If you have pain running along your inner leg and ankle to your arch and midfoot you may have tibialis posterior tendonopathy, a painful overuse injury. Try standing on your toes. With tibialis posterior tendonopathy it is difficult and painful to get up.
The tibialis posterior is a pencil thin tendon that runs down the inside of your leg and under your foot. It helps to stabilize your foot and keep the longitudinal arch from rolling inwards when you walk or run. Tibialis posterior tendonopathy typically results from wear and tear of the tendon rather than from inflammation. It usually only occurs in one foot but in some instances it can occur in both.
If you suspect you have tibialis posterior tendonopathy begin immediately with rest and ice. Don’t try to run through the pain or continue your normal activities as the injury will get progressively worse and over time your arch will flatten. Look at cross training options to maintain your level of fitness until it is healed. If the swelling and irritation is extensive, ice and rest will not be sufficient. Consult a physiotherapist about rehabilitation exercises.
In addition to working with your physiotherapist, book an appointment with your local Canadian Certified Pedorthist to determine if you need to change your footwear or be fitted for custom-made foot orthotics. Your Canadian Certified Pedorthist will conduct a full assessment of your lower limbs and gait and determine if your individual biomechanics or footwear led to your injury. Custom-made orthotics will provide extra support and reduce the demands on your posterior tibial tendon during activity, and properly-fitted, supportive shoes will help your orthotics perform optimally.
Tibialis posterior tendonopathy needs to be taken seriously and it should be treated immediately. If you think you may be suffering from it book an appointment with a Canadian Certified Pedorthist right away.
By Mike Neugebauer, C. Ped Tech (C) C. Ped (C), Langley/Port Coquitlam, British Columbia