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Causes of Foot Pain
      Foot pain effects millions of people each year. Typical foot pain disorders involve pain in the heel, on the arch of the foot, or on the top of the foot.
      Heel pain is commonly attributed to bone spurs. Many people who have been diagnosed as having a heel spur, have a similar bone spur on their other,
pain free foot. The truth is that bone spurs rarely cause pain. Most heel pain is produced by trigger points in the calf muscles. In fact, most heel spurs are caused by chronic trigger points in the calf muscles.
      Pain in the arch of the foot is frequently diagnosed as plantar fasciitis. Like heel pain, trigger points in the calf muscles are frequently responsible for this type of foot pain, though trigger points in the small muscles of the foot may also contribute to this pain.
       Though the calf muscles are very strong, they are easily overloaded by everyday activities. The trigger points that develop in these muscles refer pain to the foot for one reason: to get you off your feet and allow the overloaded calf muscles to recover.

The Muscles and Trigger Points that Cause Foot Pain
      There are six muscle groups that contain trigger points that refer pain to the foot. The three most frequently involved are:
  • The Gastrocnemius
  • The Soleus
  • The Tibialis Anterior
      The Gastrocnemius muscle group is the large muscle that makes up the bulk of the calf. It attaches to the large leg bone (the femur), just above the bend in the knee, and runs downward to attach to the Achilles tendon. It contracts to lift the body onto the toes during walking, running, and jumping. Four trigger points can develop in this muscle that refer pain to the arch of the foot, the calf, and the back of the knee regions. The trigger points may also cause calf cramping during the night.
       The Soleus muscle is a large, flat muscle that lies underneath the Gastrocnemius muscle in the calf region. It attaches to the lower leg bones (the tibula and fibula bones) just below the knee, and runs downward to attach to the Achilles tendon. Like the Gastrocnemius muscle, the Soleus muscle also contracts during walking and running. There are three trigger points that can develop in this muscle. They refer pain to the heel, Achilles tendon, calf, and low back regions.
      The Tibialis Anterior muscle is found in the shin region of the lower leg. It attaches to the larger lower leg bone (the tibia) just below the knee, and runs downward to attach to the smaller bones on the inside of the foot. This muscle contracts to lift the foot (dorsiflex) and stabilizes the foot during walking and running. The trigger point that develops in this muscle refers pain to the top of the foot, ankle, and to the big toe. This trigger point may also cause foot drag during walking.
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Important: The following content is provided for information purposes only. A proper diagnosis of any condition requires a physical examination by a licensed doctor.