Extensor Digitorum Longus and Extensor Hallucis Longus - Trigger Points - Foot Pain Treatment

The extensor digitorum longus and extensor hallucis longus muscles can be found under the tibialis anterior. At the top the extensor digitorum longus attaches to the tibia as well as the length of the fibula and at the bottom to the for smaller toe bones. The extensor hallucis also attaches to the fibulas midpoint at the top and at the bottom to the big toe. These muscles are used to raise your foot as well as inward and outward rotation, respectively. These movements assist in balance and adapting to the uneven surfaces.

Conditions and Differential Diagnoses


Extensor Digitorum Longus and Extensor Hallucis Longus
Trigger points from these muscles often refer pain to the front of the ankles and top of feet. Pain in the top of the big to and its join is another common pain pattern. Reduced circulation caused by trigger points in these muscles can cause issues with the peroneal nerve, causing weakness and difficulty raising your feet. Numbness in the top of your foot or toes is a good indicator of this occurrence. If these muscles go untreated developing hammertoe or claw toe is possible. These conditions are when your toes become curled downward and may be difficult or painful to straighten.


Gradual abuse or an injury can agrivate the extensor muscles, creating trigger points. They can become overworked from strenuous exercise or from driving and operating the gas and break.


Because these muscles are located beneath the tibialis anterior muscle on the front of your leg finding them can be a challenge. When raising your toes search for the contraction about one third of the way down your leg from the knee and halfway between the side and front of your leg.

The red region indicates the likely pain pattern location you will experience from these muscles. The green circles are the trigger point location . This is where you need to massage in order to relieve the pain. Check out the trigger point page for details regarding treatment tips and techniques.

Extensor Hallucis Longus

& Extensor Digitorum Longus



”footOnce you have located the tender points between your knee and ankle you can use hand tools like the Theracane Massager.

Some relief should be immediate and pain will continue to improve with regular attention. Avoiding high-heeled shoes and using a balanced exercise program will prevent trigger points in this muscle. Hills and stairs are require a lot of use of this muscle so plan your trips and exercise accordingly.

Ensuring you use comfortable shoes and insoles is the first line of defense against foot and leg pain.

Check out the Trigger Point page for more details and treatment tips.

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