The quadratus plantae muscle causes heel pain and plays a prominent role in plantar fasciitis.

What are the pain and symptoms associated with the quadratus plantae muscle?

  • Pain in the heel

Where is the quadratus plantae muscle?

The quadratus plantae is a two headed muscle. Both heads attach to the heel (calcaneus) and connect to tendons (flexor digitorum longus and long plantar ligament) in the middle of the arch.

What movements does the quadratus plantae control?

  • Bends the four small toes downward

Activities that cause quadratus plantae muscle pain and symptoms:

  • Walking or running on uneven ground
  • Walking, standing or running on hard surfaces
  • Walking barefoot on rocks or hard surfaces
  • High heels
  • Shoes that are too small
  • Wearing socks or stockings with tight bands

Quadratus Plantae Muscle

You use the quadratus plantae muscle when you bend your four small toes downward.

Interesting facts about the quadratus plantae:

  • Symptoms of the quadratus plantae are often diagnosed as plantar fasciitis.
  • Also called Flexor digitorum accessorius

Clinical diagnoses to which the quadratus plantae muscle symptoms may contribute:

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Plantar warts
  • Stress fractures
  • Calcaneal compartment syndrome
  • Injured calcaneus bone
  • Foot trauma
  • Blister
  • Bunion
  • Prolonged immobilization of the foot or lower leg
  • Bone spurs

Other muscles that should be considered and examined in conjunction with the quadratus plantae muscle:

  • Soleus

Satellite Trigger Points:

  • Flexor Hallucis Brevis
  • Adductor Hallucis
  • Flexor Digiti Minimi Brevis
  • Lumbricals of the foot
  • Interossei of the foot

For Anatomy Information See: Quadratus Plantae Muscle Anatomy: Origin, Insertion, Action, Innervation

Help with Quadratus Plantae Muscle and Heel Pain

Cold Therapy Gel For Quadratus Plantae Muscle Injury Heel Pain

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 quadratus plantae muscle pain and plantar fasciitis pain, rub Biofreeze around the heel and down into the arch of the foot.

Stretch The Calf and Foot Muscles To Relieve Quadratus Plantae and Heel 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.

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 in my massage therapy practice. It provides warmth without burning heat and is great for relieving pain. To easy quadratus plantae heel pain, apply Sombra all around the heel and up into the arch.

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.

Compression Foot Sleeves Provide Support and Pain Relief

CompressionZ Foot Sleeves are highly rated to help relieve the pain of plantar fasciitis and heel pain.  The socks provide moderate compression from the ankles down to the ball of the foot. The sleeves help not only pain but also the inflammation that occurs with chronic pain and injury. Available in several colors and women and men sizing.


Self Treatment Help For Quadratus Plantae Heel Pain

Do you know that small “knots” and other dysfunction in the quadratus plantae muscle can cause pain in your heel and can contribute to plantar fasciitis?

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 heel of the foot, treating the trigger points in the quadratus plantae 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. If you are buying the book, check out the tools below which may help you with treatment if you have problems reaching the bottom of your feet or have weak and/or arthritic hands.

Trigger Point Tools To Treat The Bottom Of The Foot


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.

Donna Martin

Massage Therapist Owner: Twelve years of experience working with clients with chronic pain, post injury pain, and post surgery pain. Muscle dysfunction is often overlooked but can hold the key to many pain conditions.

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