Until recently, I haven’t met many people who have some calve(s) issues. Nowadays, I am more likely to meet people who suffer from some type of calve(s) discomfort.
Of course, a longtime sitting position with no physical activity (sedentary life) raises chance for some discomfort, as well as wearing heels for long time. Also, improper footwear and arch problems could be a recipe for issues (and of course, some another lower and(or) upper body parts). It’s interesting that pain can come from the back/low back also, and you think an issue lays in the calves… and so forth.
PS: I don’t count cramps here (causes could be: overuse of a muscle – neurological fatigue from repeated muscular contractions, muscle strain or simply holding position for prolonged period, lack of some minerals – too little potassium, calcium or magnesium… lack of rest, hyperexcitation of neurons, some medicines, dehydration, stress – tension…).
I thought that stretching and foam rolling could treat potentially shortened/stiff calves and therefore solve any problem with calves (and, of course, strengthening the same muscles at the same time), but when it doesn’t work you need to try something else – for sure.
PS: Keep in mind that foam rolling can improve flexibility, but just short term most probably (myofascial releasing is temporary) – which is why is good pre-workout for some full ROM exercises coming after.
In the photo below, you can see the simple mechanism of the fact that calves are pumpers when they are active (on the left side), and that’s the main point of this post – be patient and keep reading because this one is pretty short 🙂 ; and the simple mechanism of what’s happening when you wear heels for long time and very often (daily or almost daily without any stretching/relaxing activity) – on the right side. That’s why both strengthening and stretching (or some another relaxation method…) calves are important.
Ok, I wanted to present you the one really interesting Instagram post I stole from Dr. Perry Nickelston. Actually, everything you need to know about this topic (the most probable reason for tight calves is…) you can read in the photo below. Actually, what I meant by “You need to try something else” you can find/read below. It really makes sense! You can try this with foam roller but I suggest fingers more… Take a look…
For the end, a few Dr. Perry’s interesting thoughts on correlated topic: “Of interesting note is the half dollar size pain zone on the sacroiliac region of the pelvis. If joint manipulations, massage, and physical therapy do not help chronic SI pain, check the soleus. Classic chasing pain syndrome. The soleus is also a primary muscle to help pump blood back to the heart from the lower extremity. This pump movement mechanism can be slowed down when the muscle is not functioning at max capacity, thus decreasing blood flow to the heart. This can lead to decreased endurance and sports performance because of the decreased supply of oxygen. Sudden onset of dizziness when standing from a seated position can also be a problem with this trigger point. The delayed blood flow upon rising makes you dizzy. Work the muscle and notice an improvement. It has even been linked to chronic jaw pain and so forth!”
It’s not proven yet, but you can also try some cold-hot shower option (or similar) – maybe it’s going to help to eliminate pain/discomfort somehow, especially if water pressure on skin/tissue is higher…
Thanks for reading and all the best,