Tight calf muscle symptoms tend to come on gradually and get worse while exercising (often during running). Sometime they will improve during the run, and other timesÂ only improve when the muscles cool down. This is a common problem in athletes particularly runners.
The reasons for the calf muscles tightening up vary from person to person, but may include biomechanical problems such as overpronation, muscle imbalances elsewhere placing extra strain on the calf or conditions such as compartment syndrome.
The treatment of tight calf muscles should focus on increasing the flexibility of the calf muscles, but also working out what is causing the problem and correcting this.
Sports massage is great for increasing the flexibility of muscles and can be applied by a qualified sports massage therapist. Lots of calf stretching should also be performed, at least 3 times a day, holding each stretch for 20 seconds and repeating 3 times.
Calf stretchers are available to help you stretch your calf muscles. They are very effective as they allow you to stretch the calves very deeply. Neoprene calf supports work to keep the calf muscles warmer and so more flexible. Arch support insoles may be recommended if you have flat feet or you overpronate when walking or running.