STEP 1: How to Locate the Soleus Trigger Point #One
The Soleus is a powerful muscle in the back part of the lower leg (the calf). It runs from just below the knee to the heel, and is involved in standing and walking. It is closely connected to the Gastrocnemius muscle. Some anatomists consider them to be a single muscle, the Triceps Surae. Its name is derived from the Latin word “solea”, meaning “sandal”, due to the prongs of its three TrP’s. The first trigger point is present near about four finger widths above the heel, toward the inner side of the leg. Feel for sensitive spots in the area.
STEP 2: How to Self-Release the Soleus Trigger Point # One
There are three methods of massaging the Soleus. The first requires only a ball and a pillow. Locate the Soleus’ trigger point near the heel, about four fingers above it toward the leg’s inner side. Place the ball beneath the area, lie down on your back, and rest your head on the pillow. Readjust the ball if required. Leave your leg loose, keeping the ball underneath, and let gravity do its job. Should you require more pressure, bring your other leg to rest over the active leg. Hold for about 30 seconds and release.
Another self-release method involves laying on your back and bending both knees, raising the leg of the affected side and allowing the trigger point to rest over the other kneecap. Hold for 30 seconds and release.
The third and final method of massaging the Soleus is quite intense; please stick with the first two methods if you cannot accomplish the following movements comfortably. First, sit down on your knees and bend forward so you are on all fours. If, for example, you find pain in the right leg, bring your left foot over the right Soleus until the left sole faces upward, making sure to keep your knees apart. Sit back slowly over the left foot, paying close attention to the pressure running down your heel. The more body weight you rest over the foot, the more intense it becomes so regulate as required. Hold for 30 seconds and relax.
STEP 3: How to Stretch the SoleusTrigger Point # One
Stretching the Soleus is quite simple. You will need a yoga block and a sturdy wall. Stand near the wall and place the yoga block against it. Place the sole of the foot you are working on over the block and lean against the wall by resting your hands on it, as in a lunge position. Keep the front leg bent at the knee and make sure that the other leg is straight. Push against the wall until you feel the stretch. Hold for about 30 seconds and release. Remember to stretch the other leg as well.Another way of stretching the Soleus is to sit on the floor in a runner’s take-off position. That is, with one knee on the ground and the knee of the affected leg (say the right one) turned up. Make sure the toes and the ball of the left foot are the only ones in contact with the ground, and that your right foot is completely touching the floor. Lean over slightly on the right leg to increase the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and release.