A recent article was written illustrating the causal relationship of heel pain and active trigger points in the bottom of the foot. It noted that a high number of active trigger points were associated with heel pain. A high number of tigger points were found in the Flexor Hallucis Brevis, Adductor Hallucis, internal gastrocnemius and quadratus plantar muscle bellies. These areas were compared in individuals with and without heel pain. These trigger points can refer pain to the arch and to the heel resulting in what we like to call heel pain or plantar fasciitis. This highlights the prominent role that chronic muscle tightness can play in the development of heel pain and plantar fasciitis. This study proves that there are many causes of heel pain, not simply the tension and stress placed upon the plantar fascia band. To help alleviate pain caused by trigger points in these muscle groups there are several techniques that have been proven effective.
One is the use of the Hot/Cold massage ball by Athlete Everyday which allows direct compression to the painful trigger point while heel or cooling the area ultimately releasing tension. With its portability and ease of use the massage ball is a very convenient method of treating heel pain. Another method is to have dry needling performed by a physical therapist. The penetration of the needle down into the muscle belly helps to relax the muscle fibers and decrease the tension over time. For more information of how dry needling works check out this article. A third way to alleviate muscle stiffness is through daily use of a foot rocker which stretches the calf muscle. With consistent use pop these methods tripper point pain, heel pain and plantar fasciitis can be a thing of the past.