Calf Muscle Pain While Playing Tennis or Running
Calf muscle pain can stop you short, preventing you from playing your sport, and potentially causing serious injury.
Recently, #5 seed Kei Nishikori was forced to withdraw from Wimbledon due to a left calf injury. This has a serious impact not only on this one important match, but on his tennis career. It also has an impact on the game of tennis since calf muscle pain is a problem that can stop any player suddenly, and possibly permanently!
Tennis involves a great deal of running, compounded with sudden stops and change of direction. The movements put a severe strain on not only the calf muscles, but on all of the joints from the hips, to the knees and the ankles. In the case of calf muscle pain, the muscles involved are the gastrocnemius and soleus, the two major muscles of the lower leg.
These muscles both merge into the Achilles tendon. When the muscles contract it enables you to stand up on your toes so you can walk, press down on a gas pedal, run, and play tennis! You can see how these muscles can easily get repetitively strained.
When you are running, such as when you are playing tennis, you are on your toes for the majority of the game. This causes the muscles to shorten, and then when you put your heel down so you can put your foot flat on the ground the muscles can’t lengthen. The tight calf muscles pull on the two ends: at your knee and Achilles tendon. This spreads the problem so it spans from your knee all the way down to your ankle and foot.
Treatment for Calf Muscle Pain:
There are several specific treatments for calf muscle pain, too many for this blog. This treatment is so effective, and easy to do, that you will get significant relief immediately.
Lie down and place your painful calf on top of your opposite knee. You will find a major spasm in the center of your calf, as shown in the picture on the left.
Press your calf down, and hold the pressure for about one minute. Release the pressure and repeat several times. Then move your calf so you eventually have treated the entire calf muscle from top to bottom, always staying on the area of pain for one minute.
It is important to first release the spasms in the muscle fibers, and then stretch. I suggest you do this treatment several times a day, and then follow with safe stretching that is taught in Focused Flexibility Training.
I’ve worked with thousands of athletes and I am positive that this treatment will help you if you have calf muscle pain, and I believe it would help Kei Nishikori get back on the court to continue his amazing career.
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