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Muscle Knots in Foot

Foot muscle pain can be felt either on the top, bottom, or sides of the foot. There are many muscles that contribute to foot pain. A general complaint in this area is achy feet and tenderness to the smaller muscles of the foot.

Locations for the most common knots in the foot muscle, which consist of tight and contracted muscle fibers, are indicated in the illustrations found on these pages by a black dot. The red area in the illustrations indicates “referred pain” – meaning, the pain you feel is often not in the location of your trigger point until you press on it. As an example, you may feel pain in the bottom of your foot, but the trigger point may actually be in your calf.

Foot pain can be caused by a muscle knot in the Flexor Hallucis Brevis, a muscle of the foot that flexes the big toe.

Muscle knots in the muscle on the outside of the shinbone can cause pain in the big toe and pain on the top of the foot. Other symptoms may include a feeling of drop foot, pain when moving the ankle and turf toe, and a sprain of the big toe joint often resulting from playing sports.

A. Pain on the top of the foot may be caused by a knot in the Extensor Digitorum Longus, a muscle situated at the lateral part of the front of the leg.

B. Pain or weakness in the big toe may be caused by a knot in the Extensor Hallucis Longus, a long, thin muscle located on the shin that extends the big toe.

The muscle located on the outside of the shin bone is also responsible for pulling your toes toward the body and inverting the foot or bringing the arch of the foot upward toward the body. Another common complaint caused by tightness in this muscle is shin splints. It is not shin splints, but a tight muscle that is often mistaken for shin splints. Most people will find relief by using the Tiger Tail Classic, an easy-to-use hand-held 18-inch massage tool, to roll out and stretch the muscle.

Shin splints may be caused by muscle knots in the Tibialis Anterior, a muscle that runs alongside the shin bone and connects to the bone just behind your big toe.

Muscle knots in the calf muscles can lead to pain in the Achilles Tendon. Muscle knots in the Tibialis Posterior can cause pain directly above the heel bone or what is known as the Achilles Tendon. This pain or discomfort will also be felt in the sole and/or arch of the foot. You may feel achy feet, night cramps, pain at the bottom of your foot, Achilles tendonitis, or heel pain. All of these can be the result of hyper pronation, a common foot problem that causes weight to transfer to the inside of the foot, wearing ill-fitting or worn-out shoes, muscle overload, or walking and running on uneven surfaces.

Approximately 10% of people at some point during their life, including many runners, will also experience Plantar Fasciitis, inflammation of a thick band of tissue along the bottom of the foot that connects the heel bone to the toes. Rolling plantar fasciitis out with a massage ball, such as the Tiger Ball 1.7, is often recommended by physical therapists. Using some pressure and gently rolling it under your foot for a few minutes can help loosen up the plantar fascia, making it less likely to become irritated.

Pain above the heel bone may be due to a muscle knot in the Tibalis Posterior, a relatively small, centrally located muscle present on the back side of the leg.

Common Conditions Relating to Foot Muscle Pain:

  • Achy feet
  • Night cramps
  • Weakness
  • Achy pain on the bottom of the foot
  • Turf toe
  • Foot slap
  • Foot drop
  • Pain when moving ankles
  • Hammer toes
  • Claw toes
  • Pain on the bottom of the big toe
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Achilles Tendonitis

Tips for Happier Muscles:

  • Locate the muscle knot by applying pressure to the area causing pain. A muscle knot can be actively painful, or you might not even know it exists until you put pressure on it.
  • Rub the muscle knot to allow blood and oxygen to circulate freely to that muscle area.
  • Find the right pressure. When you press on a muscle knot with just the “right amount of pressure”, it can make you laugh and cry at the same time because it can “hurt so good”. Pressing too hard, however, it can make you cry for mercy!
  • If you gently rub the muscle knot you may feel tenderness in both the muscle and the muscle knot. Sometimes, the referred pain symptoms are able to be reproduced when pressure is applied to the muscle knot.

Tools That Can Help Ease Foot Pain