Calf pain is common in individuals that are on their feet for long periods. This could be standing, walking, as part of a job or jogging, and running. In most cases, calf soreness and/or pain result from repetitive/overuse strain/injury/tear of the calf muscles. Pain along with stiffness presents with physical activity, exercise, movement. Chiropractic treatment and Active Release can help alleviate and eliminate calf pain.
The calf muscle is in the back of the lower leg, behind the shin bone, and consists of three muscles. The calf muscle supports the body when standing and enables movement of the foot and lower leg. The calf muscles support the body when:
The overuse of the calf muscles usually causes calf soreness, discomfort, and pain. Over time, tiny tears develop in the muscles of the lower legs and calves. Repeated use can lead to more severe injury or condition without proper treatment. Conditions include:
The most common injury is a strain. Strains happen when the muscle fibers are overused and get stretched too far and/or tear. However, the fibers may not tear in that instance, and so the tear could occur at a later time while doing a basic movement like slightly bending or kneeling to tie a shoe. This is when individuals wonder how a tear happened with a simple action. But the tear was already present, just not fully torn.
Muscle cramps and muscle spasms in the calves can be excruciating limiting mobility. Calf cramps can happen during the day or at night. They can result from several factors that include:
Healthcare providers call this strain tennis leg because it happens when the leg extends and the foot flexes. Tennis players are in this position when they serve and push themselves off into motion; however, it can happen in any sport, job, chore that involves the same movement. This type of muscle strain injury affects the gastrocnemius muscle.
Compartment syndrome happens when pressure builds up inside a muscle. The pressure significantly reduces the flow of blood and oxygen. It can result from trauma like a fracture or strenuous exercise/activity.
Calf muscle issues can cause calf muscle:
To prevent and avoid problems with the calf muscles, individuals are recommended to:
Protein is necessary for all of the body’s physiological functions. Protein and amino acids are the building blocks of the muscle tissue in the body. The body’s muscles are a house, protein is the bricks, and the amino acids that form protein are the building blocks of muscle. The body manufactures various amino acids, but nine are essential amino acids – EAA because they are not made in the body. Individuals have to consume EAAs from food sources like:
A diet that consists of mixed amino acids can help maximize muscle protein synthesis. Protein is essential in building muscle because amino acids help repair and maintain muscle tissue. After a strenuous activity or a workout, protein helps the body repair muscles that are slightly torn. To build a healthy body, the body needs to have the right amount of protein. Protein is an essential component of:
Binstead JT, Munjal A, Varacallo M. Anatomy, Bony Pelvis, and Lower Limb, Calf. [Updated 2020 Aug 22]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. . Accessed 6/4/2021.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459362/ (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459362/)
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Young G. Leg cramps. BMJ Clinical Evidence. 2015 May 13;2015:1113. . Accessed 6/4/2021.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4429847/ (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4429847/)
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