Posterior Tibial Tendonitis (Achy Tendon Pain)

Posterior Tibial Tendonitis is the inflammation of the tendon of the posterior tibial muscle. The posterior tibial muscle attaches behind the calf and its tendon continues behind the inside of the ankle and attaches to the inside of the foot. The posterior tibial muscle helps hold the arch up when we walk or stand. Individuals with posterior tibial tendonitis usually complain of pain and swelling extending from the inside of the arch extending to the ankle joint.

Posterior tibial tendonitis is typically an overuse injury. Like all overuse injuries excessive repetitive stress is placed on the tendon resulting in inflammation. This is common in runners who run on uneven surfaces or who have increased their mileage recently. The condition is also common in individuals with a flat foot structure. It is also more common in obese individuals. The use of non-supportive shoe gear will also contribute to the condition.

The goal of treatment is to decrease inflammation of the tendon. This is accomplished with rest, ice and elevation. Decreasing stress on the tendon can be accomplished with immobilization through the use of a Cam Walker. Physical therapy and anti-inflammatories are often used. Long term treatment consists of supportive shoe gear, arch supports, and orthotics. By supporting the arch the posterior tibial tendon will not have to work as hard.