Calf Pain with Walking After Breast Cancer
calf pain with walking
Marian Barnick

Marian Barnick

Registered Kinesiologist and Human Movement Specialist



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Painfree Walking After Breast Cancer

What’s Causing Calf Pain with Walking for Breast Cancer Patients?


Do you even give your ankles a second thought when it comes to your exercise?


I’m guessing that you’ve probably been working on shoulder mobility, and you’ve been trying to get in your walking, but your ankles haven’t made it onto your exercise program.


Well, what if I told you your ankles were the cause of those aches and pains you’ve got when you’re walking?  Even the calf pain with walking that can stop you in your tracks.


Yep, you heard me.  Your ankles are slowing you down.


And your ankles are causing calf pain when walking.

Before you judge….a little background.


I’ve been evaluating human movement for a long time (more than 25 years) and I’ve been treating patients with aches, pains, and movement problems just like you.  I’ve been evaluating what’s working, what’s not, and providing corrective exercise strategies to get patients, clients, and athletes moving better and feeling better.


And in the majority of cases, what people in pain THINK is their problem, is actually caused by something else.


We are an amazing machine, put together with intricate parts that all work together.  And when one part doesn’t work well, the body tries to compensate.  But this requires an overload on some parts while the others are not doing their job.


So what happens?  Misalignment, tightness, weakness, stress, and in general, poor biomechanics.

And for breast cancer patients who have calf pain with walking, there can be a few problems.


Causes of Calf Pain With Walking



Breast Cancer Rehab is a vital part of the recovery process.  And the goal is to help patients achieve an active lifestyle, reduce the risk of recurrence, and get back to activities that they love.

In reality, breast cancer patients don’t actually receive rehab.


They receive recommendations.  They’re told to “use your arm as you normally would” after surgery, told to “avoid lifting heavy items” and told to “exercise 150 minutes a week”.

That’s not rehab.  And that’s the problem.


When you’ve received chemotherapy, when you’ve become deconditioned because of treatment and fatigue, when your body has changed because of surgery, chemicals,  radiation, and hormone therapy, recommendations without rehab can lead to chronic pain and fatigue.


So ask you try your best to get out and walk, but your body’s tight, sore, and weak, chances are you’re biomechanics – the way you’re moving – is not going to be in alignment with the proper way of walking.


And starting from the bottom, your ankles are the first place to check.  Because in order to help patients achieve the success they want, and reach their activity goals, you’ve got to figure out what’s getting in the way – what are the deficits that are stopping you from your goal.  That’s what rehab is all about.


So if you haven’t have a functional movement screen, if you haven’t been evaluated for how well your joints are moving or where your muscles need to be moving better, let’s start now following the Foundations First Framework.


In this week’s #MondayMoveswithMarian I’m going through a Level 1 Foundations First Framework for walking by looking at ankle movement.


This is your foundation for painfree walking after breast cancer and for walking it’s key to make sure what’s hitting the ground is able to move properly for a great stride and to keep you balanced on uneven ground.


Check out the MMM video and also grab a copy of the Free Guide to help you check the movements you need for proper walking biomechanics.

Here’s the link.


Breast Cancer Guide for Pain-Free Walking


And if you’re looking to accelerate your progress, to make sure you’re moving well and reaching your goals, make sure your name is on the list for Technique Training so you get notified when the next online training is scheduled.




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