Pictured above is the extensor digitorum longus muscle. It stabilizes your foot & ankle for balance by pulling your toes toward the front of your shin. It attaches underneath the anterior tibialis to the most of the front of your lower leg bone from just below your knee, and its tendons run down the front of your ankle and attaches to all of the toes except the big toe.
If this muscle locks up it will feel tight and possibly painful along the front of your lower leg, and your toes will not move well. This muscle and the extensor hallucis longus are BIG contributors to shin splints, hammer toes, claw toes, and other shin and foot pains. Rarely will this muscle lock up without the other toe extensor muscle needing attention too (the extensor hallucis longus). The soleus muscle ALWAYS needs attention if your extensor muscles are locked up, and your toe flexors will also likely need some TLC on the back of your lower leg deeper than the soleus.
The extensor digitorum longus muscle is displayed on the right leg. On the left leg the muscles located in the front of your shin are layered, showing how some of the muscles are covered by the others. All of the muscles are see-through so that you can appreciate the location and size of each muscle relative to the others.
Click here for a list of all the muscles.
Muscles that cross or attach to the hip or thigh bone (femur) and attach below the knee joint and DO NOT attach to the knee cap (patella)
The following muscles attach across or below the knee.
Click the appropriate link for your interest.
Muscles that cross the knee
Muscles that pass or attach between the knee & ankle
- Peroneus Longus
- Peroneus Brevis
- Flexor Digitorum Longus
- Flexor Hallucis Longus
- Posterior Tibialis
- Anterior Tibialis
- Extensor Digitorum Longus
- Extensor Hallucis Longus
Good luck working out those tight knots.
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