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Ask Dr. Arun Phophalia Your Own Question
Dr. Arun Phophalia
Dr. Arun Phophalia, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 34678
Experience:  MBBS, MS (General Surgery), Fellowship in Sports Medicine
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Im having a lot of pain in my left leg after I run. I have

Resolved Question:

I'm having a lot of pain in my left leg after I run. I have a lot of tightness in my hamstring and when I sit in a chair for an extended period of time at work, I get this dull, achy pain above my knee, which I assume is the quadricep. Both pains seem to get better if I stand up and walk around, or stretch it out a little, and it doesn't affect me while I am actually running, only afterwards. It also seems to get better with rest.

In addition I have been battling pain in my left calf for a few months now. My calf muscle is really tight when I start running, but improves after a mile or so and always gets better with rest. What do you think these injuries sound like and how should I treat them?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Arun Phophalia replied 5 years ago.

Where is the pain exactly located in left leg / left calf?
Was there any injury / trauma / accident?
Any significant past medical illness?
Are you a smoker?

Dr. Arun
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I've had pain in my calf while/after running for a few weeks now, but with rest that seems to be getting better. The tightness int he calf has come on more recently. The pain above the left knee has been noticable for some time now, but I only get that after exercising and sitting in the chair at my desk for an extended period of time. If I stand up and stretch it out, it gets better. All three pains are in my left leg.

There really wasn;t a significant injury. I was chasing my daughter and a friend of hers around at a park and I jumped off of a swingset that was higher off of the ground than I originally anticipated, and it kind of hurt. I thought that's where the shin pain may have come from, but not the other two things.

I have had no significant past illnesses.

I do not smoke. I used to, but I quit over 10 years ago.
Expert:  Dr. Arun Phophalia replied 5 years ago.

Few more question please;

Since when are you running?
How much distance do you run everyday?
Is there any specific point of tenderness?

Dr. Arun
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I've been running for 3-4 years. I run 4 times per week, usually one 5 mile route, two 6 mile routes and a longer one on the weekends, between 7 and 10 miles depending on how I am feeling.

Points of tenderness are in the middle of the left calf, right above my left knee and in my left hamstring. I would describe the calf and above the knee as tender, while the hamstring feels tight. When I first get up after sitting for an extended period of time, it is difficult to walk, but as I stretch it out and loosen it up, it gets easier and the pain subsides, until I sit again. The pain always goes away with rest.

In addition, I haven't noticed any bruising or swelling at all, anywhere on the leg.
Expert:  Dr. Arun Phophalia replied 5 years ago.

Your calf pain can be mild grade chronic exertional compartment syndrome (CECS).The other possibility can be calf muscle injury. Since there are only some fibers of the muscle, which are injured; most of the activities are not hampered and pain only comes only on specific work (when these fibers come in to the play).

The pain above the left knee and hamstring can be due to following;

1) Tight hamstrings.
2) Strain of these muscles; which is secondary due to calf issue (abnormal stress on these muscles due to shifting of line of weight bearing).

The treatment entails;

1) Stopping running for two weeks.
2) Stretching and strengthening exercises in the supervision of a physical therapist or an MD in physical medicine and rehabilitation.
3) Swimming after two weeks.
4) Exercises in the pool.
5) Deep electrotherapy; iontophoresis / phonophoresis / short wave diathermy.

The running is resumed after 4-5 weeks; very gradually increasing the distance.

Please feel free for your follow up questions.


I would be happy to assist you further, if you need any more information.


Dr. Arun
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Can I use an eliptical trainer instead of running? I can do that without pain.

Also, regarding Step 5, do you prefer one method over another?
Expert:  Dr. Arun Phophalia replied 5 years ago.

For couple of weeks; stop all the activity / exercise. After that you would be allowed elliptical. Iontophoresis is usually preferred, if the pain / tenderness is confined to a small area on the limb.

It is privilege assisting you.

Dr. Arun
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