Are you experiencing Tibialis Posterior Tendonitis?
This structure lies deep in the leg, deep to the gastroc and soleus and helps to plantar flex the foot. It helps a person stand on their toes and also aids in supporting the arch of the foot. Needless to say, it does a lot of work for such a small muscle.
Most commonly, athletes that perform a lot of jumping tend to develop this type of injury. But, this type of injury is present in many athletes or all types and just gets misdiagnosed and tight calves that need stretching. WRONG!
When this is in it’s early stages a person will notice some generalized tightness in their ankle and will have trouble dorsiflexing. But let’s be serious, not many people walk around thinking to themselves “huh, my dorsiflexion feels limited in my right ankle. I better go get this checked out before it turns into something worse!” Ah, if only this were reality, us manual therapist would be so much happier.
When more serious, the person will feel sharper foot pain in the bottom of their foot that could possibly radiate up the back of the ankle into the calf.
Anyhow, back to reality.
A simple test to see if your ankle is functioning properly
A simple test you can do at home to see if your ankle is functioning properly is this:
- Stand facing a wall about a foot away
- Place both hands on the wall and take your bad foot and place it with the big toe touching the wall keeping the foot flat on the ground.
- Proceed to try and touch your knee to the wall.
- No problem? Proceed to move your foot back 1 inch at a time to see if you can continue to reach the wall with your knee, without your heal raising off the ground.
- A normal test is 5-7 inches between your big toe and the wall with your knee touching the wall and no pain.
If you can’t do this, your ankle is limited and there is a good chance you are in jeopardy of developing this condition if you haven’t already. The good news….. we can fix this! With the proper diagnosis and specifically targeted treatment, we can improve this range of motion and get you back in good health.