Release Calf Tension Yourself! – 3 Self Treatment Ideas using Trigger Point Release

Getting that achy feeling in the calf? Legs feeling heavy and feeling like it is stuck in cement?

Trigger points are a real thing. When you get them in your calves, they can cause cramping, stiffness, and fatigue. They may also feel weak and cannot generate much strength. If left untreated, it may cause calf strains, tendonitis, and even tendon ruptures.

Our Physiotherapists at EastWest Physiotherapy in Burnaby recommend self trigger point release techniques.

Self-Calf Treatment Techniques - Trigger Point Release

1. Kneeling on roller placed between calf and hamstrings
Kneeling On Roller Placed Between Calf And Hamstrings
Kneeling On Roller Placed Between Calf And Hamstrings-2

The first muscle release technique involves using a small foam roller, water bottle, or whatever you have lying around. Anything that looks like a small cylinder.

In a kneeling position, Place the roller on the calf and then sit down on your heels. This will apply pressure on the calf. You can alter the positions of the roller by moving it up or down as well as shifting your body from side to side.

Find the areas that are tender and apply pressure, holding it for at least 30 seconds. Pain will gradually subside as the trigger point gets released.

Repeat 5-10 minutes per day

2. Foam Roller - Put Calf On Top Of The Roller/Water Bottle
Put Calf On Top Of The Roller/Water Bottle
  1. Sitting up on the floor with legs extended, place a roller on the back of the calf
  2. Push your body up with your arms, letting the gravity of your leg apply pressure on the calf with the roller
  3. Roll up and down the calf until you find a tender spot. Once you find it, apply pressure and hold for 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat by finding additional spots on the calf, rolling up and down, turning your foot inside and outside.
Put Calf On Top

You may also provide more pressure on the calf by putting other feet on top to place more weight on it.

3. Kneecap On Calf
Kneecap On Calf

In a sitting or lying down position, dig your kneecap onto the back of the calf on the opposite leg.

Massage the calf up and down and locate any tight and/or tender spot.

Once you find it, apply sustained pressure and hold for 30 seconds.

To summarize, these self trigger point release techniques need a hold of a minimum of 30 seconds on each point, up to 1 minute in duration.

These points should be tender when pressure is applied and the tenderness will gradually decrease as you hold it longer.

Aim for 5-10 minutes per day, if it becomes too sore and the pressure feels like a bruise, take a break for a day or so and get back to it afterward.

The goal is to have your calves feel looser, more energized, and less fatigued and painful with your everyday activities.

Contact your Registered Physiotherapists at EastWest Physiotherapy if you have any questions!

Mike Wong, Registered Physiotherapist 


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