Extensor Digitorum Brevis Pain Pattern

Extensor Digitorum Brevis Muscle: Trigger Point Pain

Trigger points in the extensor digitorum brevis contribute to pain on the top of the foot in the area of the second, third, and fourth toes. A shortened tight muscle can also cause foot cramps.
Trigger points in the muscle not only cause pain but can also make the top of the foot feel numb. TrPs are also a contributor to hammertoe and claw toes.


Extensor Digitorum Brevis Muscle

Where Is The Extensor Digitorum Brevis Muscle?

The extensor digitorum brevis is located toward the top of the foot. It connects the heel bone (calcaneus) to the three middle toes (proximal phalanx 2, 3 and 4).

What Movements Does It Control?

It straightens (extends) and raises the three middle toes.

Extensor Digitorum Brevis Muscles Trigger Points Symptoms:

  • Pain in the top of the feet by the toes
  • Muscle cramps in the top of the foot and toes
  • Difficulty raising the foot
  • Difficulty raising the four small toes
  • Numbness in the top of the foot
  • Contributes to the development of hammer toe and claw toe

TWD Recommends

Yoga Toes Gems are highly recommended for anyone 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 help straighten and align your toes. They can also be helpful for some cases of bunions, hammer toes, and claw toes. It can also help with cases of plantar fasciitis. 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

Activities that cause extensor digitorum brevis muscle pain:

  • Stubbing the toes
  • Kicking a ball
  • Pedaling a bike
  • Climbing stairs
  • Shoes that are too tight or are laced too tightly across the top of the foot
  • High heeled shoes
  • Going barefoot for long periods will stress the muscle if your feet are not accustomed to going without shoes
Extensor Digitorum Brevis Massage

Extensor Digitorum Brevis Trigger Point Treatment

You can easily self-treat trigger points in the extensor digitorum brevis muscle. Using your thumbs and fingers, massage both top and bottom of the foot under the toes and extending down into the arch. Use light pressure on the top of the foot as deep pressure may bruise the area, increasing your pain. The bottom of the foot can tolerate light to moderate pressure. Start with light pressure, gradually increasing as you go. Concentrate your treatment on the red highlighted areas in the image above.

TWD Recommends

Massage balls can be used to relieve tension in many areas of the body and are exceptionally effective for your feet. The Flex Fixx Massage Ball 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.

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.

Clinical diagnoses to which the extensor digitorum brevis muscle symptoms may contribute:

  • Hammer toes or claw toes
  • Turf Toe
  • Gout
  • L4 L5 Radiculopathy
  • Charcot’s Joint


Other muscles that should be considered and examined:

Satellite trigger points associated with the extensor digitorum brevis muscle:

Trigger points in the muscle will cause TrPs to develop in other muscles. These are known as satellite trigger points. You will need to check these muscles for additional TrPs.

  • Extensor hallucis brevis
  • Extensor digitorum longus
  • Peroneus longus
  • Peroneus brevis
  • Peroneus tertius
  • Tibialis anterior

Sombra Warm Therapy Gel is recommended for relaxing muscles and relieving pain. It warms without the burning heat of other gels. An excellent choice for pain caused by trigger points, muscle/joint over-use and stiffness, and arthritis. If you have reoccurring leg or foot cramps you should keep Somba on hand, it provides almost instant relief. (Not sold in stores)

Biofreeze Pain Relieving Gel is an excellent pain-relieving gel recommend for those who have sudden onset muscle pain or recent injuries.  It is better to use than warm therapy gels and creams for muscle pain caused by inflammation as it cools the area much like ice. If your pain is from a recent injury use Biofreeze. It is excellent to use on sprains, strained and sore muscles.