Knots in calves

So I went to see a physio recently about an ankle injury and as part of the treatment he gave me a quick calf massage. Apparently they have more knots in them than a Stretch Armstrong that has been set upon by a boy scout group.

What's the best way to relieve them? At the moment I've taken to rolling a tennis ball over my calf while at work for 10 minutes or so, which bloody hurts but then it is supposed to, isn't it? Is it just a case of press as hard as you can or could I actually end up making things worse? 


  • Can you get hold of a foam roller (around £10). same effect as a tennis ball- but easier to use for larger areas. When rolling your calf over it  very slowly- rest the other leg on top of the lower one to provide more pressure. When you come across an extra sore bit- stay in that position for 10 secs or so (if you can bear it).

    Do this daily and pretty soon you will get rid of the knots - you will know because suddenly using the roller wont be painful anymore. 

    I use the roller everywhere at the first sign of a pain- and also weekly just to check all is ok (kind of preventative medicine). I find the tennis ball good for more specific areas - just above the knee/ hips etc.

    Yes it hurts when there are knots but it is the way to solve it.

    I see a running coach for weekly strenghtening exercises (after suffering many injuries!) - if sh finds a knot in my legs somewhere - she basically pushes down with her thumb really hard into my leg at the sore point to relieve the muscle!


  • yeah I did that to myself  a few times and it felt better for a short period before feeling tight and knotty again. I too have had many injuries and know the pros stick their thumbs in for a while.

    I'm just not sure if it's a knot or a pulled/torn muscle....the former will allow me back runnning sooner.

  • Thanks for the advice guys!

    I'll look into getting a foam roller that I can use at home (any reccomendations of where to buy one?) and keep at it with the tennis ball at work. I don't think these knots are the cause of my injury but they certainly can't be helping.

    Good luck with your injury too dibbers, hopefully it will only be a knot.  

  • Hi Sheddy

     I have read your forum question, and I use a roller after each run to disperse the lactic acid from my calf , and to give them a quick massage. The intesity I apply depends how hard i press my leg down on the roller.

     I purchase a foam paint roller from a DIY store for a couple quid, which does the job.

    Hope this helps you with your knots. 

  • Also - I use this method:-

     Run your knotted up calf over your opposite knee - and when you get to sore bit just press over firmly and repeat a few times!!! 

  • Thanks john, getting a DIY roller is a genius suggestion!

    I had found some "proper" ones on Amazon but they seem somewhat pricey for a coloured cylinder of foam. 

    @samsunguser. Cheers, I assume this is done while seated on the floor, legs straight, one on top of the other?

  • Hello - Yes either lying down with one of your legs bent and the leg with the troublesome calf use to roll over your knee or sitting up.  I usually do this sitting up whilst watching tv! Just hold your leg whilst rubbing it over your other knee....simple and effective.
  • Ah right, thanks muchly!

    My calves are in for a hell of an evening, I can tell you. image

  • compression socks are supposed to help with this I am lead to believe - from a fellow sufferer
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