National Associaltion of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists - Symptom Checker

Soleus
This is the technical name of the muscle being described.  This name may be used to find additional information in any medical resource. Soleus
A group of muscles generally denotes muscles of the same function and may share a common attachment point. Calf Muscles
Muscle function, in this definition, is what the muscle could do if it was to contract by itself with the body in anatomical position.  This is a general definition of muscle function.  For more information on how muscles work together on the body please refer to a physiology or functional anatomy text.

The soleus is a primary plantar flexor (pointing the foot down) of the foot and assists in inversion.

A description of where a Myofascial Trigger Point may produce pain in the body.  This area is generally located away from the trigger point.

Pain is referred to the posterior (back) aspect and plantar (bottom of the foot) surface of the heel as well as to the distal portion of the Achilles tendon.  Pain may also be referred to the sacroiliac joint on the same side as well as in the middle of the calf.  A rare TrP in the soleus can refer pain to the jaw on the same side, making this the largest distance of referred pain in the body!

A description of the symptoms a person may experience with trigger points in the muscle being described.

A person with TrPs in the soleus complains of pain in the heel, which can be so intense that body weight on that heel is unbearable.  In the same respect, walking becomes extremely painful, especially walking uphill or up and down stairs.  Runners are the most common group of people to experience this condition of the soleus muscle.  A range of motion restriction would not allow the affected person to lower his or her body to the floor while  keeping the heels down.

TrPs in the upper portion of the muscle will refer pain but are more likely to interfere with the musculovenous pump, which can induce calf and foot pain along with edema of the foot and ankle.  A range of motion restriction would not allow the affected person to lower his or her body to the floor while keeping the heels down.

A person may also develop low back pain as a result of limited dorsiflexion, which leads them to lean over to lift objects improperly.

   

 A list of possible diseases that fit the information derived from examination of a patient.

  1. Other myofascial concerns include the quadratus plantae and abductor hallucis.
  2. Rupture of either the plantaris or the soleus itself.  The plantaris will include a sharp pain, and an audible “snapping” may occur.
  3. Heel spurs that appear on the plantar surface of the calcaneus may or may not be the problem.  In many cases, the other foot has an equally large heel spur that does not cause pain.  The heel spur may be coincidental.
  4. Other causes of heel pain include plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, calcaneal stress fractures, thrombophlebitis, and popliteal (Baker’s) cyst.

A corrective action is usually a modification of daily routine which will reduce stress on the affected muscle(s) in a person with myofascial trigger points.

  1. Placing a pillow or firm support against the feet while lying in bed so that the toes are not pointed forward (dorsiflexed) thus shortening the soleus.
  2. A small pillow under the knees may help relieve pressure that may be caused by occlusion of the popliteal veins.
  3. Avoid high heels and shoes that have soles that do not bend, such as clogs, as these types of shoes cause the toes to point and put strain on the calf muscles respectively.
  4. Use of cruise control on long trips to avoid shortening the soleus will allow for more movement of the leg and foot, thus helping to relieve muscular tension.
  5. Proper stretching of the calf muscles will enhance an athlete’s performance, especially ones that are involved in running sports.  Unfortunately, not enough emphasis is placed on these stretches.
 

References : 
Simons DG, Travell JG, Simons LS, Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual, vol 1, 2nd Ed. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1999.

Travell JG, Simons DG, Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction, vol 2. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1992.


This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.  A proper diagnosis should be sought from a licensed health care provider.