Adductor Hallucis Muscle: Foot Pain

Pain felt in the ball of the foot extending toward the arch can be a sign of adductor hallucis dysfunction.

What are the pain and symptoms associated with the adductor hallucis muscle?

Pain in the ball of the foot just under the toes extending down into the top of the arch

Where is the adductor hallucis muscle?

The adductor hallucis is on the bottom of the foot and divides into two heads. One head attaches to the bottom of the bone of the big toe and runs across the bottom of the foot below the four small toes.  The other head attaches to the same bone at the bottom of the big toe and connects to a bone in front of the heel.

What movements does the adductor hallucis control?

  • Moves the big toe in toward the other toes
  • Assists in bending the big toe downward

Activities that cause adductor hallucis muscle pain and symptoms:

  • Walking or running on uneven ground
  • High heels
  • Shoes that are too small
  • Wearing a cast for an extended period of time

Adductor Hallucis Muscle

You use the adductor hallucis muscle when you move the big toe in toward the other toes.

Clinical diagnoses to which the adductor hallucis muscle symptoms may contribute:

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Plantar warts
  • Hallux valgus
  • Bone spurs
  • Gout

Other muscles that should be considered and examined in conjunction with the adductor hallucis:

  • Flexor Digitorum Brevis

Satellite trigger points associated with the adductor hallucis :

Deep Intrinsic muscles of the foot

For detailed anatomy information:  Adductor Hallucis Muscle Anatomy: Origin, Insertion, Action, Innervation

Help with Adductor Hallucis Pain in the Ball Of The Foot

Cold Therapy Treatment For Pain In The Ball Of The Foot

Biofreeze Pain Relieving Gel is a cold therapy gel that provides pain relieve for new injuries and is great as a maintenance treatment for over use injuries. Cold therapy should be used on new and recent injuries instead of heat 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. For adductor hallucis pain in the bottom of the foot, rub Biofreeze on the bottom of the foot, from under the toes, covering the ball of the foot down into the arch.

Foot Wrap For Hot / Cold Treatment and Compression

The ActiveWrap Foot and Ankle Wrap will provide both cold and hot treatments. The wrap has two gel packs that can be used for either hot or cold treatment. The adjustable Velcro closures can be adjusted for comfortable fit. The wrap without the inserts can be worn for both support and compression in the early injury phase.

Warm Therapy for Post Injury Pain and Arthritis Foot Pain

Sombra Warm Therapy Pain Relieving Gel is a pain relieving gel that I use both personally and professionally in my massage therapy practice. It provides warmth without burning heat, unlike other heating creams and gels. It works well for post injury pain and stiffness as well as chronic arthritis pain as it can be applied several times a day. Apply Sombra to the bottom of the foot for adductor hallucis muscle pain.

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 FlexFixx 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.

Yoga Toes to Stretch and Relax Lower Leg and Foot Muscles

I recommend Yoga Toes Gems for many of my clients who are dealing with foot and/or lower leg pain. The separators not only stretch the muscles of the feet, but also many muscles of the lower leg. Used regularly, Yoga Toes do actually help straighten and align your toes. They can also be helpful for some cases of bunions, hammer toes, and claw toes. I prefer the Yoga Toes Gems because they are more supple, comfortable and easier to use. To increase therapeutic treatment relax while wearing Yoga Toes and then use the massage balls (below) to further massage and relax the muscles of your feet.

For Men’s shoe size 10 and over or women shoe size 12 and over consider Yoga Toes For Men

Self Treatment Help For Adductor Hallucis Muscle Pain

Do you know that small “knots” or other dysfunction in the adductor hallucis muscle can contribute to pain in the ball of the foot that extends down into the arch?

The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief can help you treat foot pain by teaching you the techniques to find and eliminate trigger points. Author Clair 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 are suffering from pain in the ball of the foot, treating the trigger points in the adductor hallucis muscle of the foot can help reduce or eliminate your pain. This book is a must-have for anyone interested in finding the cause and treating muscle pain.


The Thera Cane Massager is my first choice of purchase with the workbook for two reasons: First, you can easily reach the bottom of your feet without the need to bend or contort your body. Secondly, once you understand trigger points, you will find that you will want to treat other muscles and you may need help accessing the muscles. The Thera Cane allows you to easily treat all muscles of the body, including back muscles. If you have weak or arthritic hands, you may need a tool to help you use and hold the pressure required for trigger point treatment.  If you are buying the workbook, the Thera Cane is worth the investment!

The Knobble

If you are limber but have issues with pain in your hands, The Knobble works great to treat muscles in the sole of the foot. It is easily gripped and the point is nicely rounded to apply even pressure with out feeling sharp and pokey. The Knobble will also help you treat many other points throughout the body with the exception of muscles located in the back. A great tool for runners who treat foot and leg trigger points on a regular basis.

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