Quadratus Plantae Pain Pattern

Quadratus Plantae Muscle: Trigger Point Pain

The quadratus plantae, also known as the flexor digitorum accessorius, is a muscle found in the bottom of the foot. It attaches to the heel connecting to a tendon and ligament. Trigger points in the muscle cause heel pain and play a prominent role in plantar fasciitis.


Quadratus Plantae Muscle

Where is the quadratus plantae muscle?

The quadratus plantae is a two headed muscle. Both heads attach to the heel (calcaneus) and connect to a tendon and a ligament, (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

For Anatomy Information See: Quadratus Plantae Anatomy

Quadratus Plantae muscle: Trigger Point Symptoms

  • Sharp and stabbing pain in the heel

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.

Activities that cause quadratus plantae muscle pain:

  • 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

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

Quadratus Plantae Trigger Point Treatment

The quadratus plantae is located deep in the foot, but using a massage ball, the trigger point in the muscle can be self-treated. Put the ball on the floor and roll the bottom of your foot, concentrating on the area in front of the heel. Do this treatment 2-3 times a day for 1-2 minutes per treatment. Continue treatments until the pain and soreness are gone.

To learn more about muscle trigger points and the pain they can cause throughout the body, The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook is an excellent resource to have on hand. The workbook explains how TrPs develop, how to locate the muscle and the trigger point(s), and how to treat. The diagrams and instructions are easy to follow.

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 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 abductor digiti minimi muscle:

  • Soleus

Satellite trigger points associated with the quadratus plantae 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.

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

CompressionZ Foot Sleeves are highly rated to help relieve foot pain, 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.