female physical therapist stretching her patients foot while he sits on table

Posterior Tibial Tendinitis

Tendinitis can cause pain in the foot’s arch, but physical therapy can help you reduce pain and regain mobility.

Physical therapy for posterior tibialis tendinitis

Like most forms of tendinitis, posterior tibialis tendinitis is swelling or irritation of a tendon–in this case, on the foot’s arch.

People with this condition can experience pain around the foot’s instep, possibly experience swelling along the tendon, and worsening pain with activity, such as running or walking for a long time. In some severe cases, the tendon will rupture, causing difficulty rising on the tippy-toes.

Causes of posterior tibialis tendinitis

This injury results from overuse, high impact, trauma, or mechanical dysfunction. Healing can sometimes be problematic due to the lack of blood supply to the tendon and additional risk factors, including diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure, which can contribute to delayed healing.

close up of female hands holding a young boys foot

Posterior tibial tendinitis symptoms

Patients suffering from posterior tibial tendinopathy may experience the following symptoms:

  • Pain on the inside of the foot and ankle bone
  • Pain that worsens with activity
  • Ankle swelling
  • Difficulty running or walking
young teenage boy laying on a table while female physical therapist stretches his foot

How we treat posterior tibialis tendinitis

The first step in treating posterior tibialis tendinitis is to complete a thorough examination of the entire lower extremity. Once a cause is identified, a customized treatment plan will be created, which may include:

  • Modalities for pain and inflammation (i.e., ultrasound, iontophoresis, electrical stimulation, ice)
  • Taping or orthotics to aid faulty mechanics
  • Dry needling
  • Joint mobilization and manual therapy
  • Proprioceptive/gait training
  • Strengthening/flexibility exercises
  • Home exercise program
  • Education about lifestyle changes (i.e., proper shoes, weight management program)
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What to expect

Your first physical therapy appointment is about creating a personalized treatment plan based on your health history, diagnosis, and goals. Here’s what you can expect at your first physical therapy appointment:

Your first appointment will last about an hour. Please arrive 15 minutes early.

If applicable, bring your physician referral or prescription, insurance card, paperwork, ID, and co-payment.

At your appointment, we’ll do an initial evaluation and discuss your care plan.

*Services are not available at every location. Visit our Locations page for more details.