lowerbacktightness Pain and the Role of Calf Muscles


Calf muscle tightness can cause lower back pain. This is especially true for women who wear high heels. Calf muscle cramps can be very painful and wake people up during sleep. These cramps can be a sign that nerve-related muscle problems are occurring in the lower back. Even if there are no complaints of lower back pain, calf muscle lowerbacktightness or lower limb pain, this is most likely the case.

There are three types of calf muscles. Two are called the gastrocnemius and one is the soleus muscles.

The lower portion of the thigh bone, just above the knee, is where the gastrocnemius originates. The soleus muscle is derived from the legs bones, also known as the fibula and tibia bones. It does not cross the knee joint. Through the heel cord, all three muscles insert into and the heel bone. The tibial nerve supplies the medial S1 and L5 nerve root fibers, respectively, to the inner and outer gastrocnemius muscles (medial), and the soleus with primarily the S1 nerve fibers.
The soleus and gastrocnemius muscles are responsible for bending the foot and ankel so that the toes point towards the ground. The soleus muscles, but not the gastrocnemius, can bend the knee when the foot is flat on ground, such as in sitting, crouching, or squatting positions. People with tight calf muscles may notice that their heels are not able to be flat on the ground if they have tight calf muscles.

People with tight calf muscles can fall during ambulation because their heel strikes the ground more often than normal. They have trouble with push-off phases of ambulation. Only the soleus muscle is active while relaxed standing. It stabilizes the leg, so that the weight line does not fall below the knee. The knee could buckle if it is not.
Due to the increased stress on the lower back muscles, tight calf muscles can cause and aggrave lower back pain. It is difficult to release spasms from these muscles because they are chronically tight. These muscles also suffer from nerve-related muscle weakness and tightness due to the presence of the L5 or S1 spinal nerve roots.
The condition is made worse by chronic weakness of the muscles that lift the ankle and foot off the ground at the front of the legs. This weakness is mostly nerve-related, as these muscles are supplied from the L5 nerve root, which is the most frequently injured nerve root. Degenerative arthritis, slipped discs, bulging discs, and other conditions can cause irritation or injury to the spine. The L5 nerve root fibers run through the peroneal nervous, which is also vulnerable to injury from the habitual crossing of the knees and/or ankles, making the foot dorsiflexors weaker.

To treat tight calf muscles, the muscles at the front of the leg are called the dorsiflexor muscle of the foot and ankle. The chronically lengthening contractions of ambulation cause the dorsiflexor muscles in the ankle and foot to contract more frequently. It is necessary to activate these muscles selectively by inducing shorterening contractions. Walking on your heels can induce shorterening contractions in the ankle and foot dorsiflexors.

The optimal treatment of tight calf muscles can’t be limited to treating symptoms. The root cause of tightness must be addressed, namely spinal nerve root problems at the L5 or S1 levels.


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