Why do my calves hurt when I run?

Why do my calves hurt when I run?

Causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention

Any extreme activity involving muscles can cause soreness in them. It can be running, jogging, or any other extreme leg exercise that can result in the calves tightening.  When the muscles become tight, it is very difficult to move them. It is a very common problem that players or athletes face. In this scenario, the leg muscles are highly involved in the movement and are very active. This article will briefly elaborate on why do my calves hurt when I run? Along with it, there will be a detailed discussion on the main causes of muscle tightening, its symptoms, and treatment. Furthermore, we will discuss a complete section on how we can prevent this problem.

If you are a sports player or perform any hectic work using your leg muscles. This would be very common to you. In the same way, the people who start doing workouts face muscle soreness initially.

So if these are any of your concerns, this article is for you. Keep reading the article and have a broader and detailed perspective on this problem.

Why do my calves hurt when I run?

Every movement in our body or any action that we do is with the help of muscle movement. If our muscles are not working we will not be able to move even slightly. Behind the reason for this condition of muscles, there is a complete process.

  •         Our body needs the energy to perform every action. In medical language, the energy is obtained by the energy molecules called ATP molecules. When our body performs any extreme activity or exercise, the oxygen demand increases vigorously.
  •         At that time, this demand is not fulfilled and anaerobic respiration occurs in the muscle cells. As a result, lactic acid is produced and accumulated in the cells. This causes muscle soreness. And the muscles are restricted to any movement.
  •         Because of this lactic acid accumulation, the muscles become stiff. This stiffness ultimately causes pain when these muscles work. However, this lactic acid later changes into carbon dioxide and water. But this process of breaking down lactic acid molecules requires a little time. Meanwhile, the person feels extreme pain in the muscles.

We have discussed the complete terminology behind muscle pain. In the same perspective, running, jogging, and even walking are physical exercises that involve calf muscles. Due to this high-impact activity, calf muscles are continuously engaged in it.

In the light of this explanation, now you have got the answer to why do my calves hurt so much. Let’s head towards some other important sections in this article.

Reasons/causes for calf pain

In this section, we will discuss why a person feels pain in their calves. You can also say that we will explore some prominent causes for this problem.

  1.       Firstly it can be due to an intensive and latent activity. For example sports and exercise.
  2.       The second is when the muscles are very weak and the endurance level is the least.

When people start taking the work more than its initial capacity, there is soreness in the calf. And in many cases, it might get tight. Tightening does not mean that your calves are becoming strong or gaining strength. It means that excessive activity has tired the muscles.

So consider an example of a person who started gym. It is a certain thing that within a few hours of your workout you will start feeling pain. Although you will feel pain in the area in which you exercise, the logic behind it is the same.

 Similarly, people who are habitual of running and covering a particular milestone regularly, do not encounter this pain at all. But a person has started running or walking recently or it’s the first day. The person will surely feel his muscles stretched and in extreme pain.


Dehydration is another reason why do my calves hurt after running? It is obvious that if the water intake is less the body muscles will not operate effectively. While running, jogging, or any other hard activity, there is a loss of salts and essential minerals from the body.

Maintaining an adequate water level in the body is equally important as our food requirements. Due to the rapid loss of salts the person might suffer from twists or cramps in the lower limb area. More importantly, it affects the calves and the feet. For that, it is crucial to stay hydrated when you are engaged in any activity.

Effective treatments for calf pain

Of course, the treatment methods are entirely different and depend on the cause. In this section, we are heading towards the most effective methods to treat calf pain.


It is very good in treating calf strains and effective method as it is best to relax the muscles. Also, it increases the flexibility of the muscles.

ü  The important thing, while you are stretching, is, never rush while stretching.

ü, Hold the position for 30 seconds.

ü, Stretch the muscles on both sides. Calf muscles are stretched longitudinally.

ü, Do not stretch the muscles when there is pain or any kind of discomfort. It will enhance the risk of muscle rupture.

Mild leg exercises

Mild leg exercises are always good as they involve the leg muscles mildly. Lunges are very suitable when your calves are in pain. Firstly, hold the position and extend your right leg forward. Now gently fold your calf muscles upward and then relax them. Now repeat the process with your left leg. Perform a set of 15 on each leg. This will give you relief from your pain after repeating the exercise for a few days.

Rapid treatment methods

There are also some quick and productive methods. Right after running if your muscles are stretched and tight, an ice pack can work here. This will relax the muscles. It is also worthwhile if there are cramps or any kind of inflammation.

Using a massager is good to a great extent. But according to the recommendations, you should use it after some time. For instance, it is not constructive at all to use it right after exercising or running. After some time, massage your calf muscles.

As described earlier, the body becomes deficient in water and essential electrolytes. In this concern, the sports players, gym trainers, and athletes use water with an adequate amount of electrolytes in them.

Basic preventions for calf pain/strains

Many people also question why do my calves feel tight? So the reasons are pretty much the same for cramps, tight muscles, and soreness. For sure, no one wants calf cramps and pain. This is possible too but some basic prevention measures are necessary to make.

1.       Warm up before any activity

It is a matter of fact that our muscles are not prepared for any extreme activity. That is why it is crucial to prepare them by warming up the muscles. Before any extreme activity, do some stretches and mild exercise. This will also prevent cramps and rapid strains.

2.       Avoid repetition

If you are a gym trainer, avoid repetition. For instance, if you have performed a hectic workout today. Try to avoid the same exercises and games of that part on the next day. The repetition can result in rupturing of calf muscles.

3.       Keep the body hydrated

During the activity, keep drinking water sip by sip. Remember not to drink it at once as your body temperature is high. So if you drink cold water, it might not be very good for you.

4.       Go for the right footwear

This aspect is mostly neglected by the people. If you are an athlete or a runner, your activity will be fiercer. Moreover, the right pair of shoes will support your feet and calves in a very appropriate manner.


Summarizing our discussion, we assume that you are now very clear about all the queries. It is very clear now why do my calves hurt so much after running any ferocious activity. If you are suffering from calf pain, this article is a treasure to you.

So follow the treatment methods and assure the precautions so that you can go smoothly on your tracks.


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