What is Flexor Digitorum Brevis Muscle and What is its Function?

The Flexor Digitorum Brevis muscle is situated in the foot. This muscle originates from the sole of the foot immediately above the plantar aponeurosis. It supports the arch of the foot. This muscle goes deep inside the foot. The Flexor Digitorum Brevis muscle is divided by the plantar vessels by a thin layer of fascia. The muscle enters the middle phalanges from the second through the fifth toes. This muscle is innervated by the medial plantar nerve. The function of the Flexor Digitorum Brevis muscle is to facilitate flexion of the toes. From the sole of the foot, this muscle then divides into four tendons which then enter each toe of the foot. Flexor Digitorum Brevis muscle can get injured or strained by putting excessive pressure on the foot such as doing a long jump where when landing after the jump, the whole body weight is on the foot. Flexor Digitorum Brevis Strain or Injury are normally treated using a conservative approach which has been described in detail below.

Flexor Digitorum Brevis Strain

Signs and Symptoms of Flexor Digitorum Brevis Strain

Some of the symptoms which may indicate towards a strained Flexor Digitorum Brevis muscle are:

  • Severe pain in the ball of the foot which the patient may describe as walking on rocks
  • The patient may also experience deep aching discomfort in the foot
  • Ambulation may also be affected due to a flexor digitorum brevis strain or injury with the patient having a noticeable limp
  • In case if the patient resorts to orthotic wear for comfort, it may actually make his or her condition worse.

What can Cause Flexor Digitorum Brevis Strain?

Some of the activities which may lead to an injury or strain to the Flexor Digitorum Brevis muscle are:

  • Walking on uneven surfaces
  • Stubbing toes frequently
  • People wearing shoes that have narrow toe boxes which may cramp the foot may also cause Flexor Digitorum Brevis muscle strain or injury
  • If an individual pronates the foot frequently that may also cause Flexor Digitorum Brevis strain or injury.

Risk Factors of Flexor Digitorum Brevis Strain

Some of the medical conditions that may lead to Strained Flexor Digitorum Brevis muscle are:

  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Plantar warts
  • Bone spurs
  • Flatfeet
  • Fallen arch
  • Bunion
  • Charcot's Joint.

What is the Treatment for Flexor Digitorum Brevis Strain?

Some of the treatments for Flexor Digitorum Brevis Strain are:

Cold Therapy for Treating Flexor Digitorum Brevis Strain: There are many forms of gels and cold packs available in the market and over the counter which can be effective for treating Strained Flexor Digitorum Brevis. The gels that are available are normally used immediately after an injury or strain to the flexor digitorum brevis as it immediately cools the area and prevents swelling from developing in the area. The gel is used by rubbing it at the injured site up to the ankle.

Warm Therapy for Treating Flexor Digitorum Brevis Strain: This type of therapy can also be used for treating a strained flexor digitorum brevis muscle. This gel provides adequate warmth to the injured area without actually burning the strained area. It works quite effectively in relieving pain and stiffness post an injury to the Flexor Digitorum Brevis Muscle. This gel needs to be put at the bottom of the foot and rubbed through to the ankle for best results. It should be noted here that warm therapy should never be used when using ice packs or heat packs as this may result in blistering of the skin.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: October 30, 2015

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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