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Flexor Digitorum Longus Muscle: Foot and Toe Pain

Areas of pain to which the flexor digitorum muscle can contribute.

The flexor digitorum longus muscle can contribute to pain in the bottom of the foot, including the four small toes, the ball of the foot and the arch. Pain can also extend into the heel and up into the back of the lower leg.

  • Pain in the foot while walking
  • Pain in the ball of the foot which extends to the four small toes
  • Pain can continue to the bottom of the foot and radiate up into the back of the leg
  • Can cause foot cramps
  • Contributes to the development of hammer toe and claw toe

Where is the flexor digitorum longus muscle?

It lies along the back of the large bone (tibia) of the lower leg. The muscle tendon wraps around the inside of the heel and connects to the four small toes (distal phalanges of the four lateral toes).

What movements does the flexor digitorum longus control?

  • It bends the four small toes downward
  • It helps you bend the foot downward and point your toes
  • It helps move the body forward
  • It helps maintain balance

Activities that cause flexor digitorum longus pain and symptoms:

  • Running or walking on uneven ground
  • Worn shoes
  • Walking or running barefoot in deep sand
  • Wearing flip flops

Interesting facts about the flexor digitorum longus muscles:

  • Pain in the soles of the feet and bottom of the toes are often blamed on bad shoes, flat feet or gout. This pain is often due to the long flexors of the toes.
  • Wearing flip flops or any other open-heeled shoe can irritate the flexor muscles of the foot are over-worked because the toes curl to grip the shoe each step.
Flexor Digitorum Longus Muscle

The flexor digitorum longus bends the four small toes downward, helps bend the foot down and helps point the toes.

Clinical diagnoses to which the flexor digitorum longus symptoms may contribute:

  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Claw toes
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Plantar wart
  • Gout
  • L5 or S1 radiculopathy
  • Hammer toe
  • Peripheral vascular disease (PVD)
  • Deep Vascular Thrombosis (DVT)

Other muscles that should be considered and examined in conjunction with the flexor digitorum longus muscle:

Satellite Trigger Points: Tibialis posterior, Extensor digitorum longus, Extensor digitorum brevis

Affected Organ System: Genitourinary system

For detailed anatomy information see: Flexor Digitorum Longus Anatomy


Help with Pain Caused by the Flexor Digitorum Longus Muscle

Cold Therapy Gel for Sudden Onset Bottom of the Foot Pain

Biofreeze Pain Relieving Gel is an excellent pain relieving gel and I recommend it for those who have sudden onset muscle pain or recent injuries. It is better than warm therapy gels and creams for recent injury muscle pain as it cools the area much like ice and does not promote swelling. A recent study showed that Biofreeze decreased pain 2 times more than ice and the pain relief lasts 9 – 10 longer. If your pain is from a recent injury I would recommend Biofreeze. This should be your first choice to use for sudden onset pain in the foot and lower leg that is caused by a recently strained or sprained flexor digitorum longus muscle.

Biofreeze is recommended for recent flexor digitorum longus muscle injury

Hot Cold Pack For Lower Leg Treatment

CorPak Soft Comfort Hot & Cold Pack Wrap is a versatile pack that can be used to treat the lower leg, foot / ankle, as well as other areas of the body. This pack works well for the flexor digitorum longus as it will cover the length of the calf and can then be used to wrap the foot for full treatment. The pack is filled with pliable gel and has a soft frost free cover that will not irritate your skin. For recent injuries, use it cold to reduce swelling. For older injures or chronic pain use heat to relax the muscles and increase circulation.

CORPAK HOT COLD PACK WRAP to apply heat and cold for flexor digitorum longus pain

Warm Therapy Gel to Relieve Foot and Lower Leg Pain Due To Chronically Tight Muscle

Sombra Warm Therapy Pain Relieving Gel is a warming pain relieving gel that I use both personally and professionally in my massage therapy practice. Unlike other over the counter heating creams, it provides warmth without burning heat. Applying Sombra to the muscles on the back of the leg, down over the heel and covering the bottom of the foot can help reduce pain and tightness caused by the flexor digitorum longus muscle. I recommend Sombra for chronic pain and pain from arthritis.

Sombra Warm Therapy Gel provides pain relief for flexor digitorum longus pain.

Graduated Compression Socks for Support and Recovery

Eurosocks Over The Calf Compression Socks have become a go-to for both amateur and professional athletes for lower leg, ankle and foot injury recovery. Graduated compression helps relieve pain from muscle stiffness and soreness as well as discouraging inflammation. The socks wickable fabric keeps skin dry and DryStat technology inhibits the growth of odor causing microbes. The over the calf style works very well for flexor digitorum longus muscle recovery as the sock will cover the entire muscle. If you suspect or have been treated for blood clots, consult with a doctor before using compression on the lower legs.

Over the calf graduated compression socks provide support for flexor digitorum longus

Massage Balls To Relieve Foot Pain

Massage balls can be used to relieve tension in many areas of the body and are exceptionally effective for your feet. I like the Magnificent Rose Massage Ball Set. The set includes a smooth ball and two spiked balls which will give you maximum treatment for various aches and pains in your feet. The balls are sturdy and can deliver very firm pressure. The set comes with instructions and exercises. Rolling your feet takes just a few minutes each day and can deliver excellent results for both foot and lower leg pain.

Massage Balls for foot pain caused by flexor digitorum longus muscle

Stretch The Calf and Foot Muscles To Relieve Flexor Digitorum Longus Foot Pain

Medi-Dyne Pro Stretch for Plantar Fascitis and Calf Pain is a device that provides a deep stretch to the foot and lower leg muscles. This device is used in many physical therapists offices and rehab facilities to those who have lower leg pain and cramps and for those who suffer from plantar fasciitis. When you first use the Pro Stretch be sure to start off slowly, 5 to 10 seconds per stretch, gradually building up reps and longer stretch times.

Pro Stretch provides stretching treatment for the flexor digitorum longus

Self Treatment Technique For Lower Leg and Bottom of the Foot Pain

Do you know that small knots in the flexor digitorum longus muscles can contribute to pain in the bottom of the foot and soreness on the bottom of the foot and toes?

If you have pain in the bottom of your foot and toes, I recommend that you purchase Claire Davies The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief.. Mr. Davies explains the trigger point phenomenon and muscle pain in everyday language. But what makes this book worth its weight in gold are the individual muscle trigger point treatments that Davies has compiled.His diagrams and step by step instructions help you locate which muscles are contributing to your pain, how to find the trigger point and treat it. It takes time and practice to master finding trigger points, but once you learn you have a tool and method to help relieve muscle pain throughout the body. If you have unresolved pain in the bottom of your foot, you may want to learn about the trigger point in the flexor digitorum longus muscles which can help you resolve your pain issues. This book is a must-have for anyone interested in finding the cause and treating muscle pain.

The Trigger Point Workbook can help you resolve muscle pain in your legs, ankles and feet.

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