The plantaris muscle is a thin muscle that starts at the knee joint, which attaches to the plantaris tendon beginning at the calf. The plantaris tendon then elongates down the calf to the foot, connected to the joints in the foot. Both the plantaris muscle and tendon are prone to injury because they are connected to two joints, and are often injured during running, cycling or playing tennis. Treatment consists of immobilization of the ankle, gently stretching the plantaris and taking pain relievers to reduce pain.
Tape the Ankle
Keep the ankle in a neutral position. To keep it neutral, apply an adhesive tape, such as a leukoplast tape, around the ankle to prevent it from bending. Keep it taped for one to three days. According to the "Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association," immobilizing the ankle increases muscle fiber regeneration and faster recovery time. If it is too painful to walk on the foot while keeping it immobilized, use crutches to elevate the foot from the ground to reduce pain.
Stretch the Muscle
Gradually begin stretching the plantaris muscle for three to five days after the ankle is immobilized. Some techniques, performed by a chiropractor or as instructed by the doctor, include the Active Release Techniques, the myofacial release and instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization. These techniques help distend the developing scar over the injured plantaris and promote collagen growth, increasing recovery time.
Decrease all activity involving the movement of the plantaris muscle for four to eight weeks. Avoid any exercises or sports that requires full movements of the ankle, which can aggravate plantaris muscle pain.
The Uniformed Services University (USU) recommends taking an analgesic to reduce pain. Common types of over-the-counter (OTC) analgesics include ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, acetaminophen and aspirin.