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Gastrocnemius

 

The Gastrocnemius is a superficial posterior muscle of the leg.

Anatomical Attachments:

  • Origin: The Gastrocnemius has two heads; the Medial head attaches from the posterior part of the medial condyle and the adjoining part of the femur. The Lateral head attaches from the lateral condyle and the adjoining part of the femur.
  • Insertion: Attaches into the calcaneus via the Achilles tendon.

Action: Flexes the tibia at the knee and plantar flexes the foot.

Synergist:

Antagonist: Semimembranosus, Semitendinosus, Biceps Femoris (short head), Gracilis, Sartorius.

 

Click for Muscle Test 

 

Nerve Supply: Tibial Nerve (S1, S2).

Vascular supply: Sural branches of the Popliteal artery.

Travell and Simons Trigger Point Pain Referral:  
TrP 1 TrP 2 TrP 3 TrP 4

Click on a small image to view an enlarged image

 

Trigger Point Signs and Symptoms: Calf pain and cramps, pain in the arch of the foot and the back of the knee.

Trigger Point Activating and Perpetuating Factors: Sudden chilling of the muscle, mechanical overload such as sustaining an impact to the balls of the feet while plantar flexed as in jumping, running or walking up a hill, persistent wearing of high heels, prolonged immobilization of the ankle, or wearing socks with tight bands or garters which restrict neurovascular supply.

Differential Diagnosis: (Segmental, Subluxation, Somatic dysfunction) L5 S1 or S2 radiculopathy (Sciatica), Peripheral vascular disease (PVD)-Intermittent claudication, Thrombophlebitis, Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), Superficial vascular thrombosis (SVT), Varicose veins, Postlaminectomy syndrome, Nocturnal cramping, Tennis leg, Post exercise soreness, Posterior compartment syndrome, Buckling knee syndrome, Dislocation/Subluxation of the knee, Torn lateral meniscus, Bone fracture, Bone cancer, Rupture or torn Gastrocnemius, Muscle sprain/strain of the calf, Bakerís cyst, Rupture Achilles tendon, Achilles tendinitis, Plantar fasciitis, Pes cavus, Pes Planus Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Retrocalcaneal bursitis, Systemic infections or inflammation, Nutritional inadequacy, Metabolic imbalance, Toxicity, Side effects of medication.

 

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