While it may seem as if a woman has tight calf muscles for no reason, most instances of muscle tension do have an underlying cause. Continue reading to learn more about tight calf muscles, including their causes and treatment options, so you can finally find ultimate relief.
Why Do My Calves Feel Tight?
In general, tight calf muscles are due to overuse as strenuous physical activity without proper adherence to necessary measures - e.g. stretching before and after activity - can put a toll on your legs.
However, the occurrence of tight calf muscles for no reason is often attributed to certain unresolved health conditions.
Health conditions that can cause stiff calf muscles due to physiological effects they cause in the body include hypothyroidism, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and peripheral vascular disease (PVD), among others.
When calf muscles feel tight without physical exertion, it might also be due to dehydration, poor circulation (sometimes from bad posture), or medication side effects.
It is worth noting that menopausal women may be at an increased risk for this condition due to the hormonal fluctuations taking place in their bodies, especially in regards to estrogen.
Estrogen is the reproductive hormone in charge of regulating cortisol levels, the stress hormone. When levels of each become imbalanced, muscles fatigue and tighten without apparent reason.
What Can Be Done?
The easiest way to relieve tight calf muscles is through regular stretching two times a day to lengthen the muscle fibers and lessen any stiffen.
Women may also wish to pursue alternative methods of massage therapy or physical therapy, both of which will provide customized treatment plans to relieve tightness not only in the calves, but throughout the body.
However, treating tight calf muscles for no reason starts by determining the underlying cause, such as hypothyroidism or an adverse reaction from medications.
By tackling the root cause, you will be rid of the tightness long-term instead of bandaging it by only addressing the symptoms.
For menopausal women, this involves treating the hormonal imbalance taking place in their bodies.
Muscle tension treatments during menopause focus on an anti-inflammatory diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium; healthy habits involving regular exercise and stretching to promote blood circulation; and the use of alternative medicine, such as phytoestrogenic herbal supplements - black cohosh, red clover, etc. - or hormone-regulating supplements, like Macafem.
All in all, tight calf muscles for no reason do have an underlying cause, even though one may assume they've done everything right health-wise. While these causes include various health conditions, the most common is hormonal imbalance in menopausal women due to off-balance estrogen and cortisol levels. For quick relief, partake in regular stretching or massage sessions, but real relief is found by targeting the underlying cause through lifestyle changes, healthy habits, and alternative medicine.
- Kiran, H.S. et al. (2011). A young lady with swelling and stiffness of calf muscles. Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, 15(2), 130-131. doi: 10.4103/2230-8210.81946
- Maltais, M.L. et al. (2009). Changes in Muscle Mass and Strength after Menopause. Journal of Musculoskeletal & Neuronal Interactions, 9(4), 186-197. Retrieved February 26, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19949277