As an athlete, you are going to be busy all of the time, trying to keep moving and do well in any sport that you try to play. But because you are tough on the body during those high-impact activities, you can develop pain in many areas of the lower body. One of these areas is in your calves.
When these start to hurt, it can be hard to move around and continue your normal activities. When you play sports, the calf muscle can get worn out and that can be really painful, which is due to all of the strain that you place on the soleus muscle of the lower leg.
There are a few different ways that you can handle some of this pain, but you need to come up with a good treatment plan early on to make sure the problem won’t get worse.
One of the most effective treatments that will provide you with pain relief and make sure that you have a ton of support and comfort in your feet is to go with insoles or orthotics. These will give cushioning and allow support in all the right places.
What Insoles Should I Choose to Treat Calf Pain, Being an Athlete?
Softec Response Insoles Are Designed for Athletes Who Suffer From Calf Pain
This model from SOLE is going to provide a moderate amount of cushioning for the feet when you need to be active, which will reduce some of the strain that y our plantar fascia will have to take on as you move around. When the tendon at the bottom of the feet is happy, then the calves will be happy as well.
This is a great insole to enjoy because it works hard to distribute the pressure and weight of the body throughout the whole foot, rather than just in one spot, which will promote good foot alignment and reduce pain. You will find that this brand is not going to be a custom orthotic, which means they may not fit optimally based on your foot needs though.
Athletes Experiencing Calf Pain Can Benefit From Wearing Superfeet Flexthin Insoles
Next on this list is this option from Superfeet. This is a fantastic insole that is going to provide some of the support and stability that your feet need to keep moving.
You will really love the heel cradle that ensures the foot is not going to move around and all of the comfort and support that is present for the lower leg, no matter how much you need to run and jump.
These insoles are beneficial because they are designed to fit into footwear that may be slim and you can trim them down to fit into your shoe well. It is not a custom-made orthotic though, so the fit can be a little off, but it does work well for most patients who need some relief in their insoles.
Upstep Multi-sports Custom Orthotics Help Relieve Calf Pain in Athletes
One option that we will choose is this model from UpStep. This is a versatile insole that will reduce the amount of pain that you feel in your lower feet while providing you with more comfort.
The support is amazing, especially if you are doing intense athletic activities and you want to keep moving all day long. The consumer will find that these are a pair of custom orthotics that can be molded to the shape of your feet.
You can complete the process at home to make it more convenient. There is a lot of comfort in mind with these, thanks to the layers that will support all of the most important areas of the foot. And since you custom-make them, the arch support is perfect.
Protalus T-100 Elite Insoles to Treat Calf Pain in Athletes
These insoles will provide the user with moderate levels of support for the entire foot when you are physically active. These are perfect if you already have a good deal of foot pain for being so athletic.
The materials that are placed in the insole are there to reduce the shock that you may feel while running and jumping while providing support and a sturdy arch as well. To make these insoles work well, you will need to take out the insoles that come with your shoes.
You will then be able to choose whether the insole needs to be trimmed to fit. This is a great option for a standard volume and low-profile show and they are not always as durable as some of the other custom orthotics and insoles that we have on this list as well.
Tread Labs Dash Insoles Offer Athletes Ultra-firm Foot Support
This insole from Tread Labs is going to provide your foot with ultra-firm support compared to some of the others. This is a great choice if you need help with your performance or need more support while being physically active.
For some users, a soft insole is a good choice, but for others, a firm one will help out more. This insole is best for those in the latter group.
These insoles are going to be the best choice for users who end up having a good deal of foot pain when they are exercising or for those who want to be more active but find they have an issue with flat feet. These are not as good at helping with some of the calf pain that you feel though, so if that is a primary concern, you may want to go with a different insole to help.
Athletes With Calf Pain Should Use URthotics Active and Sports Insoles
By far, the best insole to choose for calf pain would be this option from URthotics. These insoles are going to cater to ankle and foot pain, even if you are dealing with conditions like generalized discomfort and plantar fasciitis during your active time.
This insole will provide you with comfort and support in all the right places so you can keep moving without all of the pain. Many consumers find that these insoles are going to provide them with a good deal of stability, which keeps their feet in place while running and jumping.
The shock absorption gives the joints and bones a bit of a break. Keep in mind that these insoles are mostly geared toward those who have a more active lifestyle compared to athletes who are really intense.
Insoles are not the only treatment option for calf pain
Although some insoles are helpful in the treatment of calf pain, and custom orthotics are the best option to both treat calf pain and prevent it, there are various other options, some of which you can try at home.
Try using “RICE”
“RICE” is an acronym that stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. For most ailments of the body that have something to do with aching muscles with a small amount of swelling, this is usually any physician’s first instinct.
Rest– Take some time to slow down and relax your feet and legs, even if that can only be a few minutes of bench-sitting, or a short water break that you can sit down, your body will thank you. Our feet take care of us and carry us, it is important that we take care of them.
Ice– Icing the area can be helpful in reducing inflammation and pain. This works by constricting the blood vessels around the affected area.
With that being said, it is suggested to only ice the area for 10 to 15 minutes at a time, and to wait a minimum of 35 minutes between intervals, if you have not been seen by a physician directly.
Compression– Compression socks or compression bandages are suggested for muscle fatigue after workouts, but what some people may not know is that they are only meant to be worn for 3 to 4 hours at a time. That being said, it is very important to not wear them to bed, as you may lose blood flow to the area, in which the compression device can quickly become a tourniquet.
Compression socks and wraps are very beneficial for muscle cramps and pains but need to be used somewhat modestly.
Elevation– To achieve the proper result, when you recline or lay down, bring your legs up so that they are elevated just slightly above your heart. A pillow placed under the legs may come in handy for this.
There is some difference in opinions on how long this should be maintained, but it is suggested to start with 20 minutes twice a day. You can do this for up to 1 hour, 3 or 4 times a day if needed to reduce calf pain.
Improper Diet Can Be a Cause of Calf Pain
When you are an athlete, this may come as common knowledge, but mineral deficiencies or dehydration may be the cause of your calf pain. When you overwork the leg muscles and you do not have enough nutrition, or water for that matter, to give back to your body, you may have some aches and pains that last for some time.
Diet imbalances, such as a low sodium intake, or not enough advanced carbohydrates to keep up with your regimen, may affect how sore you are after a workout.
A couple things you can try outside of diet changes to compensate for mineral deficiencies is to up your electrolyte intake by drinking sports drinks, or even by snacking or pickles. Pickles have been linked to relieving cramps, it is assumed this is for the high sodium levels used to make the brine. Nonetheless, they can help you get back on your feet in no time.
Stretches and Other Therapy Options
Stretches and Yoga Poses
Some stretches to treat tight calves help maintain the flexibility include calf raises, lunges, and the downward dog. There are many other stretches that can help with your calf pain, but these are some of the most useful stretches to help loosen those calf muscles.
These 3 stretches are meant to be held in place, so there will not be too much strain on your already tired muscles.
Seeing a Physical Therapist
A physical therapist may prescribe to you any mixture of these treatments, and they will be able to help you develop a treatment plan to better fit your specific needs. Sometimes those who have calf pain will have trouble sleeping and wake with sudden cramps, or spasms, in the middle of the night.
Fortunately, a physical therapist can also help treat secondary problems like calming spasms during the night, and can even help you understand how to use assistive devices, such as helping you get fit for orthotics or giving you a referral.
Seeing a Massage Therapist
Massage therapists can work wonders for the body. Our muscles naturally constrict when we are still for too long, and if you find yourself needing to rest considerably more often due to your sore muscles, this may become a reality.
A massage therapist will be able to work out all of those knots in your calf muscles and getting a massage is a great way to ease your calf pain.
How to Choose the Right Insoles to Treat Calf Pain
When you are an athlete, you can put a lot of stress and strain on the whole body. This can make it difficult to move around and can slow down all of the progression that you need to make in any athletic event that you choose.
When you go with an insole to provide support and comfort, you will find that it is easier to treat your calf pain. As you are looking for the right insole for calf pain as an athlete, you will find that the options above can do wonders for protecting your feet.
Our team will also be able to do a full analysis and exam to make sure that your feet are as healthy as possible. Trust us to find the best treatment for your feet and lower body so you can continue your athletic goals. Give us a call or leave your information to get your new custom orthotics today!