3 Ways a Calf Muscle Massage Can Benefit You Today
Have you ever gone for a run to only pull up sore and tight the next day? Your calf muscles might be feeling the brunt of a long, high-intensity run!
A calf muscle massage can benefit your calves in more ways than you think. Apart from providing relief, it can also strengthen and maximise its function while providing you with relaxation.
Let’s dive into your calves and how a massage can do wonders for your wellbeing!
Why are our calves so important?
Your calves are one of the most under-appreciated muscles in your leg. All the spotlight seems to be taken by bigger muscles such as the quad and the hamstring.
But your calves play an important role in the function of your legs and in injury prevention! Your calves propel you forward every time you walk, they absorb load and provide posterity and stabilisation for your body.
A strong calf can also provide injuries such as tears, strains and ankle injuries.
You can see why it’s important to keep them healthy.
Causes and Symptoms of Sore and Tight Calves
There are a myriad of ways you can aggravate your calf muscles. Going for a run, jogging up stairs – you might even cramp them while you lie in bed!
Either way, sore calves are an incredibly uncomfortable and painful thing to go through. Apart from pain, you may also feel numbness, tingling, weakness or dull throbbing in your calf muscles.
So how can a good calf muscle massage alleviate these pains and more?
Benefit #1 – How a Calf Massage Treats Soreness
Soreness in your calves usually comes in the form of delayed onset muscle soreness, otherwise known as DOMS. This is true especially if the soreness has come after exercise.
The soreness is a result of muscle fibers tearing within your calf. A leg massage can help reduce the pain of DOMS by improving blood circulation in the area. What this does is increase the amount of nutrients and oxygen that reach your muscles, reducing inflammation and encouraging recovery.
A calf massage will also activate your lymphatic system. The pressure and movement of a massage flushes out waste and toxins from our muscles, including lactic acid. This decreases muscle fatigue and helps treat a stiff calf muscle.
Benefit #2 – How a Calf Massage Enhances Leg Performance
Maybe you’re not feeling any crippling pain or soreness in your calves. A calf muscle massage can still benefit you! If you’re looking to improve your leg’s function and performance, try massaging your calves regularly.
How does it do this? In the same way that a massage increases blood circulation to treat soreness, it also reduces muscle fatigue and increases muscle compliance. Muscle compliance helps increase range of motion while decreasing muscle stiffness.
A calf massage is also a great way to warm up before exercise. The manipulation of the muscles loosens them up and raises muscle temperature. Increased temperature within the muscles allows for greater flexibility and elasticity in your calves, which will help you perform your exercises better.
Benefit #3 – How a Calf Massage Reduces Stress
Massage therapy has been shown to be able to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Massages are often considered to be soothing and create a sense of relaxation. This is why calf massages can help get rid of stress.
Have you had a long day at work? Or maybe you’ve had to stand the entire time on your commute home. A quality calf massage can take both the worry and pain away.
Having to book a massage therapist at a moment’s notice might be a little difficult so you can either choose to self-massage or use a leg massager.
How to Loosen Tight Calves through Self-Massage
If you don’t have a leg massager you can do a simple self-massage to provide some relief for your calves.
- Gently and slowly stroke upwards on your calves, in the direction of your head. Repeat a few times, applying increasing pressure with every repetition.
- Begin kneading your calf muscles using your fingers, thumbs and palms. As you work, try pinpointing and knots you might have in your muscle.
- If you have identified a knot, use a more intense, deeper and prolonged knead to get rid of it. Don’t use excessive force however!
- Finally, give your muscles a final stretch with some calf stretches.
Get Your Legs Moving Again!
The pain of tight calf muscles doesn’t have to be permanent. Relief and comfort is only a massage or calf stretch away!
And you don’t have to be suffering from pain to enjoy the benefits of a calf muscle massage either. If you’re looking to enhance the performance and function of your leg, or are just looking to unwind and relax – a massage is the perfect solution. Try one for yourself now!
Like we mentioned, a self-massage can do the job but if you want to take it to the next level, try an electric massager like the OSIM uSqueez 2. Designed for both feet and leg massages, it will have your bottom half feeling like new!