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If you have been getting unexplained aches and pains in your lower back, you may think it is the muscles in your back itself that are to blame. In actual fact, for many people, mild to moderate unexplained lower back pain is actually a chain reaction to tension in a muscle called the soleus in the calf. The soleus has two pressure points that can become extremely painful when tension begins to affect them, and this can lead to problems in a muscle called the piriformis in the bottom of the back. While you may not notice the tightness in the calf until you isolate the pressure points and touch them, there is no mistaking the pain of a tight soleus when you do! Tension in the soleus is common in all kinds of people, but those who spend a lot of time sitting, for example office workers, tend to get it the worst as the tension isn’t broken down by regular movement.

Massaging the soleus is often an easy way to cure that lower back pain, and you may be surprised how effectively it works.

Can You Massage These Pressure Points Yourself at Home?

Because they are in your lower legs, rather than difficult to reach places like the back, it is possible to massage the tense parts of the soleus muscle yourself. You can do this simply by rubbing them with your hands until you feel the tension starting to break down, or with unusual techniques like rolling a tennis ball under your leg. However, bear in mind that a tense soleus can be extremely painful to touch, so you may need to start with incredibly gentle massage and spend a lot of time on it before you are able to really get to work on the tension. Doing a little each day will help.

Stretches that work the calf muscles are also helpful, and can even be done at your desk at work. Simply point your toes upwards until you feel the pull along the back of your leg.

Professional Massage

Deborah at CIDA

If you want to have your soleus problem taken care of without all of the hassle of finding the pressure points and working on them yourself, it can be easiest just to book yourself in for a proper leg massage (or why not get a full body massage and just ask them to pay extra attention to your calf muscles?).  You can choose to have this done either in a salon or spa that offers massage as a treatment, or go to a sports massage clinic. The masseuse may use their elbow, or even their knee to work on your tight soleus muscles, so don’t be alarmed! Do remember to tell them if the pain is very bad at first however, this muscle can hurt a lot when tense so don’t feel like you have to endure a painful massage. Guide your therapist and they will find a level of pressure that will work for you without causing agony!

Author : Sydney Vila is a freelance blogger who often shares her ideas and experiences online. She writes for Step Up Physical Therapies which provides hamstring injury treatments in Melbourne. She is a fitness enthusiast and she practices yoga and martial arts in her free time. Click here to glance upon her team’s Facebook page.


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