Calf muscle pump

The muscle pump in the calves ensures that the venous return back to the heart works properly

Calf muscle pump

The venous valves determine the direction

Every time the muscles contract, they squeeze the deep veins in the legs together and transport the blood further. Here too, the venous valves determine the direction of flow and stop the blood flowing backwards.

  • However, the muscle pump only springs into action when we use our muscles, i.e. while walking or running.
  • Long periods of standing or sitting still can lead to blood pooling in the legs.
  • Water from the blood leaks through vessel walls into the surrounding tissues and leads to swollen legs and feet.
  • Whenever the muscles of the feet and legs are working, the muscle pump works too and jump-starts venous return again.

Hiking, climbing stairs, cycling or swimming keep the muscle pump fit and ensure good circulation to the legs.