Trigger Point Therapy for Heel Pain (Massage Monday #384)

Per viewer’s requests, this week I’m going to show the trigger point therapy for heel pain. I will be very specific to the heel area only. If you have a plantar fasciitis, this may help if the pain is caused by these trigger points. Trigger point is a spot in a specific muscle that’s stuck in a contracted position that causes pain locally in the same area or somewhere else in the body. It’s called referred pain.

When you have a heel pain it may be caused by a trigger point in soleus which is underneath the big calf muscle called gastrocnemius. The black dot is the trigger point and the shaded area is referred pain area. See if there is a sore spot around the mid area of the calf between the knee and heel and slightly inward on the big toe side. This trigger point causes pain in the Achilles Tendon area and the heel.

Soleus Number 2 Trigger Point and Referred Pain Pattern

To treat this, lie on your back and use your knee to massage it out with short strokes.

trigger point therapy using knee

Another trigger point that may be causing your heel pain is right by the heel on quadratus plantae.

Quadratus Plantae Trigger Point and Referred Pain Pattern

To treat this trigger point, step on a hard ball like a golf ball or little knob on the Thera Cane to massage it out.

Heel Trigger Point Therapy with Golf Ball

Heel Trigger Point Therapy with Thera Cane

Thera Cane

If the inner heel is painful, it may be caused by the trigger points in abductor halluces. To locate this muscle, feel the inner heel muscles contract as you move your big toe down and away from the other toes.

Abductor Hallucis Trigger Points and Referred Pain Pattern

If these spots are sore, massage them out with double thumbs, overlapped thumbs, supported thumbs, or use a massage device called Knobble.

Knobble

Hold the foot with the other hand towards you to easily increase the pressure. You can also step on a golf ball or little knob on the Thera Cane.

If the outer heel is painful, it may be caused by the trigger point in abductor digiti minimi. To locate this muscle, feel the outer heel muscles contract as you move your pinky toe away from the other toes.

Abductor Digiti Minimi Trigger Points and Referred Pain Pattern

If you find these spots sore, massage them out by stepping on a golf ball or Thera Cane. I also find it easy to sit with a subject foot on the couch, anchor yourself and massage with a supported thumb. When you use a single thumb, always have a support so you won’t be circling it freely which will kill your thumb.

It’s easier if you do these sitting.

Heel Trigger Point Therapy with Thera Cane Sitting

The illustrations are from this book called Trigger Point Therapy Workbook. This is my bible for trigger point therapy.

 

Massage Monday #384 – Trigger Point Therapy for Heel Pain http://bit.ly/mm-384

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