Help For Tight Calf Muscles
One of the uncomfortable consequences of exercise is developing pain in the muscles which leaves you feeling sore and restricted. Common examples of this are tight calf muscles, for these muscles undergo considerable tension and they tend to restrict the movements of the legs. The calf muscles which typically account for the stiffness are called the soleus and gastrocnemius. It is perfectly normal to experience mild pain or stiffness in this area, and shouldn’t be a cause for concern. However, having said that, it is a problem which should be recognized, for the pain will simply worsen if one continues to exercise or try to overcome the stiffness and go running. There is a certain point where the calf muscle will become so severely strained that it will require medical attention, but for the most part calf pain in the calf can be treated at home through various remedies that will alleviate the tension in the muscle.
Tightness in the calf, and other muscles, can often be caused by poor blood circulation. It can also be the result of compartment syndrome, which occurs when the muscle becomes too large for the surround area. For the relative minor cases of calf stiffness, massage oils and compressions are usually quite effective. The first thing you ought to do is to try stretching the afflicted muscle gently. Then wrap up some ice cubes in a rag and apply to the calf. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids, dehydration is a very common cause of muscle stiffness and cramping, so just drinking enough water will go a long way to relieving the symptoms. Adding some lemon juice to the water will add to the effectiveness.
Remember that one of the key problems is lack of circulation, so continue to stretch the calf and try rubbing gently. There are many lotions and rubs on the market which are specifically designs for muscle injuries and can be very helpful for stiff muscles. However if the pain persists and no home remedies seem to be helping, there are also many pain medications which will help.
Though pain medications should generally be avoided and used only if necessary, there are muscle relaxants and pain killers which will at least let you forget about your pain and perhaps feel more comfortable. Be sure not to exert your calf muscle while on pain killers, not feeling the pain often leads people to think that they can begin to exercise again, which will often lead to further damage and an even longer recovery period.
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