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Tibialis Posterior Muscle: Lower Leg, Heel and Foot Pain

Areas of pain to which the tibialis posterior muscle may contribute.

Pain in the back of the lower leg right above the heel is the primary symptom of tibialis posterior dysfunction. The pain often extends into the heel and bottom of the foot. Pain will sometimes extend up into the calf.

  • Pain in the back of the lower leg, just above the heel
  • Pain can go into the heel and down into the bottom of the foot
  • Pain will sometimes radiate high into the calf
  • Ankles collapse inward

Where is the tibialis posterior muscle located?

The tibialis posterior lies in between the tibia and fibula, the two bones of the lower leg. The muscle tendon wraps around the inside of the heel and attaches to several bones in the middle of the foot.

What movements does the tibialis posterior control?

  • Twists the foot inward
  • Bends the foot downward
  • Assists with standing on your toes
  • Assists with pointing your toes

Activities that cause tibialis posterior muscle pain and symptoms:

  • Running or walking on uneven ground
  • Tendency to walk on the inside of the foot
  • Worn shoes that allow the foot to fall to the inside

Interesting facts about the tibialis posterior muscle:

  • Dysfunction in the tibialis posterior can cause you to turn your foot in and or walk on the inside of your foot.
  • Pain from trigger points in the tibialis posterior is sometimes diagnosed as Achilles tendinitis (this is called over-pronation)
  • Toning shoes  stress the tibialis posterior. The shoes change the normal walking and running gait to a rocking motion gait which is known to stress the tibialis posterior.
  • Symptoms of the tibialis posterior are often diagnosed as fallen arches because the ankle(s) collapse inward.
Tibialis Posterior Muscle

You use your tibialis posterior muscle when you rotate your foot inside and stand on your toes or point your toes.

Clinical diagnoses to which the tibialis posterior muscle symptoms may contribute:

  • Posteriomedial Shin splints
  • Deep posterior compartment syndrome
  • Tibialis posterior tendon dysfunction
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Hammer or claw toes
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Plantar wart
  • Gout
  • Charcot's Joint
  • Sprain/strain of the ankle
  • Peripheral vascular disease (PVD)
  • Deep Vascular Thrombosis (DVT)
  • Ruptured Achilles tendon
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Calcaneal spur syndrome
  • L4 L5 S1 or S2 radiculopathy
  • Diabetic Neuropathy

Other muscles that should be considered and examined in conjunction with the tibialis posterior muscles:

Satellite Trigger Points: Flexor Digitorum Longus, Flexor Hallucis Longus, Peroneus Longus, Peroneus Brevis, Peroneus Tertius

Associated Organ System: Genitourinary System

For detailed anatomy information see: Tibialis Posterior Anatomy

Help with Tibialis Posterior Muscle Pain

Cold Therapy Gel For Lower Leg, Ankle and Bottom Of The Foot Injury and Inflammation

Biofreeze Pain Relieving Gel is an excellent pain relieving gel and I recommend it for those who have sudden onset muscle pain or recent injuries. It is better than warm therapy gels and creams for recent muscle injury pain as it cools the area much like ice and does not promote swelling. A recent study showed that Biofreeze decreased pain 2 times more than ice and the pain relief lasts 9 – 10 longer. If your low leg, ankle and/or foot pain is due to a recent tibialis posterior muscle injury, I would recommend Biofreeze.

Biofreeze relieves recent tibialis posterior muscle injury pain

Warm Therapy Gel for Sore  Lower Leg Muscles and Chronic Knee and Ankle Pain and Stiffness

Sombra Warm Therapy Pain Relieving Gel is a pain relieving gel that I use both personally and in my massage therapy practice. It provides warmth without burning heat and is great for relieving pain. Applying Sombra to the muscles in the back of the leg continuing down around the heel and into the bottom of the foot can help reduce pain and tightness caused by the tibialis posterior muscle. I recommend Sombra for injury recovery, chronic pain, and arthritis pain and stiffness.
Sombra Warm Therapy Gel provides pain relief.

Hot Cold Pack For Lower Leg, Ankle and Foot Treatment

CorPak Soft Comfort Hot & Cold Pack Wrap is a versatile pack that can be used to treat the lower leg, ankle / foot, as well as other areas of the body. The pack is filled with pliable gel and has a soft frost free cover that will not irritate your skin. For recent injuries, use it cold to reduce swelling. For older injures or chronic pain use heat to relax the muscles and increase circulation. The 10" x 13" pack is recommended as it can treat the lower leg and be wrapped around the ankle and foot for full tibialis posterior muscle treatment.

CorPak hot cold wrap for lower leg pain

Cold and Hot Wrap For Ankle, Heel and Foot Pain

The Elasto Gel Foot and Ankle Wrap is an ankle and foot wrap that can be heated for warm therapy or kept in the freezer for cold therapy. This is a wrap that I recommend  that everyone have on hand for quick application for a sprained ankle and swollen feet. This wrap works well for heel and bottom of the foot pain. Heat it to help relieve muscle pain and ankle and foot joint pain and stiffness.

Elasto Gel Foot and Ankle Wrap for Foot and Ankle pain and injury.

Eurosocks Over The Calf Compression: Full Tibialis Posterior Muscle Support

The Eurosocks Over The Calf Compression Socks have become a go-to for both amateur and professional athletes for lower leg, ankle and foot injury recovery. Graduated compression helps relieve pain from muscle stiffness and soreness as well as discouraging inflammation. The socks wickable fabric keeps skin dry and DryStat technology inhibits the growth of odor causing microbes. The over the calf style works very well for tibialis posture muscle recovery as the sock will cover the entire muscle. If you suspect or have been treated for blood clots, consult with a doctor before using compression on the lower legs.

Over the calf graduated compression socks for tibialis posterior support

Stretch The Calf and Foot Muscles To Relieve Calf, Heel and Foot Pain

Medi-Dyne Pro Stretch for Plantar Fascitis and Calf Pain is a device that provides a deep stretch to the foot and lower leg muscles. This device is used in many physical therapists offices and rehab facilities for people who have lower leg pain and cramps and for those who suffer from plantar fasciitis. When you first use the Pro Stretch be sure to start off slowly, 5 to 10 seconds per stretch, gradually building up reps and longer stretch times.

Medi-Dyne Pro Stretch to relieve tibialis posterior pain

Self Treatment for Tibialis Posterior and Achilles Tendon Pain

Do you know that small  "knots" and other dysfunction in the tibialis posterior muscle can cause pain that mimics Achilles tendinitis or injury?

If you have unresolved Achilles, low leg, ankle, or bottom of the foot pain,  I  recommend that you purchase Claire Davies  The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief. Mr. Davies explain the trigger point phenomenon and muscle pain in everyday language.  But what makes this book worth its weight in gold are the individual muscle trigger point treatments that Davies has compiled. His diagrams and step by step instructions help you locate which muscles are contributing to your pain, how to find the trigger point and treat it. If you suffer from unresolved lower leg, ankle, and foot pain I highly recommend this book. It takes time and practice to master finding trigger points, but once you learn you have a tool and method to help relieve muscle pain throughout the body. Relieving trigger points in the tibialis posterior muscles may help you resolve your leg, ankle, and foot pain issues. This book is a must-have for anyone interested in finding the cause and self-treating muscle pain.

The Trigger Point Workbook can help you resolve tibialis posterior muscle pain.

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