Tibialis Posterior Muscle: Lower Leg, Heel and Foot Pain

What are the pain and symptoms associated with the tibialis posterior muscle?

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 up into the calf

Where is the tibialis posterior muscle?

The tibialis posterior lies in between 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
  • 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
  • Worn shoes that allow the foot to fall to the inside

Interesting facts about the tibialis posterior muscle:

  • Toning shoes may 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.
  • 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 misdiagnosed as Achilles tendinitis (this is called pronation)

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
  • Sprain/strain of the ankle
  • Peripheral vascular disease (PVD)
  • Deep Vascular Thrombosis (DVT)
  • Ruptured Achilles tendon
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Calcaneal spur syndrome
  • Overuse syndrome

Tibialis Posterior Muscle

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

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

Organ System Affected: Genitourinary System

For detailed anatomy information see: Tibialis Posterior Anatomy

Help with Soleus Muscle Pain

Sombra Warm Therapy Gel provides pain relief.

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 behind the knee, down the back of the leg continuing down and around the heel can help reduce pain and tightness caused by the tibialis posterior muscle. I recommend Sombra for chronic pain and pain from arthritis.

Cold Therapy Gel For Lower Leg, Knee and Ankle Injury and Inflammation

Biofreeze is recommended for recent muscle injury 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 injury muscle 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 pain is from a recent calf injury I would recommend Biofreeze.

Hot / Cold Wrap For Calf and Shin

Hot Cold Wrap for Shin Splints and Sore Shin Muscles If you have chronic pain from an old injury or participate in activities that strain the lower leg muscles the Thera Pearl Shin Hot & Cold Wrap  can be used to apply heat or as an ice pack. It is pliable and can be used on the shin or the calf. It has adjustable two Velcro band closures. The packs can be stored in the freezer for cold therapy or popped in the microwave for heat. Use this on the calf muscles and down into the Achilles tendon and heel to ease the pain and swelling of the tibialis posterior muscle.

Braces and Support For Lower Leg, and Ankle

calf-shin-wrap The The Shock Doctor Calf-Shin Wrap is an adjustable wrap that provides support for the low leg muscles. It can be used for shin splints as well as sore strained or sprained calf muscles including the tibialis posterior muscle. Provides compression as well as heat to help relax the muscle and improve mobility. Use this brace if you need more support after injury or need adjustable compression or tightness  for chronic pain support.  If you suspect or have ever been treated for blood clots consult your doctor before using compression or supports on your legs! ASO Ankle Brace


ASO Stabilizing Ankle Brace is highly recommended by two of my colleagues, a chiropractor and a physical therapist for support for the Achilles tendon and ankle. Injury to the tibialis posterior muscle affects and contributes to pain in the Achilles tendon area, the ankle and heel. The ASO Ankle Support provides adjustable support which will help with ankle weakness and pain. Sizes are: x-small – 10”-11”, small – 11”-12”, medium – 12”-13”, large – 13”-14”, x-large – 14”-15”, xx-large – 15”-16” . To ensure that you order the right size, measure your foot from the back of the heel, around both ankle bones to the bend between the leg and foot.

Calf Brace Neo G Medical Grade VCS Calf Support/Shin Splint The Neo G Calf Support / Shin Splint provides support and warmth to the lower leg muscles. This brace is recommended for Achilles tendon strain or sprain, and also strains, sprains and overuse injuries of the lower leg muscles which make it a great choice for tibialis posterior pain and discomfort.  If you suspect or have ever been diagnosed with blood clots consult your doctor before using this brace.

Compression for the Tibialis Posterior Muscle Soreness, Injury and Recovery

BeVisible Sports Men and Women Shin / Calf Compression Sleeve 81SzAcEW-zL A compression sleeve used by many athletes, the BeVisable Sports Calf / Shin Compression Sleeve provides compression, support, and warmth without adding bulk to the lower leg muscles. This sleeve is recommended by athletic trainers for overuse injuries of the lower leg muscles. The sleeve is also great as a preventative measure against shin splints and tired sore calf muscles after sports activities.  Compression sleeves are also shown to reduce recovery time after strenuous activities and injury.  If you suspect or have ever been diagnosed with blood clots consult your doctor before using this brace.


Eurosocks Patented Recovery Graduated Compression Sock Over the calf graduated compression socks The graduated compression socks have become 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 inhibit the growth of odor-causing microbes. The over the calf style works very well for tibialis posterior 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.

The Trigger Point Workbook can help you resolve muscle pain throughout your body.

 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.





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