Friday, July 3, 2009

Amnesia of the Gastrocnemius?

The first time I heard Gray Cook talk about a "sleepy calf" muscle, I was intrigued. But as always happens with Gray's presentations, there are a thousand and one things that I go back to study & review. So inevitably, something slips through the cracks.

The sleepy calf comment had to do with a tight hip, something with which I've recently been stuggling with. In spite of being able to drop down cold into a full Van Damme, my right hip is a little tighter than my left, and I can feel it. It irritates me occasionally during sleep, I feel it change my biomechanics when I kick, and for decades now, I always feel like I want to get a serious cavitation ("pop") from my right hip joint.

But I figured, "No, it must be something else for me. My calves are symmetrical. And I do enough footwork with martial arts that it can't be my calf."

So this morning I went for my first run in the Vibram Five Fingers. About 3/4 of a mile into it, I noticed something odd. My right calf & Achilles felt like they were starting to ache. The left side felt NOTHING. So instead of bullheadedly finishing off my run, I changed pace to walk out the rest of the mile, paying close attention to my stride.

With each few steps, I could feel how my right hip was starting to move more freely as my right calf was starting to howl. It's going to be interesting to see how this all plays out in the coming weeks as I work to make a habit of putting in at least a mile in these Five Fingers every other day. Needless to say, I'll keep you posted. :-)

Off to do a few errands before Courtney's birthday dinner!

Have a great Independence Day weekend, and remember to give thanks to the Vets that you come across. Were it not for each & every one of them, we'd not be enjoying the beer, barbecue, & blessings that make up our lives here in the USA & the rest of the free world.



Amy Jurrens, RKC said...

Have you ever had a Z Health assessment? Just curious if you're familiar.

Brett Jones said...

Go to my blog and check the Ballet Heel Raise (secret foot exercise) post and give them a try.

Brett Jones said...

Also - it might be more your soleus than the Gastroc

Let me know what you think.

Dr. Mark Cheng said...

Professor, yes, I've had a Z assessment done by Zach Salazar a while back. Not something I'm terribly familiar with... yet.

Sir, thank you for the recommendation. As soon as my calves stop screaming at me, I'll give the Ballet Heel Raise a try and report the findings here! Hard to tell whether the current discomfort is more soleus or gastroc. Right now, everything is sizzling in the posterior lower legs, especially on the right.