Tight calf muscles and foot pain

What causes calf muscle pain?

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Mary Ann Joyce had just finished playing a round of golf last March when she felt a sharp pain in her left heel. The Frankfort, Ill. The diagnosis: plantar fasciitis. An inflammatory condition of the tissue on the bottom of the foot, plantar fasciitis pronounced fash-ee-EYE-tus is the most common cause of heel pain, affecting about 2 million Americans every year. It can be difficult to treat, but it is almost always curable through conservative measures. For Joyce, six weeks wearing an immobilizing orthotic boot, followed by physical therapy to stretch and strengthen the muscles of her calves and feet, did the trick. Her symptoms disappeared in three months.

Tight calf muscles at the back of the lower leg is a common problem in athletes, especially those who run long distances. Here we explain causes and exercises for tight calf muscles. The signs of tight calf muscles that the athlete might feel is a gradual tightening of the calf muscles over time, which can get worse when running or improve while running only to tighten up later. Palpating feeling the muscles may identify tight lumps bumps and areas of spasm where the muscle fibres have tightened up and will be painful and tender to touch. A professional therapist can assess the flexibility of the calf muscles, although what is tight for one athlete may not be the same for another. Compartment syndrome occurs where the muscle becomes too big for the sheath surrounding the muscle causing pressure, sometimes pain, and restricted movement. Biomechanical problems of the foot or from running style can increase the strain on the calf muscles.

One of the things I am learning in my journey to my best health possible is that what you think may be causing you symptoms i. The gastrocnemius muscle is a big calf muscle. The top of the muscle is attached to your femur, and the bottom of the muscle forms part of the Achilles tendon which attaches on the bone at the back of your foot. The Achilles tendon is composed of two parts: the soleus, which is found only deep and behind the calf muscle and is almost never a problem, and the more superficial and bigger gastrocnemius muscle which is frequently a cause of pain and symptoms. The most effective way to treat GE is with a regular stretching routine, particularly the wall stretch.

In the right photo is my foot demonstrating my active dorsiflexion. I placed the dotted line from the center of the heel up through the edge of the ball of the foot to show the difference in angles of our foot to our calves. There is no magical amount of ankle mobility that everyone should have. Tight calves, and foot and ankle issues can range from feeling uncomfortable to downright painful, and what is true for every area of your body is also true for your ankles:. Where one area is lacking, somewhere else will always try to make up for it. If you were just a bony skeleton, aside from being slightly creepy yet totally badass skeleton person, your ankle would move in all the ways it is an ankle joint is built to. And if you need more guidance on shoes that are negatively impacting you, check out this FFRL article.



Stretches and Treatment for Tight Calves

If the calf muscles are too tight, a person may be more likely to experience plantar fascia because the calf muscles cannot support the foot.
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3 thoughts on “Tight calf muscles and foot pain

  1. Often, when we experience heel and/or foot pain, it is stemming from tightness of our calf muscles, a condition called Gastrocnemius Equinus.

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