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Lower Leg

Calf/Soleus – Release

By May 11, 2017 No Comments

The calf muscles are actually made of 2 different muscles: your gastrocnemius and  your soleus.

Both are powerful muscles responsible for plantar flexion (pointing your toe) and are vital muscles in walking, running, and keeping balance.

The gastrocnemius is your larger calf muscle, forming the bulge that is visible beneath your skin. The gastrocnemius has two parts or “heads,” which combined together create its diamond shape.The soleus is your smaller, flat muscle that is often overlooked because it’s hiding behind your gastrocnemius.

Collectively, the muscles in this area work to plantarflex and invert the foot. They are innervated by the tibial nerve, a terminal branch of the sciatic nerve. Plantarflexion is a movement required in jumping, running and walking. The gastrocnemius is the powerful muscle that enables plantarflexion, as well as knee flexion.

The soleus is a muscle in the superficial posterior compartment of the lower leg. It lies just below the gastrocnemius (calf muscle). The tendon of the soleus muscle joins that of the gastrocnemius to form the achilles tendon.

The soleus aids the gastrocnemius in plantar-flexion, or pointing the toe. These two muscles work together to allow for walking, running and dancing. The soleus is vital for maintaining upright posture.

If not for the constant pull of the soleus, the body would fall forward. Another important role of the soleus is to pump the venous blood from the periphery back to the heart when in an upright posture.

Due to the bony attachments of the soleus, it is the main muscle for plantar-flexion when the knee is bent. When performing tasks such as walking, the soleus is primarily used because it is made mostly of slow twitch muscle fibers which allow for better endurance.

The Waveblade is designed to improve circulation and as such it is important to consider the calf muscle as a pump, like a second heart. The soleus muscle is regarded as the peripheral heart as it houses large venous sinuses referred to as soleal sinuses which convey with all the superficial veins by perforating veins and with deep veins directly.The gastrocnemius and soleus jointly make a ‘calf muscle pump which eases the venous return from the lower limb. Consequently, contraction of soleus helps in sucking the blood from superficial veins and propelling it into deep veins.

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