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 cause 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 centimetres 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 of your ankle joint. 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 knee flexion, 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 very difficult and not absolutely necessary for the massage.
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 need nothing more than your hands. As a massage technique, I recommend the precise massage strokes.
Take your time!
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.