What is the Calf Muscle Pump (and why is it so important)?
With the start of the school season upon us, we thought it would be a good time to learn something new. So, we took a look at the Calf Muscle Pump and found some interesting information that, of course, we wanted to share.
What is the Calf Muscle Pump? There are numerous "pumps" in our body that have the primary purpose of helping transport venous blood back to the heart. The Calf Muscle Pump, located in the calf obviously, is mainly responsible for driving the blood circulation in the veins of the leg.
Why is a Calf Muscle Pump so important? Physicians who specialize in vein care say that practically every patient they see suffering from a vein symptom or venous disease has a Calf Muscle Pump failure, and blood is not flowing efficiently upward towards the heart. The complications this can lead to encompass spider, reticular, and varicose veins; leg ulcers; leg and joint pain; restless legs and muscle cramps; and more. Of greatest concern is venous stasis (aka zero Calf Muscle Pump) will lead to deep vein thrombosis and a greatly increased risk of pulmonary embolism.
How can you activate the Calf Muscle Pump? Don't worry, we're here to "Pump YOU up!" And, it's not too difficult. The key is activity as the Calf Muscle Pump springs into action when you move the feet and legs. You can kick-start this pump by running/jogging, cycling, swimming, walking, hiking, etc. If you spend a lot of time sitting down, make sure you're getting up at regular periods throughout the day. Finally, always opt for the stairs instead of an elevator/escalator!