Are your calves tightening up from running ?

shutterstock_110888123Do you find your calves always stiffen/tighten with running? Let’s take a look at some potential reasons behind why the calf muscles get stressed.

1) Overload of the muscle due to inadequate muscle strength and power in the lower limbs.

Decreased lower limb strength can lead to the overload of the calf during the push-off phase of running. Our gluteal and quadriceps muscles play an important role in propelling ourselves forward. Without strength and endurance in these muscles, the calf muscle can become the sole driver of propulsion, hence can become fatigued and tired. Consideration also needs to be given to the calf itself in terms of strength and endurance, to handle the load placed upon it in running.

2) Overload of the muscle occurring in the absence of joint stability.

In the absence of joint stability runners may grip with their toes to the ground in an attempt to gain balance and stability, this in turns creates muscle tension throughout the calf.

3) Nerve or connective tissue tension often related to the spine and pelvis.

The spine and pelvis may play a part in nerve or connective tissue tension in the calf. Release work using a variety of techniques and stretching, around the lower back and pelvis may help to alleviate the nerve or connective tissue tension.

In Touch Physio can help you with identification of the contributing factors to your calf tightness. These factors can then be addressed with a variety of physiotherapy techniques and a tailored exercise program to help strengthen and stabilise the lower limb and offload the calf.

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