Flexor Digitorum Longus Muscle: Foot and Toe Pain

What pain and symptoms are associated with the flexor digitorum longus muscle

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 of the lower leg. The muscle tendon wraps around the inside of the heel and connects to the four small 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

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.

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

  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Claw toes
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Plantar wart
  • Gout
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Sprain/strain of the ankle
  • Peripheral vascular disease (PVD)
  • Deep Vascular Thrombosis (DVT)


Flexor Digitorum Longus Muscle

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

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 Pain or Pain Due to Recent Injury

Biofreeze is recommended for recent muscle injury

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 or foot and lower leg pain that caused by a recently strained or sprained flexor digitorum longus muscle.

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

Sombra Warm Therapy Gel provides pain relief.

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.

Cold / Hot Wrap for Lower Leg Injuries and Pain

Hot Cold Wrap for Shin Splints and Sore Shin Muscles

If you have chronic pain from an old injury or participate in activities that strain the lower leg muscles the Thera Pearl Shin Hot & Cold Wrap  can be used to apply heat or as an ice pack. It is pliable and can be used on the shin or the calf. It has adjustable two Velcro band closures. The packs can be stored in the freezer for cold therapy or popped in the microwave for heat. Use this on the flexor digitorum longus muscle to ease pain and swelling in the back of the calf.

Low Leg Shin Calf Brace For Support and Protection


The Shock Doctor Calf Shin Wrap is an adjustable wrap that provides support for the low leg muscles. It can be used for shin splints as well as sore strained or sprained lower leg muscles, including the flexor digitorum longus. The brace provides compression and heat to help relax the muscle and improve mobility. Use this brace if you need more support after injury or need adjustable compression for chronic pain support. If you suspect or have ever been treated for blood clots consult your doctor before using compression or supports on your legs!



Sports Compression Sleeves and Socks For Support and Faster Recovery from Sports Activities

Visible Sports Men and Women Shin / Calf Compression Sleeve


A compression sleeve used by many athletes, the BeVisable Sports Calf / Shin Compression Sleeve provides compression, support and warmth without adding bulk to the lower leg muscles. This sleeve is recommended by athletic trainers for shin splints and overuse injuries of the lower leg muscles. The sleeve is also great as a preventative measure against shin splints and tired sore muscles after sports activities.  Compression sleeves are also shown to reduce recovery time after strenuous activities and injury.  If you suspect or have ever been diagnosed with blood clots consult your doctor before using this brace.



Eurosocks Patented Recovery Graduated Compression Sock

Over the calf graduated compression socks The graduated 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.

Self Massage Treatment Technique For Lower Leg, Ankle and Heel Pain

The Trigger Point Workbook can help you resolve muscle pain throughout your body.

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 toes?

If you have chronically sore and or weak ankles  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.





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