The effect of the gastrocnemius on the plantar fascia

Foot Ankle Clin. 2014 Dec;19(4):701-18. doi: 10.1016/j.fcl.2014.08.011. Epub 2014 Sep 26.


Although anatomic and functional relationship has been established between the gastrocnemius muscle, via the Achilles tendon, and the plantar fascia, the exact role of gastrocnemius tightness in foot and plantar fascia problems is not completely understood. This article summarizes past and current literature linking these 2 structures and gives a mechanical explanation based on functional models of the relationship between gastrocnemius tightness and plantar fascia. The effect of gastrocnemius tightness on the sagittal behavior of the foot is also discussed.

Keywords: Achilles tendon; Ankle dorsiflexion stiffness; Gastrocnemius muscle; Gastrocnemius tightness; Plantar fascia; Plantar fasciitis; Sagittal foot mechanics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Contracture / physiopathology*
  • Fascia / physiopathology*
  • Fasciitis, Plantar / physiopathology*
  • Foot / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology*
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Walking