Flexor Hallucis Longus: Big Toe and Foot Pain

What pain and symptoms are associated with the flexor hallucis longus muscle?

Areas of pain to which the flexor hallucis longus may contribute

Pain in the big toe going into the ball of the foot under the big toe can be a sign of flexor hallucis longus muscle dysfunction.

  • Pain in the big toe radiating to the ball of the foot

Where is the flexor hallucis longus muscle?

It  is located in the back of the lower leg. The muscle connects to the small bone of the lower leg and extends down the back of the leg into the bottom of the foot where it connects to the big toe

What movements does the flexor hallucis longus control?

  • It bends the big toe downward
  • It helps you bend the foot downward and point your toes

Activities that cause flexor hallucis longus pain and symptoms:

  • Running or walking on uneven ground
  • Worn shoes
  • Shoes that do not have proper padding in the ball of the foot
  • Walking or running barefoot in deep sand
  • Immobility in the big toe joints due to arthritis or injury

Interesting facts about the flexor hallucis longus muscles:

Pain caused by the flexor hallucis longus muscle is often diagnosed as gout. If you have been diagnosed with gout and medication does not seem to be working, examine the  muscle for trigger points, soreness, and tightness.

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

  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Gout
  • Bunion
  • Charcot’s Joint
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Turf Toe


Flexor Hallucis Longus Muscle

You use the flexor hallucis longus muscle when you bend the big toe downward.

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

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

Affected Organ System: Genitourinary system

For detailed anatomy information: Flexor Hallucis Longus Anatomy

Help with Pain Caused by the Flexor Hallucis 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 hallucis 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 inside of the arch up to the big toe can help reduce pain and tightness caused by the flexor hallucis 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 back of the calf covering the  flexor hallucis longus muscle to ease pain and swelling in the back of the calf and decrease pain in the big toe.

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 hallucis 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 calf 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 wicking fabric keeps skin dry and DryStat technology inhibits the growth of odor-causing microbes. The over the calf style works very well for flexor hallucis 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 Muscles and Big Toe Pain

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

Do you know that small knots in the flexor hallucis longus muscles can contribute to pain in the big toe?

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 big toe and ball of the foot,  you may want to learn about the trigger point in the flexor hallucis 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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