Have you been experiencing arch pain, tenderness around your inner ankle, or even shin splints? Your tibialis posterior muscle may be the root of your problem and you may have Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction!
What is Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction?
Tibialis posterior is a muscle of your lower leg that runs down the middle of your ankle and attaches into the inside of your foot. It is crucial in maintaining the strength and stability of your arch, but can be left prone to injuries. Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction (PTTD) refers to the overstretching and overuse of the Tibialis Posterior tendon in the foot. With the dysfunction of the tendon due to chronic use, the arch may flatten (referred to as “adult-acquired flat foot”). This can also lead to heel pain, arch pain, plantar fasciitis and/or heel spurs.
What causes PTTD?
Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction is mostly caused by long term overuse of the tendon leading to inflammation, pain and degeneration. It can also be prone to tears and strains following an acute injury
Common activities that may cause Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction may include:
- Climbing stairs
- Sports that result in the repetitive use of the tendon.
What are the symptoms of Tib Post Dysfunction?
Due to the characteristics of PTTD, symptoms worsen as the injury progresses. Initial symptoms in early stages may include:
- Pain along the inside area of the foot and ankle, which may also be red and swollen.
- Pain that worsens with activity
If PTTD is left unmanaged, the foot arch may collapse with time. These symptoms may include:
- Worsened pain in the arch and inside ankle.
- Pain on the outside of the foot, below the ankle as there is greater pressure on the outside of the ankle bone.
- Increased likelihood of other foot complications.
What can your podiatrist do to help treat Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction?
As PTTD is progressive and disabling, it is essential that an early and accurate diagnosis is made. While it is possible to manage PTTD in late stages, treatment of the injury is much more manageable when addressed early. The Movement Centre has managed numerous people with this condition and there are plenty of options we may have in our treatment plan. These include:
- A period of reduced training/ reduced activity
- Exercise therapy
- Orthotic therapy
- Footwear recommendations
- Shockwave therapy
- Strapping/ taping
- Manual therapy
Given the nature of this injury, it’s critical you see a podiatrist to assure appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan is carried out. Our Movement Centre podiatrists are experts at managing all conditions of the foot and lower leg, so be sure you book an appointment today.