The plantaris is a small muscle in the area of the hollow of the knee. If it is tense or carries trigger points, it can trigger pain in the area of the hollow of the knee and in the calf.
With a self-massage you can free it from tensions and trigger points and get rid of pain caused by this muscle.
On this page you will learn …
In simple terms, the plantaris runs down from the lateral side of the knee to the heel.
However, its muscle head only reaches as far as a few centimeters into the knee and then merges into a long tendon, which extends down to the heel.
The main function of the muscle is plantarflexion and inversion at the ankle. During plantarflexion, you move the ball of your foot downwards, and during inversion, you tilt the inner edge of your foot towards the midline of the body.
In addition, the muscle also performs a flexion at the knee, but only under additional load.
Trigger points in the plantaris especially arise when it is stretched quickly and strongly.
This happens when the knee and ankle joint are stretched quickly at the same time. In everyday life, this occurs when you step unprepared into a hole, for example while walking.
In general, this muscle is overloaded by the same factors as the soleus, which is why I would like to refer you to its page, too.
Feeling this muscle and distinguishing it from the surrounding muscles is difficult and not necessary in order to massage it.
You “only” need to know where and how to place your hand in order to perform the massage. And that’s exactly what you’ll learn in the next chapter.
For the massage you only need your hands. As a massage technique, I recommend precise massage strokes.
It is best to start with short massage sessions and gradually (for weeks) increase the duration and pressure of the massage. Thus, the reactions of your body to the massage are less intense and you don‘t risk to irritate your nervous system too much.