Don’t Forget About Soleus

My Life as a Runner > training > Don’t Forget About Soleus
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I am happy to report that I have resumed running, up to 6 miles at a time. Slow 6 miles. I think the rest (combined with a flu that knocked me down for two weeks), stretching and other self-prescribed remedies are working. In addition, my masseur told me that my soleus muscle (right leg, whose foot has Plantar Fasciitis) is very tight and might be contributing to the heel pain. He showed me how to massage and stretch that muscle. There is one spot that is tender, so this is something new I will be focusing to end my plantar fasciitis.

You know where soleus muscle is? I didn’t until my masseur showed me where. I also looked it up online and found an image that is not too gross. You can do your own research online and find all sorts of info and photos about soleus. It consists of 100% slow-twitched muscle and is a powerful and important muscle in running, as well as walking and standing. Often neglected due to more prominent gastrocnemius muscle or Achilles tendon, it seems many people do not take care of this muscle. In the above image, soleus is labeled A, which stretches from your knee to the heel. Yes, heel! Already excited this could be another potencial problem I can solve. Just for your reference, B is gastrocnemius (often referred to as ‘Gastroc’), C is the flexor digitorum longus and D is tibia.

In my case, the tender spot is at the top of soleus, on the posterior surface just to the left of label D in the above image. Icing, massaging, and stretching of this muscle might help me further my journey to end plantar fasciitis.

Here is a video of soleus stretch. I believe the key is to keep the upper body vertical, not to lean toward the wall. I am sure this stretch can be done without a wall. If you want to apply self-massage, this soleus massage video might be a good reference.I will write a post on this when I notice differences in the heel pain or running comfort.

    7 Comments
    • ScienceTeacherKate
      February 9, 2013

      I have problems with my soleus too! Thanks for sharing!

    • wandering jouster
      February 10, 2013

      very informative indeed! i am happy that you have resumed running. i can now imagine your big grin. 😉

      • Koji Kawano
        February 11, 2013

        Grinning indeed! Glad you thought it was informative.

    • duanesantistevan
      February 14, 2013

      keep on going, be smart with your injury and increase the mileage accordingly and you will be back in no time!

      • Koji Kawano
        February 14, 2013

        Thank you! Sometimes it is hard to be smart when you are frustrated and out of shape, but that’s exactly what I need to do.

    • jsalassi3344
      April 9, 2013

      This is one of my favorite massages.

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