Association between trigger points in hamstring, posterior leg, foot muscles and plantar fasciopathy: A cross- sectional study

J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2020 Oct;24(4):373-378. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2020.07.018. Epub 2020 Aug 7.


Backround: Plantar Fasciopathy (PF) is soreness or irritability experienced underneath infero-medial aspect of the heel. It is a multifactorial disorder where myofascial involvement also seems to be associated with it, in which, muscles of posterior thigh, leg and foot muscles are affected. Trigger points in these muscles may interfere with biomechanics and normal functioning of the lower limb.

Objective: To find an association between trigger points of the posterior thigh, leg and foot muscles and plantar fasciopathy.

Study design: A cross sectional study.

Methods: 100 patients with plantar fasciopathy who fulfilled inclusion criteria were included in this study. They were examined for trigger points by manual palpation in posterior thigh, leg and foot muscles. Totally 15 muscles were examined on both affected and unaffected side.

Results: Results showed that myofascial trigger points were more prevalent in medial gastrocnemius (98%, Chi-square: 110.07, p < 0.05, Phi-0.74), quadratus plantae (83%, Chi-square:126.96, p < 0.05, Phi- 0.79), soleus (69%, Chi-square: 28.88, p < 0.05, Phi-0.38), tibialis posterior (46%, Chi-square 41.98 p<0.05%, Phi-0.50), abductor hallucis (42%, Chi-square: 43.61 p<0.05% Phi-0.46), flexor halluces longus (41%, Chisquare: 39.25, p < 0.05, Phi-0.44) than other muscles on the affected side. Whereas, on the unaffected side, trigger points were more prevalent among peroneus longus (50%, Chi-square: 26.14, p < 0.05, Phi-0.36) followed by medial gastrocnemius (26%, Chisquare: 110.07, p < 0.05, Phi-0.74).

Conclusion: Plantar fasciopathy is strongly associated with trigger points of medial gastrocnemius, quadratus plantae followed by soleus, tibialis posterior, abductor hallucis and flexor hallucis longus.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Fasciitis, Plantar*
  • Humans
  • Leg
  • Muscle, Skeletal
  • Trigger Points*