What is Extensor Digitorum Brevis Muscle and What is Its Function?

The very top of the foot has what is called as the Extensor Digitorum Brevis Muscle. This muscle is connected to the tendons which are attached to the toes. This muscle is innervated by the deep fibular nerve. The main function of the Extensor Digitorum Brevis Muscle is to control the movement of the toes. This muscle spares the smallest toe from its control. Extensor digitorum brevis pain can occur due to injury or trauma to the muscle and can result in medical conditions like dropfoot or interosseus syndrome. These medical conditions cause a lot of difficulty for the affected individual to move the toes comfortably. A strain or injury to the extensor digitorum brevis muscle can cause severe pain in the top of the foot and make it difficult for the individual to walk normally. Extensor digitorum brevis pain can occur in athletes who run cross country and participate in full marathons as they have to run on uneven terrains and thus putting pressure on the top of the foot and hence injuring the extensor digitorum brevis muscle. The basic mode of treatment for extensor digitorum brevis pain is physical therapy, exercises, cold therapy, and foot supports. Muscle relaxants and antiinflammatories are also quite helpful in relieving the symptoms.

Extensor Digitorum Brevis Pain

Signs and Symptoms of Extensor Digitorum Brevis Pain

Some of the signs and symptoms of extensor digitorum brevis pain are:

  • Severe pain at the top of the foot which is exacerbated by movement or putting pressure in the foot.
  • Severe muscle cramps
  • One of the symptoms of extensor digitorum brevis pain or injury would be the patient will find it difficult to raise the foot
  • The patient may also feel numbness in the top of the foot
  • There may also be development of deformities like hammertoe and clawtoe.

What can Cause Extensor Digitorum Brevis Pain?

Some of the activities that can cause extensor digitorum brevis pain are:

  • Stubbing of toes
  • Kicking a ball repetitively
  • Bicycle pedaling
  • Frequently negotiating stairs
  • Inappropriate shoes

Risk Factors of Extensor Digitorum Brevis Pain or Strain

Some of the medical conditions which can contribute to extensor digitorum brevis pain or strain are:

  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Tendinitis
  • Hammertoe or clawtoe
  • Gout
  • Charcot Joint

What is the Treatment for Extensor Digitorum Brevis Pain?

Below mentioned are some of the methods for treating extensor digitorum brevis pain:

Cold Therapy: Gels and cold packs can be effective in easing extensor digitorum brevis pain. The gels that are available are normally used immediately after an injury or strain as it immediately cools the area and prevents swelling from developing in the area. The gel is used by rubbing it at the top of the foot two to three times a day.

Foot Wrap: This can be used for compression of the injured Extensor Digitorum Brevis Muscle. Immediate compression helps a great deal in reducing pain, swelling, and inflammation around the foot and ankle region due to the injured Extensor Digitorum Brevis Muscle.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Last Modified On: December 12, 2017

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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