Tibialis posterior tendonitis

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Tibialis posterior tendonitis is an injury due to overuse which might be due to deterioration of the tendon instead of acute swelling. There is a possibility for a partial avulsion in which the tendon tugs away from the bone at the attachment point to the navicular bone.

The tibialis posterior muscle travels down the rear part of the leg and beneath the medial malleolus on the interior of the ankle. The usual causes of the condition include extensive extension of the foot and ankle into eversion during speed skating, moving on tight bends and biomechanical issues of the foot such as overpronation.


Tibialis posterior tendonitis
Pain on the interior of the foot that might radiate throughout the length of the tendon beneath the foot
  • Pain on the interior of the foot that might radiate throughout the length of the tendon beneath the foot
  • Creaking sensation (crepitus) can be felt as the tendon moves
  • Pain is aggravated by passive or resisted inversion


Home treatment

When treating tibialis posterior tendonitis, it involves the application of an ice pack to minimize the pain and inflammation. The ice pack must be applied for 10 minutes every hour during the initial 24-48 hours if the tendon is sore or inflamed. Once the acute phase has passed, heat is more beneficial.

Once the pain allows, the individual should perform stretching for the tibialis posterior as well as calf muscles. The specific exercises aim on strengthening the muscle to prevent further injury.

Medical care

Ultrasound can be used to reduce the pain and inflammation. The doctor might prescribe anti-inflammatory medications briefly to minimize the inflammation. A doctor must be consulted first before using any medications.

Sports massage techniques such as deep tissue massage on the tibialis posterior and calf muscles can help improve flexibility and overall condition of the muscles.

A rehabilitation program is also vital to strengthen the affected ankle. In some cases, orthotic inserts should be fitted if needed to deal with poor foot biomechanics. If the tendon ruptured, it requires surgical repair.

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