PT eDigest

PTD0914_LeadWalking Away from Flatfoot

With all the use they get on a daily basis, your feet take a lot of wear
and tear over the years. As a result,
you may develop posterior tibial tendonitis
(also known as adult acquired flatfoot). The
posterior tibial tendon begins in the calf and
runs along the inside of the ankle. Every step
you take places enormous tension and stress
on the tendon as it works to maintain the
arch of the foot.

Developing posterior tibial tendonitis depends on a number of factors. It can happen to anyone, but for some people, their natural foot anatomy makes them more prone to
developing the condition. Other risk factors include age, changes in the arches of the feet, obesity, diabetes, poorly fitting footwear, and prolonged and high-impact activities.

Symptoms of posterior tibial tendonitis usually include pain and swelling along the inside of the ankle where the tendon runs; pain that worsens with exercise or if you walk and
stand for long periods of time; or weakness and inability to lift the heel from the ground.

Treatment depends on the impact of pain and other symptoms, as well as the amount of strength lost. Physical therapy is usually a first course of action; in rare cases surgery will be needed. Along with physical therapy, you may be given nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) if your physician approves. Other treatments that may be used along with physical therapy are orthotics, rest, cortisone injections and cast
immobilization.

Physical therapy starts with a thorough evaluation of your feet, followed by strategies aimed at eliminating pain and restoring natural foot function. We may incorporate the following:

• stretching and strengthening exercises
• joint and soft tissue mobilization
• lifestyle, sport and occupational advice
• weight loss support if needed

We can design an exercise program to address your hurting feet. If you follow the program we develop, you can expect to see significant improvement. With exercise, many people experience even better foot alignment than before and a strong return to activities.

Download the PTe Digest for August 2014