Back of the Knee pain and the Gastrocnemius
If you are avid runner then you are probably got a Gastrocnemius Trigger point sometime. With two distinct muscle bellies and two possible locations on each one for trigger point. With all these possibilities our app Painalog can help you identify the exact combination of muscles that are the cause of your pain.
You can download the app on Google Play Store or get it on App store and give it whirl for free for seven days. However if you are sure that it is the Gastroc then read on to learn how to locate, self release and stretch the muscle.
STEP 1: How to Locate the Gastrocnemius Trigger Point #Four
The Gastrocnemius is a muscle present over the back of the leg or calf. It arises from the lower end of the femur and runs down, forming the Achilles Tendon attached to the heel bone. This muscle primarily helps with the bending of the foot when the toes point away from the body (as seen in ballet), and during flexion at the knee joint. It is used most while running, jumping, or during other “fast movements” of the leg, and to a lesser degree while walking or standing. The trigger point for the Gastrocnemius is generally present about two finger breadths below the knee joint on the outer belly of the Gastrocnemius muscle. Please remember the location of this trigger point as you go into the self-release video.
STEP 2: How to Self-Release the Gastrocnemius Trigger Point # Four
We’ll be showing you two ways to massage the Gastrocnemius. The first one is simple and requires a ball and a pillow. Lie down on your back with your head resting on the pillow. Locate the trigger point over the Gastrocnemius and place the ball beneath the area. Leave your leg loose and let gravity do its job. Should you need more pressure, you can bring the other leg over, resting it on top. Hold for about 30 seconds and release.The second way to self-release is a lot more intense, so please be careful and stick to the first method in the case this method is too difficult. All you need for this is your own body weight. Sit down on your knees and bend forward so you are on all fours. For this example, we will imagine that the pain is in your left leg. Bring the right foot over the left Gastrocnemius with your right sole facing upward. Sit back over the left foot slowly, and you will feel the pressure increase as well as a sensation running down to your heel. The more body weight you rest over the foot, the more intense it is, so regulate it as required. Hold for 30 seconds and relax.
STEP 3: How to Stretch the GastrocnemiusTrigger Point # Four
Stretching the Gastrocnemius is quite simple. Stand near a wall and lean onto it by resting on it with your palms flat. Swing the affected leg, say the right, back as if entering a lunge position. The front leg should be bent at the knee, and the other straight, making sure the right foot is on the ground. If you push against the wall, you should begin to feel the stretch. In case you don’t, move the right leg further back and do the same thing. In some cases, you may have a trigger point on the inner side of the Gastrocnemius. For that, while in position, turn the foot so the toes point inward and the heel pointing out. If the trigger point is on the outer part, turn your toes out and heel in, and you will feel the stretch. Hold for about 30 seconds and release. Remember to stretch the other leg as well.