So fearful are you that maybe you have ALS, that you’ve begun checking your lower legs for atrophy and have discovered a calf dent.
Suddenly, the dent means ALS. Is this logical thinking, or is your mind playing tricks on you? What’s really happening is that your mind is playing tricks on you, all because you probably googled twitching. Though atrophy is the result of ALS, a dent in a calf is not a hallmark sign of atrophy. It’s muscle definition.
Here is how this whole frightening process develops:
1) Your calf muscle begins twitching.
2) You do a Google search on muscle twitching.
3) ALS links show in the search results. You read up on this.
4) Panic strikes, and you visit all the ALS medical sites. The more you read about ALS, the more they’re you have ALS.
5) The twitching in the calf now becomes more pronounced. Maybe the twitching has “spread.”
6) You now begin visually inspecting your leg and discover dents in the calf.
7) You take to comparing the suspect leg to the other and notice differences, even using a tape measure. You may spend hours a day inspecting.
Calf Dents Are Normal
It’s called definition. If you don’t believe me, open a fitness or bodybuilding magazine and look at the legs. They are full of dents.
In fact, check out magazines on running or soccer. People with low body fat, and especially with toned muscles from running, athletics or weight exercises, all have calf dents.
As a personal trainer, I have had clients who, upon discovering dents in their legs and arms, became ecstatic and pointed them out to me: “Look! I never had this before!”
Muscle definition fluctuates. The body is NOT symmetrical. One lower leg is often bigger than the other. I see this ALL the time in someone walking ahead of me wearing shorts. Watch people wearing shorts; you’ll rarely see two calves the same size.
If you want to know what muscle atrophy REALLY looks like, look at the legs of someone in a wheelchair. If anything, their atrophied calves have NO dents!