Our calf muscles play a significant role in helping us walk, run, and move normally. As such, any tightness in the calf muscles is likely going to affect the way you move.
The calf muscles are responsible for both bending the knee and pointing the foot downward. So when the calf muscles tighten, the range of motion in both the knees and ankle is affected, making it difficult for a person to move properly.
Calf tightness is a classic example of an overuse injury, i.e. engaging in physical activity for longer than your feet and calf muscles can take. This is the reason why runners and physically active individuals commonly deal with this condition.
There is an association between constant calf tightness and flat feet. This is because the tight calf muscles will generate more stress on the heel bone, and as a result, the foot arch collapses.
To diagnose this condition, your doctor would require a physical examination of your calves, knees, and ankle. Examining your walking patterns (gait analysis) is just as important to better understand the impact of calf tightness on the lower and upper body.
A comprehensive treatment programme following diagnosis is necessary to restore flexibility in the calf muscles, and should include:
Using insoles can be beneficial in a rehab or treatment programme. An ideal foot insole would prevent the foot arch from collapsing and maintain optimal foot posture. This would reduce stress on the calf muscles and aid in recovery.
Foot orthotics such as MASS4D® can help restore functionality in the ankles and knees.
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