When the calf is raised, it is important to stretch the area gently, and avoid touching the muscle or performing massages.
Surely throughout your life it has happened to you at some time and you have wondered why the calf rises, and what is really happening in that area of our body that causes so much pain in that situation. Well, it is nothing more than an involuntary muscle contraction.
Calves are the way we call the back of the calves. They have that rounded shape and are actually made up of different muscles. One of them is the sural triceps, which is the one involved in this problem.
Most people experience this twin rise at night, with severe pain waking them up. In this article we explain why it happens and what to do to alleviate this discomfort or prevent it from happening.
Why does the twin go up?
When the calf is raised, what actually occurs is an involuntary contraction of the triceps sural muscle. This muscle is shortened, making it possible even to see it with the naked eye, and causing pain.
It is not very well known why it occurs, but certain factors are known that are highly related to this problem. In the first place, it is associated with having exercised intensely and for a long time. Also, with the fact of doing it without having a good physical preparation.
The same happens when we perform an exercise without having warmed up and properly prepared the muscles. It seems that exercise, accompanied by poor hydration, causes certain toxins to accumulate in the muscle, causing this contraction.
However, when the calf is raised, the cause is not always an effort. In fact, many factors that can trigger it have been identified, such as alcohol, coffee, and tobacco. Even certain medications or a poor diet.
Can it be related to any pathology?
When the calf is raised repeatedly and we cannot associate it with exercise, it may be that it is a symptom of some pathology. It is important to know that, when there is a circulatory problem, if the blood does not reach the muscle correctly, these cramps can be experienced.
In fact, this situation is very common after 60 years. Atherosclerosis is a pathology in which cholesterol builds up in the blood vessels. Thus, in these areas the blood flow becomes weaker, and the blood does not reach everywhere as it should.
This alteration of blood flow is also associated with pregnancy, although it is something physiological. It is frequent that pregnant women, during the last trimester, often notice that the twin rises.
What to do when the calf is on?
As we have already mentioned, the most common is that the twin rises in the middle of the night, causing sleep to be interrupted. If this happens repeatedly, it is advisable to do a short stretching routine just before going to sleep.
It is important to keep in mind that, when exercising, you have to make a progression. That is to say, increase in intensity gradually, not abruptly. You also have to know when you need to rest and do it properly.
Also, do not forget to prepare your muscles prior to exercise. The same goes for hydration and diet, since, as we have seen, dehydration can lead to these muscle cramps.
Some experts recommend certain physical therapy exercises to avoid it. The ideal is to do gentle stretches, which bring the muscle to a controlled extension. Avoid standing on tiptoe or touching the area, as both gestures can cause another muscle spasm.
However, if the calf is raised frequently, the really important thing is to go to the doctor. It must be ruled out that there is any type of pathology that causes this situation.