The posterior tibial tendon is a very important tendon in the leg. It attaches the calf muscles to the bones in the inner part of the foot. It also supports the arch of the foot. The posterior tibial can suffer insufficiency or dysfunction, also known as acquired flatfoot. People affected by this condition are usually physically active. Runners and hikers often develop it. The condition is progressive and tends to get worse without treatment.
Symptoms of Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction
Symptoms of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction include:
- Pain on the inner part of the foot and ankle
- Redness and warmth
- Inward rolling of the ankle
- Flattened arch
- Toes turning outward
- Pain that shifts to the outer part of the foot, just below the ankle
Prevention is always better than cure, especially since recovery from this injury usually takes time. Below are several tips on how to prevent posterior tibial tendon dysfunction.
Overtraining can lead to fatigue. When you are fatigued, you are more likely to injure yourself. Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is not the only injury you have to worry about if you continue to train even when your muscles are tired. It is possible to reach your fitness and performance goals without ending up fatigued.
Seek the services of a sports medicine doctor, a physician who specializes in the treatment and prevention of sports injuries. They can also create the most suitable conditioning program to optimize athletic performance with an eye toward avoiding the same injury in the future.
Incorporate Strengthening Exercises
Just like any other tendon in the body, the posterior tibial tendon can be strengthened through stretches and exercises. A standing calf stretch involves facing a wall and placing your hands against it at eye level. Keep one forward leg bent and the other back with the heel touching the floor. Slowly turn the back foot inward and lean toward the wall. You should feel the stretch in the back of your calf. Hold the stretch for at least 15 seconds and repeat with the back leg now in a bent position. Also include exercises that strengthen the hip muscles. Weak hip muscles increase the stress on the posterior tibial tendon as it absorbs stress every time the foot hits the ground.
Make Changes to Your Shoes and Use Orthotics
Wearing the wrong shoes can affect the biomechanics of the foot and put greater stress on the posterior tibial tendon. For extra support according to your foot anatomy, seek custom-made orthotics. Even if you are just walking around the house, wear shoes and orthotics to prevent stressing out your posterior tibial tendon.
Foot Pain Treatment in Naples, FL
Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction can share symptoms with other podiatric conditions. You need a podiatric surgeon to make a definitive diagnosis of your injury. At Joint Replacement Institute, we have a podiatric surgeon and a sports medicine doctor on our team who together can provide comprehensive care, treatment, and rehabilitation.
To make an appointment, call our clinic at (239) 261-2663 or use our online request form.