This sounds like a long painful journey and a some harsh truth about injuries. Taking time off the bike completely would have so tough to accept. Kudos to you for sticking to it and getting back. Thanks for sharing your experience.
In the end I do think it was the tears. But I did consider vascular issues, nerve issues, etc. along the way. I just didn’t have most of the symptoms that would indicate issues in that area.
My pain would vary like yours. I had localized sharper pain/soreness at the tear site but also a diffuse general ache in the whole calf. I think that had to do more with tightness in the muscle and fascia as I still get a hint of that if I don’t stretch really well after each ride.
During the year off I would get on the trainer once a month or so and do an easy 30 min ride. Usually there was no pain during but the next day was the test. If I had pain in the spot of the tear I took another month off. The achiness was there all along. That did not go away until a few months into riding again when I was able to fully stretch the muscle without aggravating the injury. It was the tendon/gastric junction injury that was slow the heal.
If you anything like me you probably did read quite a lot of things on the possible cause of the injury (beside the more obvious tear). I also do not seem to have the most common symptoms of either nerve or vascular entrapment. I did read that connective tissue tear take a lot longer to heal that muscle tear and perhaps now that my initial strains are healed those tissue are still not completely healed.
Hopefully I’ll be able to get and MRI just to at the very least eliminate some of the most obvious issues such as tear.
I must say its hard to not be able to ride in the summer…especially with such a weird injury. It was a lot easier easier to rest when I broke my wrist or tore my MCL, at least the pain or inability to function was obvious in those cases.
I had an issue for years with my right calf. I went through the whole system (dry needling, compartment syndrome testing, Physio, etc.)
What worked for me was a rubber exercise band. I rotate the ankle outwards to strengthen the calf. Helped strengthen the muscles. Took me years to figure this one our :~(
You may also want to look at orthotics (shoes)and/or footbeds (bike shoes). Something a good bike fit would cover.
It can be felt throughout the entire body. But, people with MPS feel localized pain in regional groups of muscles, like the lower back, neck, or jaw. MPS is characterized by a few localized trigger points in the taut ropey bands of the muscles. These trigger points are tender and can produce localized pain.
Looks like you’ve already tried my two suggestions: mid foot cleat position & heel raises.
That sucks that you can’t get diagnosed…or it seems like you’re not getting the proper diagnosis. Keep trying!
Hello, I just stumbled across this thread today and I was wondering if you have had any success with diagnosing the pain. I have had pain in both calves since around April of these year. Like you I have seen lots of doctors and trainers with 0 results. It’s basically a dull ache or tightness in different areas of the calf. Sometimes even a sharp crank that can stop me in my tracks…No matter how much rest I give it, the pain does not want to heal any further, It will even will go away for a day or 2 then come back hard with no extra increase in activity. I have ruled out any back issues and bloodwork came back clean so no mineral imbalance. I am pretty much at a loss to what might be the cause at this point. like you I am thinking I might just have to deal with this the rest of life…