Two leg muscles, the gastrocnemius and the soleus, together form your calf. The calf powers the Achilles tendon, which controls the heel. Pain in the calf is usually the result of inflammation or injury to these muscles or the tendon. Follow a few simple massage techniques to relax the calf and promote healing.


Sit in a chair. Remove shoes, socks, slacks and leggings so that your feet and legs are bare. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor.

Stroke your calf muscle. Starting at the ankle, press the sides of the index fingers against the back of the leg and move the hands upward. Stop when you reach the back of your knee. Repeat 10 times.

Rest the belly of your sore calf muscle on the knee of the other leg. Use your thumb and fingertips to press the muscle and then release it. Continue this kneading motion for 3 minutes.

Shake the belly of your calf muscle. Use your hands to bounce and wiggle the calf. These techniques relax the muscle.

Locate knots. These are places where the calf muscle has not fully relaxed, producing pain. Use your fingers to dig into the belly of the calf and isolate the problem areas.

Massage the calf with your fist. Using circular motions gently press into the calf muscle. Cover the entire width and length of the calf.

Complete the massage by repeating the techniques in Step 2.

Tips

  • Try massage oil to warm up the calf.

  • Substitute a rolling pin or massage stick tool to deliver long massage strokes.

  • If your massage techniques produce pain, reduce the force used or stop the massage.