Our calf muscles are one of the most important muscles affecting our lower body when we walk and run. They are responsible for bending the knee joint and pointing the foot downwards. For many of us these muscles are over-worked and under-loved, and end up much tighter than our body expects.
In normal day to day walking and standing this tightness generally does not affect us. Especially whilst wearing shoes, our bodies can adapt and move differently as required. When we start using more force, running or jumping, this can lead to a greater overload of the muscles.
Calf pain when exercising is often a sign that the muscles are working much harder than they are able to. Whilst in the short term they may adapt to the added stress, longer periods of calf pain can be precursors to more serious injuries. Calf strains as well as Achilles tendinopathies (where the calf attaches to the heel bone) can result if the calf pain is not attended to.
Assessing our footwear is a good place to start. Older footwear or shoes with inadequate support may allow the foot to move more, increasing the load on the calf. Similarly calf stretches and strengthening are vital to improve not only the calf ROM, but maintain the strength of the muscle too.
If you are concerned about calf pain call our clinic at (07) 3823 5423 to book an appointment with one of our Podiatrists.