Many athletes deal with tight calf muscles on a regular basis. The problem usually arises over several months or even years. Not stretching before or after exercising can be a cause tight calf muscles. When calf muscles are not stretched before a strenuous workout, tiny tears can reduce blood flow, and cause them to spasm. Here are six ways to treat sore calves and help your legs loosen up.
Elevate Your Legs
Elevating your legs can relieve tension and increase blood flow to your muscles, since your muscles will swell when overworked. Place a few pillows under your legs, and keep them above your heart to reduce swelling.
Apply a Bandage
Wrap your sore legs in a cloth bandage. Applying pressure to your legs will help to relieve swelling as well. Too much pressure can worsen the pain, so be sure to gently wrap your legs. Compression socks are another good option for securing muscles and relieving pressure.
Apply an Ice Pack
Ice can numb your sore muscles, and you should apply cold pressure for fifteen minutes every few hours. This will reduce swelling and ease pain. Always wrap the ice before applying it to your leg. If you do not have an ice-pack, you can put ice in a towel and apply it to your sore muscles directly.
Stretch at Night
A plantar fasciitis night splint will stretch the muscles in your legs overnight and will prevent your legs from tightening after a workout. You might have to get used to sleeping with a night splint, but it is a great way to stretch the muscles in your legs and help them loosen up.
Stretch with a Calf Stretcher
You can also use a calf stretcher to stretch the muscles in your legs. This piece of athletic equipment is available in a variety of designs. The angled board has been proven to help with deep stretching.
A Deep Tissue Massage
A certified sports massage therapist can give you a deep tissue massage. Make sure they have been credited by a good institution like ASA College. If the soreness in your muscles is severe, you might need more than one massage session. It is important to schedule your massage sessions close together. Spacing them far apart will reduce the effectiveness of the deep tissue access.
If you do not find relief with these techniques, there could be medical problems causing your leg pain. A doctor can analyze your calf muscles while you run on a treadmill. You should have the flexibility of your muscles tested every six months.