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fatigued calf muscles and heavy legs

aching legs

Calf Muscle Fatigue-heavy leg syndrome

Fresh legs-healthy calf circulation

In the normal course of events, to kept the lower leg circulation working and the calf muscles fresh, the muscles rely on having a constant supply of fresh blood to the muscle tissues-it is sent to the lower legs under pressure through the arteries and ever decreasing in size vessels called arterioles and even smaller capillaries while at the same time the pressure taking it there also decreases

By the time the blood reaches the feet, all the pressure has been used, and there is none left to return the blood back up the legs to the body against gravity again

The job of returning used blood back up the legs for re-nourishment and recycling is carried out by a pumping system formed by the muscles in the legs, but the main power for this is supplied by the calf muscles as they move, putting pressure on and taking it off the vessels called the veins

The veins have one-way valves in them which open as the blood passes through them, and closes to stop it going back down to the feet again-in this way, as used blood leaves the legs, and fresh blood replaces it-to maintain the balance between them, a similar volume of used blood should leave the legs as enters them

Calf Muscle Fatigue

There are many medical reasons for fatigued calf muscles, and to find out whether any of them are contributing to them, they should be checked out by a medical professional so that the cause can be addressed-do not take chances and self diagnose-you could be risking your life if they are ignored

Calf Muscle Fatigue should be checked out by a medical professional

Calf Muscle Fatigue-and heavy leg syndrome

Having had a clearance from your physician, your next stop is to a foot specialist (podiatrist) or other physical practitioner to see if there are any physical contributors to them-assuming this has been checked and dealt with you are left with the option of you may have fatigued calf muscles from too much standing, sitting or walking from your occupation or hobby

Calf muscle fatigue, tight muscles, and poor lower leg circulation can chase each other around in a cycle that once you are in it is difficult to break out from-each is a self destructive part that props up the other parts of the cycle and it will take a circuit breaker to disrupt the cycle of fatigue

Fatigued calf muscles may be more easily fixed than any of the other causes-no I am not going suggest that you give up your means of making a living or your means of unwinding or relaxing-simply alter your approach to relieving or dealing with calf muscle fatigue

A result of calf muscle fatigue and inactivity is that the pump does not work as well as it should-this disrupts the cycle and allows used blood to remain in the lower legs-as it its not being removed, water (lymph fluid) separates from it and fills the tissue spaces, as it is not being pumped away quickly enough, the ankles swell

The calf muscles start to move even less, and the less they move, the less used blood it removed from the lower legs, and the flow of fresh blood into them is reduced even more-as the legs swell, the legs naturally start to feel heavier, and the muscles even more fatigued

A part of this cycle is that many people are not able to walk very far and the walking of any distance becomes hard work, so they cut back on this activity, which of course can lead to weight gain, and for the unlucky ones, the higher risk of developing diabetes and other poor circulation related illnesses

Some try passive methods such as lying down with the legs elevated to let gravity drain the fluid out of the legs back to the body-this may work if you have plenty of time to do this-another way that is pro-active that may sometimes be tried is by using massage to ease out the tightness in the muscle and break the cycle

To look outside the square for helping with leg fatigue when not much else seems to work, it may be worthwhile looking at the area of sports recovery

I am not suggesting that the system that I use will totally fix your problems with fatigued muscles and heavy legs-but it does widen the options because it provides a circuit breaker by manually working the calf muscle pump to reduce some of the fluid that has collected in the lower legs

This then lets fresh blood enter the muscle tissues to help them recover from fatigue

Massage and recovery from calf muscle fatigue

Massage in sport is one of the most commonly used (and cheapest) forms of recovery from stiffness and soreness-it is also one of the least understood-if considering this as part of a recovery program and considering getting someone to work with you, there are 2 basic rules in deciding the best method for you

  • The body recovers itself-anything used is just there to assist or facilitate that

  • No matter how good the therapist-the last man who could heal with his hands using touch died 2000 years ago

Many therapists have a belief that they know what is best for recovery and tend to work too hard on the muscles; they may accidentally cause damage to the tissues which the body then has to repair

To illustrate my point-I recently officiated as the recovery person at a 24-hour 100 mile event, I have my own area slightly away from the track where people come in when they have pushed their boundaries too far, and I am usually kept busy from about the 12 hour mark

I did not know there was a massage therapist pulling the walkers off the track for work until one of the first aiders on a walk around caught him digging into one of the walker's muscles and reported what he saw to the official in charge

It was too late, the damage had been done, she had a bad injury to her buttock muscles which made it impossible to continue-her event came to an abrupt finish and she went home devastated because someone considered that he was going to fix her soreness issues with his hands

It turns out he was a qualified massage therapist, but had only worked with huge football players, and while he may have been good in that area, did not have the slightest idea and could not adapt to recovery of slightly built runners and walkers who had just pushed things too far

If someone is considering massage, they should be aware of what is happening; using the example from Sandra Brown to stress how important the correct approach to muscles is.

"The second tear (at least I have matching legs with old tears on both sides) was caused, to my great annoyance at the time, by an overenthusiastic physio who was supposed to be helping me to warm up gently before a 24 hour race and got carried away. I am now more wary of having physio at any time, and make sure that I stay in control, by saying at the outset what I want and don't want to be done to me. Having never had a persistent injury (my varied training pattern means that any niggles have the chance to heal quickly, rather than get hammered and go critical,) I have never had regular physio or a steady relationship of trust with any physiotherapist who knew me and my needs. The closest I have come to this was receiving massage from Michael Gillan during the Nanango (Queensland) 1000-mile race in 1996. I had no hesitation in having a massage from Michael again at the end of the Melbourne 100 miles walk in 1999. Michael's approach is very gentle at all times, and always works with the athlete and puts the athlete in control, thus minimizing the risk of harm and maximizing the benefit Source:

SANDRA BROWN 1996 Ladies 1000 Mile World Record Holder

Fast Recovery

To this

From this

To this

via this

To this

To this

To this-In easy steps-without injury-just by changing the approach from working on the muscles to working with them

The difference in approach to recovery is illustrated below

What makes Light Manual Muscle Relaxation different from other systems?

Light Manual Muscle Relaxation combines a sound medical physiological based theory with simple movement to offer a practical ongoing system for self recovery

Dr Guyton offers the theoretical solution to the problem of aching legs and Light Manual Muscle Relaxation offers the practical, tested, simple, oil free, environmentally friendly version
'Pumping caused by external Compression of the Lymphatics'
Guyton-Textbook of Medical Physiology eighth edition-1991 W.B. Saunders Company-ISBN 0-726-3994-0 (p. 182)

It is an alternative stripped down basic tool which uses the muscles to work with themselves rather than relying on the skills of someone who works on them

This model has many benefits for someone who has to take the place of a skilled therapist where there is a shortage of them or there is not the financial ability to afford the real thing

What do I do differently and how can the senior athlete benefit from my experience?
By understanding that the body is recovering itself, and using the muscles by working with and not working on them to facilitate this, a faster injury free recovery can be achieved

free and secure!">

Manual on Light Manual Muscle Relaxation US

Some references for Light Manual Muscle Relaxation

Michael's methods of massage and blister care helped me to stay mobile throughout the race and to recover quickly afterwards. His techniques are safe and gentle.
Unlike some treatments, which put the runners and walkers at risk of muscle tears or infection, Michael's techniques are light, safe, reassuring, and highly effective.
They enhance comfort and flexibility, build confidence, and promote success.

This booklet will help others to learn and practice Michael's methods.
It is recommended reading for everyone who walks and runs and who wants to go further, go faster, or just to enjoy life more!!'
SANDRA BROWN1996 Ladies 1000 Mile World Record Holder
1999 Ladies 100 mile Race walking World Record Holder

"I know that your massage kept a number of competitors in the event.
The cold weather of Saturday afternoon and night certainly got to many of the walkers and your prompt action had them back in the race after a short stop.
In years past, that would have ended up as a non-finish; a number of walkers were able to keep going for the full 24 hours on the basis of your expert help."

Tim Ericson Secretary Australian Centurions Club

'I have known Michael Gillan for many years and have always got quick relief for my aches and pains from the stretching he performs'.
CLIFF YOUNG-Ultra Marathon Runner

For many years Coburg Harriers has conducted the Victorian 24 hour Track Championship and the Australian Centurion 24 Hour Race Walk, the overall event being the Coburg 24 Hour Carnival, which also includes a separate 6 Hour run/walk event.

This type of event is very demanding on Competitors, and each year, in addition to First Aid support, we seek to have the services of a masseur who can work on tired legs and also treat blisters in order to keep entrants on the track.

We have been privileged for many years to have had the voluntary services of Michael Gillan who with his techniques is able to coax renewed life from extremely tired muscles and legs to get athletes back on the track when they were thinking that they would have to retire.

Michael has a very well deserved reputation in the "Ultra" running and walking fraternity who look forward to his presence at our events as they know he gets results without causing further injury with his treatments.

It is rewarding to see exhausted competitors come from the track in the early hours of the morning, convinced that they are unable to continue, only to see them return to the event after being treated by Michael.

Our Organising Committee at Coburg is grateful to Michael for his dedication to the sport and can commend his techniques to Athletes.

Yours Sincerely, Bernie Goggin

Raceday Director / Referee

Coburg 24 Hour Carnival 2009

Calf Muscle Fatigue and Heavy Legs

Physiology References

The calf muscle pump
(p.209) Physiology: a regulatory systems approach. Fleur L. Strand. Macmillan Publishing Co. Inc.ISBN 0-020979860-4

(p.209)Physiology: a regulatory systems approach. Fleur L. Strand. Macmillan Publishing Co. Inc.ISBN 0-020979860-4

"Venous valve incompetence and varicose veins"
'Guyton-Textbook of Medical Physiology eighth edition-1991 W.B. Saunders Company-ISBN 0-726-3994-0

Effect of "Hydrostatic" Pressure on Venous Pressure ( P.165)
'Guyton-Textbook of Medical Physiology eighth edition-1991 W.B. Saunders Company-ISBN 0-726-3994-0

Effect of Hydrostatic Factors on Arterial and Other Pressures (P.167)
'Guyton-Textbook of Medical Physiology eighth edition-1991 W.B. Saunders Company-ISBN 0-726-3994-0

Calf muscle pump inefficiency
'Guyton-Textbook of Medical Physiology eighth edition-1991 W.B. Saunders Company-ISBN 0-726-3994-0
' (P.177) 'Guyton-Textbook of Medical Physiology eighth edition-1991 W.B. Saunders Company-ISBN 0-726-3994-0

The Blood Circulatory System
(P.150) 'Guyton-Textbook of Medical Physiology eighth edition-1991 W.B. Saunders Company-ISBN 0-726-3994-0

"The Lymphatic System
(P.180) 'Guyton-Textbook of Medical Physiology eighth edition-1991 W.B. Saunders Company-ISBN 0-726-3994-0

"Pumping caused by external Compression of the Lymphatics
Guyton-Textbook of Medical Physiology eighth edition-1991 W.B. Saunders Company-ISBN 0-726-3994-0 (p. 182)
Peripheral Arterial Disease in People With Diabetes
Controversies Regarding Vascular Disease in the Patient with Diabetes: A Review of the Literature
VOLUME: 53 Issue Number: 11 author: Robert J. Snyder, DPM, CWS

Using an environmentally friendly pro-active leg recovery system is easier than you think when you learn how to use the muscles to work on themselves

Quickly-easily and in an environmentally friendly way!

Light Manual Muscle Relaxation (massage-lite) the physiology based recovery system-anything else is a luxury or not necessary

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