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[Podcast] Calf injuries and running

MSK Physiotherapist, Bupa UK
04 May 2021

I’m pleased to introduce you to the first episode of Joint Approach: The Bupa Physio Podcast. This new podcast is dedicated to the discussion of everything to do with MSK (musculoskeletal) health, covering topics related to the muscles, bones and joints. In each episode, I’ll be talking to a very special guest to take an in-depth look at a particular MSK subject.

My special guest for this first episode is Steve Miller, an MSK Physiotherapist at Bupa, Manchester. With over a decade's worth of experience in clinics and professional rugby, and experience at the London Olympics and Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Steve has a wealth of knowledge that he shares in our conversation. Listen to the podcast below or read on to find out more.

Key points from the podcast conversation

  • As MSK physiotherapists, we see calf strains, tears and injuries regularly. The recent popularity of running during lockdown seems to have increased this problem.
  • Calf injuries can happen when people start running either for the first time, or if they resume running after a long break. Sometimes, these injuries can also happen in non-sports scenarios, like when you’re running for the bus.
  • The two tears that we generally see are in the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. If you tear your gastrocnemius muscle, you’ll usually be very aware of it in the moment. That’s not always the case if you tear your soleus, which can be more subtle.
  • A tear of the soleus often happens when people are introducing themselves back into running at a slower pace. There seems to be evidence that the increased ground contact time from slower runs contributes to your risk.
  • Running more lightly, with less of an impact on the ground and an increased number of strides, can be part of preventing calf injuries.

There are many more points that we cover in the full conversation. So, do have a listen above, and please subscribe through your podcast app to keep up to date with future episodes. You can currently find this podcast on Spotify, and it will be coming to Google Podcasts and Apple Podcasts soon. 


If you have a muscle, bone or joint problem, our direct access service aims to provide you with the advice, support and treatment you need as quickly as possible. If you’re covered by your health insurance, you’ll be able to get advice from a physiotherapist usually without the need for a GP referral. Learn more today.

Adam Byrne
MSK Physiotherapist, Bupa UK

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