toe straight). Then flex your knee and dorsiflex (pull your toes back to you). Repeat this about 15 times. This basically causes the nerve to slide within its tunnel and should loosen it up if that is what it is.

When I push my tennis ball into the gastrocnemius muscle, my toes and ball of my feet tingle a little bit. And also cscs, do you hvae a video of that being performed.

[quote]Zerpp wrote:
When I push my tennis ball into the gastrocnemius muscle, my toes and ball of my feet tingle a little bit. And also cscs, do you hvae a video of that being performed.[/quote]

Yeah, the tingling is a sign. Keep at it.

I didn’t listen to much of what he says in the video but just found the shortest video that showed as close to what I was talking about. You can do it with the movement of the head as he does. This focuses a little more on the sciatic nerve which gives way to all the nerves in your leg and will still move the tibial/superficial fibular as well. One test that we can do to figure out for sure if this is an entrapment (which I think it is) is do what he does in the video except for switch the head movements. So first, sitting straight up, tuck your chin to your chest and then do a leg extension with one leg, then dorsiflex your ankle where your toes are pointed towards your shin/towards yourself. If this provokes your exact symptoms, this is a likely nerve entrapment. Most people have this to some degree (I do) but it’s more bound down for you if you are symptomatic with other movements.

As for treatment, notice in the video how when the leg is in flexion/hanging of the table, the toes are pointed down and when the knee is extended, the toes are pointed back towards the head. I want you to reverse that for your first movement. As in the leg hanging with toes pointed up back towards your shin for the first movement, and then do a leg extension and point your toes away from you for the second movement. Then return to the first position. That’s one rep. Do that for 15 for each leg (if both legs are symptomatic) and then try the one in the video with the head movement. This should help to loosen up the nerve from entrapping in the tunnel.

[quote]cscsDPT17 wrote:

I didn’t listen to much of what he says in the video but just found the shortest video that showed as close to what I was talking about. You can do it with the movement of the head as he does. This focuses a little more on the sciatic nerve which gives way to all the nerves in your leg and will still move the tibial/superficial fibular as well. One test that we can do to figure out for sure if this is an entrapment (which I think it is) is do what he does in the video except for switch the head movements. So first, sitting straight up, tuck your chin to your chest and then do a leg extension with one leg, then dorsiflex your ankle where your toes are pointed towards your shin/towards yourself. If this provokes your exact symptoms, this is a likely nerve entrapment. Most people have this to some degree (I do) but it’s more bound down for you if you are symptomatic with other movements.

As for treatment, notice in the video how when the leg is in flexion/hanging of the table, the toes are pointed down and when the knee is extended, the toes are pointed back towards the head. I want you to reverse that for your first movement. As in the leg hanging with toes pointed up back towards your shin for the first movement, and then do a leg extension and point your toes away from you for the second movement. Then return to the first position. That’s one rep. Do that for 15 for each leg (if both legs are symptomatic) and then try the one in the video with the head movement. This should help to loosen up the nerve from entrapping in the tunnel.[/quote]

Good post!

Thanks. I’m glad all of my tuition money has taught me something lol

Pains slowly going away. The session I just did wasn’t so bad. There was still pain but bare-able. Thanks for the posts guys. I guess neglecting mobility work and active recovery is catching up.

[quote]Zerpp wrote:
Pains slowly going away. The session I just did wasn’t so bad. There was still pain but bare-able. Thanks for the posts guys. I guess neglecting mobility work and active recovery is catching up.[/quote]

Powerlifters are the absolute worst .at keeping up with mobility and soft tissue work lol. And i’m proudly one of the guys. I habe a buddy who is a walking wreck that STILL won’t take my advice on mobility, single leg work, and shit.

Understandable, I hate it too. It sucks, it’s not glamorous, it hurts, and it takes time with light weights or sometimes no weights…but it keeps you healthy enough to keep lifting heavy too :slight_smile:

do you bounce out of the bottom? when you bounce you take some structures a little beyond where they want to go and pain manifest at attachments points in the leg. take away the bounce or start coming up a little higher should fix the problem along with mobility drills of the the hips and thigh.