With the stress we put on our feet and calves daily when driving, standing, walking, or working out, one can easily experience pain or swollen feet and calves. It becomes even more problematic when one has weight issues. However, something that can help ease that everyday discomfort is a calf massager.
It not only helps improve your general health, but it is also likely to boost your quality of sleep. People have been receiving leg massages from a long time ago because of the many benefits associated with it. Today, leg massages are still used in spa treatments, athletic recovery, and physical therapy. Even better is that you do not have to visit a spa to get a massage; you can buy one for yourself and use it any time you want to.
What to Look for in a Calf Massager
Various types of calf massagers are on the market today. If you do not know what you are looking for, it can be confusing. Here are some tips to guide when choosing a calf massager that is worth your investment.
A calf massager that heats up comes with additional benefits; enhancing blood circulation and reducing pain. The heat warms up tight muscles and helps loosen them up, allowing you to enjoy your massage. The heat also helps soothe any discomfort you have in the calves. If you feel this feature is helpful, choose a calf massager with a heat function.
This is a great feature that you should look for in a calf massager as it helps stimulate blood circulation. Unlike a manual massage where you have to go through kneading, which can be intense and painful, a calf massager with a vibration feature will still offer you the same benefits without any intense kneading. In addition, you can adjust the intensity of the vibration depending on your preference.
A calf massager that allows you to program it to various types of massages is a great feature to consider. This feature lets you customize a massage depending on your needs. For instance, if you want to relieve muscle tension in the calf, you might need a different type of massage than when you are trying to boost diabetic neuropathy. An auto massage program is based on the type of massage you need rather than the intensity.
A good calf massager needs to hug the leg in the right way for the massage to be effective. For you to feel the intensity and enjoy some relief, it is best for the massager to be adjustable to match your size and height.
Types of Calf Massagers
Two types of calf massagers you can use for your calves include sleeve massagers and foot and calf massagers.
Sleeve massagers feature a cloth or plastic material containing several airbags that is wrapped around the legs then secured with a Velcro or zipper. During the massage, air fills and leaves the airbags gradually, which puts pressure on the calves. The increase in pressure around your legs, followed by a decrease, is what massages the calves. These calf massagers using compression therapy use restricted pressure to enhance blood flow in the legs and to the heart. Consequently, they support the veins and decrease swelling.
Foot and Calf Massagers
This is a device where you can place the lower part of your leg for a massage. They only cover the feet and calves, meaning the shins are not massaged. Airbags inside these machines provide a massage by squeezing and releasing the legs or through rollers that knead the muscles. The calf massagers also come with the option of heat and vibration to enhance your massage experience.
Types of Massage Methods
A calf massage can help relieve tired and sore muscles. However, the benefit you get will depend on the pressure applied. As much as light pressure is relaxing, intense pressure reduces tension and pain in the muscles. The different massage methods used include:
This massage technique is used to re-energize tired and sore muscles. Ideally, the massage should be done before a workout or sport to stimulate the muscles, preparing them for activity. This massage helps increase muscle elasticity, blood circulation and prepares one mentally for a workout.
This massage technique encourages waste products to leave the body through the lymphatic system. The massage helps the lymphatic system transport nutrients, eliminate blockages inside the body, and remove toxins. The technique also creates a relaxing effect in the body through the release of feel-good hormones.
The shiatsu massage technique involves putting pressure on specific parts of the calf in a continuous sequence. This technique not only helps the calves but also helps the whole body relax, enhance the quality of their sleep, improve circulation and eliminate poor posture.
It is also believed that the shiatsu technique can help boost one’s immune system, improving the body’s ability to self-heal. The reason the shiatsu technique is preferred is due to the natural benefits it provides to both the physical and mental well-being of a person.
This method of massaging helps enhance the functionality of the lymphatic system. It can be used after a surgery or injury to accelerate the healing process. It also helps improve one’s immune system and protect the body from getting infections.
Deep Tissue Massage
This massage technique is mostly used for people who have suffered musculoskeletal injuries, for instance, sportspeople. It involves using a significant amount of pressure on the muscles to relieve muscle pain, tight muscles, and anxiety. The technique is intense, but the pressure applied is what helps reduce soreness and pain.
Skin Rolling Technique
Some calf massagers come with a rolling stick which uses this technique to loosen the skin and reduce muscle tension. Skin rolling also produces a relaxing effect, especially if you have been up and down the whole day. This technique helps improve circulation, allowing more blood to flow faster to muscles. The resulting effect is one healing faster and from injuries, pain and aches.
As the name suggests, this method of massage is great for sportspeople. This is because it helps people who get repetitive injuries when in the field. Apart from helping with the injuries, a sports massage increases performance and flexibility, relieves pain, anxiety, and muscle tension. While a sports massage technique can be used for the whole body, a calf massager focuses on the calves only. It uses deep pressure to minimize pain.
Trigger Point Massage
This massage method is ideal for someone with an injury or chronic pain. At times, tightness in tissue muscles referred to as trigger points can cause pain in other parts of your body. You can minimize discomfort by massaging those points. This technique combines gentle and deep pressure to relieve muscle tightness.
Benefits of Calf Massager
An intense massage can help loosen or manipulate calf muscles and surrounding tissues. Naturally, this causes an increase in blood circulation as well as maintains a normal flow. A healthy blood flow helps prevent muscle deterioration through oxygen supply and other essential nutrients to the muscles. It also helps transport metabolic waste away. This is one of the ways you can prevent deep vein thrombosis, which is a fatal condition.
If you suffer an injury to your leg, give it a few days to heal, then get a gentle calf massage. It will help reduce the remaining pain, relaxing potential muscle knots, hence releasing any tension. In severe cases where the pain is not stopping, seek out a massage therapist that specializes in trigger point massages.
Most people have issues with their calf muscles, where they tighten up or become stiff and limited to certain positions. When muscles are relaxed, one can move freely throughout the day. A calf massager not only helps with the pains and aches but also helps the muscles stay flexible for many years. Calf massagers with the heat feature come in handy here as the temperature rise helps loosen constricted muscles. Combined with stretching and massaging, this leads to increased flexibility.
Increased blood circulation leads to a healthy flow of oxygen and nutrients to the calf muscles. In return, the muscles grow stronger, healthier, and flexible. Naturally, this will result in a bigger range of movement and a good recovery rate after intense activity, which also helps reduce the chances of suffering a future injury.
Scar Tissue Reduction
In a severe injury where there is a muscle tear, the body’s natural healing process includes creating scar tissue. This scar tissue gets attached to surrounding muscles which leads to a limited range of motion. Scar tissue can hinder adequate blood circulation. And as we have seen, this is something we do not want to happen. Calf massagers prevent scar tissue adhesion and restore blood flow as well as increase mobility in the injured area.
FAQ For Calf Massagers
Do calf massagers work?
Calf massagers relieve soreness and pain in the muscles by improving blood flow. The benefits, however, vary according to the pressure you apply. Light pressure is ideal for relaxation, while intense pressure helps ease muscle tension and pain.
Do air compression massagers work?
Air compression comes with many benefits, even for people without any medical conditions. For instance, ill-fitting clothes, limited exercise, and shoes can contribute to swollen legs, stiffness, and aching. The air compression massager helps improve the circulation of blood by compressing the legs, relieving stress.
Do calf massagers aid in circulation?
Massagers help improves blood circulation. The pressure applied through massaging can help move stagnant blood from congested areas. This causes fresh oxygenated blood to enter into those areas.
Are calf massagers safe?
Calf massagers are safe, with most professionals recommending people to use them for the numerous benefits they provide. However, there are circumstances where you will first have to consult with your healthcare provider before using them. For instance, if you have a blood clot in a calf vein, do not use a calf massager before talking to a professional. Also, if you have open sores on the calves or you have brittle bones, it may not be a good idea to use these products.
How many times a day should I use a calf massager?
This depends on your pain level and the calf massager you are using. However, you can use it even thrice a day at intervals of 30 minutes. If you are a new user, you can start twice a week with 15-minute sessions as you build tolerance for the massager.
Is it okay to massage a clot in your legs?
If you have deep vein thrombosis, it is not advisable to massage your legs. Massaging can cause blood clots to break loose, leading to severe health issues like pulmonary embolism.
Ease of Use
With the strain we put on our legs daily, massages have become very important to help ease pain and improve blood circulation. Fortunately, you can enjoy a massage at your home through a calf massager. Although some come with different intensity settings, you might have to try a few to know which one benefits you the most. All calf massagers also come with a manual that can guide you on how to use them. A good calf massager can last you many years to come, making it an excellent investment.
What is the ideal time to use this calf massager?
For great results, use the calf massager after a warm shower. The heat helps your muscles relax, ensuring you get maximum relief from the muscles.
Whether you just want a simple massage to relieve some tension or help due to a medical condition such as diabetic neuropathy, calf massagers are the solution for you. It will eventually save you money instead of visiting the masseuse for a calf massage every now and then. By using it regularly, you can enjoy the benefits it has to offer, including fighting leg problems that people experience as they age.