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Upper Calf/Posterior Knee Pain in Stretches w/ External Hip Rotation

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Hey there, I've commonly felt a pain in my upper calf or behind the knee where the calf inserts when doing stretches like the seated piriformis stretch or butterfly. The pain spikes as I initiate the stretch then eventually subsides as I sit more into it. This oddly enough occurs only in my left leg. I feel a similar pain sometimes when walking up or down stairs, while sprinting, or when slipping off a sneaker(externally rotated hip, pulling leg back). This inhibits the running activities I would like to do. Maybe related is a frequent clicking and snapping(painless) in that left knee, especially when extending it and flexing the quad. This often temporarily relieves any discomfort around the knee area.


I've tried several different active release techniques/smr on the left calf and hamstring, after which a stretch like the seated piriformis stretch will have little or no pain at the beginning, but the pain comes back fairly quickly. I've had some results with hamstring stretching, which after a week made the pain go away completely, but then it came back again. I've also found that wearing a hamstring/leg compression sleeve offers some relief during activity. My current theory is that my tight calves are causing this. I can't dorsiflex past 90 degrees, and am currently working on lengthening my calves. However, if this were the case, I'm stumped on why this only occurs in my left leg. 

Has anyone experienced something similar or have advice on how to make this pain go away for good? Thank you.

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