Flexor Digitorum Brevis Pain Pattern

Flexor Digitorum Brevis Muscle: Trigger Point Pain

The flexor digitorum muscle is found in the bottom of the foot, centered in the arch. Despite its location, the muscle does not contribute to painful arches. Trigger point pain occurs in the ball of the foot, just under the toes. People describe this pain as feeling as if you are walking on sharp rocks or glass shards.


Flexor Digitorum Brevis Muscle

Where Is The Flexor Digitorum Brevis Muscle?

The flexor digitorum brevis is located on the bottom of the foot in the center of the arch. It connects the heel bone (calcaneus) to the middle bones (middle phalanx) of the four small toes.

What Movements Does It Control?

It bends (flexes) the four small toes.

For detailed anatomy information:   Flexor Digitorum Brevis Muscle Anatomy

Flexor Digitorum Brevis Muscles Trigger Points Symptoms:

  • Pain in the ball of the foot just under the four small toes
  • Pain is often described as a feeling of walking on sharp pointed rocks
  • Deep aching pain while resting
  • Tendency to limp while walking
  • Arch supports and orthotics make the pain worse

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 flexor digitorum brevis muscle pain:

  • Walking on uneven ground
  • Stubbing toes
  • Shoes that are too narrow and pinch toes together or are not long enough for toes lay comfortably
  • A pronated foot (walking on the inside of the foot)

Flexor Digitorum Brevis Trigger Point Treatment

The flexor digitorum is easy to treat using massage balls. TWD recommends the Flex Fixx Massage Balls. It is a set of 3 balls used for varying pressure and depth. The balls can be warmed to relax tight muscles or put in the freezer to reduce pain and inflammation. The balls can be used on many muscles throughout the body to reduce muscle pain and tightness. The set includes an instructional book.

TWD also recommends getting a copy of The Trigger Point Therapy WorkbookThe book explains trigger points and provides symptoms and treatment techniques for muscles throughout the body.

TWD Recommends

The NatraCure Cold/Hot Therapy Wrap is just the right size to use on the bottom of your foot. You can use cold therapy throughout the day to reduce the sharp stabbing pains during the day. At night you can use it for heat therapy to ease the pain so you can rest.

The wrap is made of neoprene with a velcro closure that allows you to adjust compression. The wrap can also be used for the ankle, wrist, elbow and other areas of the body.

Interesting facts:

  • Pain in the ball of the foot is the most common complaint of foot pain.
  • Pain in the ball of the foot is often thought to be Metatarsalgia.
  • Though the muscle is located in the arch, it does not contribute to pain in the arch.
  • If arch supports increase pain in the ball of the foot, the problem is most likely the flexor digitorum brevis.
  • Flexor digitorum brevis muscle pain is often diagnosed as plantar fasciitis.

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

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Plantar wart
  • Bone spur
  • Flat feet
  • Fallen arches
  • Bunions
  • L4 L5 radiculopathy
  • Charcot’s Joint


Other muscles that should be considered and examined:


Satellite trigger points associated with the flexor 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.

  • Tibialis posterior
  • Flexor digitorum longus
  • Flexor hallucis brevis


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.