Left calf pain the day after Kendo, will it get worse?

by MJ
(England )

Firstly, thank you for your lovely, informative site!

Now, I have just begun kendo (1 session a week for 4 weeks).

Unfortunately, after the last (very fun session where we got to do a series of forward and back movements), I woke up the next day and almost fell out of bed due to an intense cramp like pain in my left calf.

I am a former national junior tennis player so I knew to stretch it out as much as I could, and then I was able to walk without a limp. I have self-diagnosed a small possible micro tear in the medial gastrocnemius. I still have pain, two days on from the session.

I am just worried that as I did not think the session was particularly grueling (and will only get harder!) is Kendo suitable for me? To be injured so early on! We did stretch before we began practicing too :(

Answer: Thank you for your kind words! I'm glad to hear that you find this site informative!

First of all, you should see a doctor. You might think it is a minor injury but that is how big injuries start. They might tell you exactly what you know now. But it is very important to ask

· how you can prevent this from happening and

· how you can treat it.

It is a very common injury and many people get used to it. But… like I said, that is how big injuries start so I'll share what I think you should do.

Your left calf muscles get really tired. Kendo includes unusual movements so the harder you try, the more tensed up your muscles get. You think you're relaxed but not your muscles.


It's a good idea
to ice your calf muscles after training. Since your body is trying hard to learn the new (and unusual) movements, they are working really hard. So it is always a good idea to ice them after training.

Updated on Feb. 11, 2016: Icing seems to be considered "not good" according to "Ice Age Melting: Rice May No Longer Be the Treatment of Choice for Injuries".  Please do consult your doctor. Things change all the time. Once icing was a "must" but it looks like not anymore.

Cool down: Stretching after Training

It is important to warm up before training but also after training. Stretch well. What I mean “well” is take your time. Do it slowly.

I finally realize that stretching must be done really slowly and take time. For example, when stretching calf muscles, you must stretch really slowly and change angles of your heel and/or knee. Apply multiple stretch methods.

Focus On Getting Kendo Muscles

The kendo movements are unusual. That means your muscles are not used to those movements so they get tired very easily and quickly.

When you learn the kendo movements, do everything nice and big and….SLOW.

It takes a long time to develop the kendo muscles. It's not easy, but if you do this process too quickly, you will suffer later.

Think your beginner phase as a period of preparing yourself to do kendo. This is the time for developing good and strong muscles for kendo.

Don't worry. It is very normal. You must know how to take a good care of yourself so you won't get injured, or when you do, you know how to take care of it.

Good luck with your kendo journey! When you think you are alone, give me a yell here. I'm always here!

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