Calf muscle discomfort is typically a dull ache or a sharp sensation in the back of your leg, just behind your shinbone. It can feel somewhat individual to everyone. If you experience pain when performing physical activities such as walking or running, the source is usually muscular. However, if the suffering comes on suddenly and there is no obvious reason for it, it might be an issue with your blood vessels.
How Can I Massage My Calf Muscles By Myself?
If you’re among the many people with painful tight calf muscles, don’t worry – there are ways to reduce your pain and stress. Having a calf tension management plan is the best method to reduce pain and stress and make the calf feel more comfortable.
The best way to heal mild calf muscle pain is by using the R.I.C.E method:
- Rest: Walking or running with calf discomfort is not a good idea. When you endure pain, it may make the problem worse instead of improving it..
- Ice: Every two hours, apply an ice pack or a cold compress to your calf muscles. Directly applying ice to your skin is not a good idea.
- Compression: Use a compression bandage or wrap on your calf to help reduce blood flow and, consequently, the pain and swelling in the area.
- Elevation: Bend your knee and place the ball of your foot on a pillow or other soft surface. Raise your leg as high as possible, ideally above the level of your heart. Pillows, blankets, or cushions should be used to support the whole length of your leg.
If you have calf pain from a muscle cramp or detect a painful knot in your calf, gently stretching your calf may help. Depending on the source of your calf discomfort, your doctor may prescribe one or more of the following therapies:
- Pain killers
- Physical therapy may be required if you have a strain or tear in your lower leg.
- Soft cast or boot to immobilize your lower leg.
Why Do My Calves Feel Tight
When someone wakes up with calf pain their first thought is usually “Why?“. A tight muscle in the calf may be related to everyday activity and a lesser, but worse case cause is muscular tearing or muscle atrophy. Do your calf pains occur in any way? Some of these activities will probably affect your calf muscles and you won’t have to worry about it. It is common to experience such situations, especially during changes in a lifestyle. Muscular soreness begins immediately and peaks after 12 to 24 hours before the symptoms begin.
Trigger Point Examination
Trigger points are the especially sensitive areas in the muscle tissue that can cause pain in other areas of the body. You may be able to feel a small lump or knot and compressed or contraction
The muscle can produce a “jump sign,” local tenderness, local twitch response, and referred pain which often feels like it’s coming from another part of the body.
Causes Of Calf Tightness
Several activities can cause calf tightness, including:
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)
Those calf pains come from an intense amount of muscle movement the muscles cannot handle or control… You may begin to exercise regularly, gradually increase your intensity or walk longer than usual. Typically pain does not come immediately, and can last up to 24 to 48 hours. Once this happens everything will ease up in the upcoming days. Unlike strains there is soreness in every muscle and not in any specific place.
Calf pain caused by sciatica
Sciatica is pain that runs from your lower back to your lower legs through the sciatic nerve. When the muscles in your legs get tight, it can be hard to relieve pain and cause muscle tension. But it can also occur near the spine. For instance, a lower back problem can sometimes trap your sciatic nerve in an uncomfortable way that feels just like a calf. Sometimes the symptoms are addressed instead of the cause.
Muscle Strain or Tear
Calf pains resulting from muscle tension and tears often occur suddenly during exercise or strenuous tasks. Often even just taking the stairs can cause injuries. Despite sudden symptoms, calf pain can be bruising and muscles will not fully stretch until healing.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT):
Although calf muscle pain is more common, there are rare cases in which it can be indicative of DVT. This potentially fatal condition happens when a blood clot forms in your lower leg and then gets carried to your lungs by the bloodstream.
How Can I Keep My Calf Healthy?
Aside from the traditional massage, you can do something every day which will improve your flexibility and reduce calf stiffening pain.
Do Physical Or Massage Therapy Regularly: Physical therapy can help to maintain the calves. Then it is ideal for endurance sports. A professional massager can help with the calf area safely and gently.
Stay Hydrated: Dehydration leaves your muscles sore and tight and causes muscle cramps. In addition, water helps maintain a healthy body and improves blood circulation.
Wear compression clothing: Compression clothing is great at increasing blood flow, as well as temporarily helping to relieve pain when moving around.
Warm-up: You can always warm up when you do exercise. It helps to get the blood flowing and it only takes one walk.
Wear proper shoes: A worn-out shoe could lead to pulling and straining. A new pair will provide a lack of support.
Stretch them out: Research shows that stretching helps maintain flexible muscles that are important to movement.
When Should I Contact My Doctor About Calf Muscle Pain?
If you have calf muscle pain and it is severe, sudden, or accompanied by warmth, redness, or tingling, see your doctor right away. These might be indications of a more serious problem such as a blood clot. If you have any questions about your calf muscle discomfort, contact your doctor immediately.
If you experience calf pain, it is important to pay attention to other symptoms that may accompany it. While some calf pain is normal and not cause for alarm, sometimes it can be a sign of a more serious condition. For example, problems with the blood vessels in your leg can lead to calf pain. If the pain develops without any physical activity or persists even when you are resting, this could be a sign of a more severe condition and you should seek help from a medical professional.