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Extensor Hallucis Longus Muscle Anatomy: Origin, Insertion, Action

Anatomy Study: Origin, Insertion, Action and Innervation of the Extensor Hallucis Longus Muscle

Extensor Hallucis Longus Anatomy
Origin: Middle half of the medial surface of the fibula, medial to extensor digitorum longus, and adjacent anterior surface of the interosseous membrane
Insertion: Dorsal aspect of the base of the distal phalanx of the great toe
Action: Extension of the great toe, assists with dorsiflexion of the foot at the ankle.
Innervation: Deep Peroneal nerve (L5 – S1-2 )
Blood Supply: Branches of the anterior tibial artery.
Synergist: Extensor digitorum longus, Tibialis anterior, Peroneus tertius

Primary Actions of the Extensor Hallucis Longus:

1. Extension of the great toe at the interphalangeal joint

  • Agonists: Extensor Hallucis Brevis
  • Antagonists: Flexor Hallucis Longus

2. Extension of the great toe at the metatarsophalangeal joint

  • Agonists: Extensor Hallucis Brevis
  • Antagonists: Flexor Hallucis Longus, Flexor Hallucis Brevis

Secondary Action of the Extensor Hallucis Longus:

1. Assists with dorsi flexion of the foot at the ankle

  • Agonists: Tibialis Anterior
  • Antagonists: Gastrocnemius, Soleus

For Pain and Symptom Information See: Extensor Hallucis Longus Muscle: Big Toe Pain


Study Human Muscle Anatomy

Out of the scores of books in my office Basic Clinical Massage Therapy is by far the most referenced book in my library. The musculoskeletal system is overlaid on human models allowing you to learn the precise location, origin and insertions of each muscle. The models are pictured in various poses throughout the book which also helps you visualize muscles in motion and their actions relationship with the skeletal structure and other muscles. Though it is written for massage therapists, it is an excellent book for anyone who wants to learn about the muscular system. MT’s will benefit from recommended treatments for each muscle.


The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook – Claire Davies, Amber Davies, and David G. Simons

Basic Clinical Massage Therapy: Integrating Anatomy and Treatment – James H. Clay and David M. Pounds

Trigger Point Therapy for Myofascial Pain – Donna Finando and Steven Finando

Massage Therapy Principles and Practice – Susan Salvo

Theory & Practice of Therapeutic Massage – Mark Beck


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