Now that we have learned just what the calf muscle is, it’s important to know how to stretch the two parts of the calf muscle when you are not in your physical therapists office. Of course you should always follow whatever course of therapy your physical therapist prescribes. But if you have the go-ahead to do your own routines at home, here are some home stretches which can really help those in pain.
Gastroc Stretch: Begin this stretch standing facing a wall with your feet in a small lunge position. Put your hands against the wall just below shoulder height. Engage your core muscles to support the small of your back. At the same time lean forward with your knees straight until you feel a gentle stretch in the calf muscle of the leg that is further behind you. Attempt to keep your heel on the ground. Hold this stretch in a pain free and strain free range for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Repeat 3 times, 2 times a day for each leg.
Soleus Stretch: Assume the same stance as above. Before leaning into the wall, bend your knees gently. Be sure to keep your knees bent so that they do not go past your toes and keep your kneecaps facing straight ahead. Now, engage your core and lean forward. You should feel a stretch in the back of your calf muscle, but lower than the first stretch. Remember, the soleus is the lower of the two large calf muscles. Hold this stretch in a pain free and strain free range for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Repeat 3 times, 2 times a day for each leg.
For most or us home stretches like these shouldn’t be a problem. However if you have specific medical issues or you are on rigid therapy it’s always wise to check first with your physical therapist before you do any sort of unfamiliar stretching or exercises.
If you have been having issues in your calf, lower leg, or anywhere at all and you don’t know where to turn, Miccass Physical Therapy is here to help. Miccass has an amazingly compassionate and insightful staff who will give you their full attention and help you customize a program of healing and strengthening and home stretches individually catered to your specific needs. Give a call today and find out what Miccass Physical Therapy can do for you!