What is the Soleus Muscle?
By Nicholas Baker, LMT, NMT
What is a Soleus Muscle?
What is the Soleus Muscle and Where is it Located?
The soleus is a large muscle on the back of your lower legs. This strong muscle originates from the back of your shin bone and attaches to your heel bone as part of the Achilles tendon. The soleus muscle becomes active during activities like walking, running, and jumping.
What are the Functions of the Soleus Muscle?
There are two functions of the soleus muscle. The first is to plantar flex your foot. Plantar flexion is the direction of motion that occurs as your foot and toes point down. Secondly, the soleus assists with venous return from the feet and legs to the heart when standing, as the venous circulatory system passes through the muscle tissue.
Soleus the “Secondary Hearts” of the Body
The soleus muscle is so critical in returning blood to the heart that it has been called the “secondary hearts” of the body. As we walk, we relax and contract the soleus muscle which creates a pump like action for the venous circulatory system that runs through the muscle.
Common Injuries to the Soleus Muscle
Soleus injuries are common for runners. Fatigue and overtraining are the most common causes of injuries especially for long-distance runners. Soleus strains can happen to any athlete who sprints, including tennis and basketball players, and other sports that require quick, sudden movements and jumping. Athletes are usually receive encouragement to do calf raise type exercises to prevent and reduce soleus injury.
Written By: Nicholas Baker, LMT, NMT
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