Swollen Left Calf after Running

by Claire
(Kent, UK)

I try to run three times a week at the moment about half an hour at a time. I had to stop just about three months ago as the next day after running my left calf muscle would be swollen.

This could last for days depending on the amount of movement I did on the days following - walking to work etc., if I rested it would only last a day!

I went to the hospital the first time it happened. It wasn't painful but very uncomfortable and heavy. The hospital gave me a DVT (deep vein trombosis) injection and I had to go back the next day for the blood test results.

They said that they could find anything. I did my first run since last Tuesday for only 20 mins and low and behold my left calf muscle was swollen and uncomfortable for two days after!

Can you help with what this could be? Why is it just my left leg? I'm thinking of buying some flight socks to run in, do you think that would help?

Thank you!

Answer by Dominique:

Hi Claire,
Thanks for your question about your swollen calf.

Firstly, I did not know what it could be, as it did not really sound like any of the mainstream running injuries, more like a blood clot or something similar.

So, I had to do some research for this one. It sounds a lot like May-Thurner syndrome. This usually happens to fit young women. It's always the left leg and the situation increases with exercise.

The symptoms are caused by compression of the left iliac vein by the right iliac artery and 5th lumbar spine. This can be verified by a Venogram.

Compression tights and compression stockings may help alleviate the pain, but you would really need to get this checked out properly as it may require some treatment.

Hope this helps.
Kind regards,

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