When you are remodeling your home and wanting to take out walls for that highly sought after “open floor plan,” you need to be careful that you don’t affect or damage the main supporting structures in the home. There are also main supporting structures in your feet and the posterior tibial tendon is one of them. This tendon helps turn the foot when you are walking and is a main support to the arch of the foot. Because we use it with every step, problems can develop with this tendon and cause the foot to flatten over time. This is called posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, or PTTD.
Also referred to as “adult acquired flatfoot,” PTTD is an overuse injury, so you are at a higher risk if you are involved in activities with a lot of walking, running, jumping, or stair climbing. Physical therapy for PTTD can be helpful in managing the condition. Exercises that target the right tendons and muscles can help rehabilitate damaged tissues and get you back on your feet without pain.
The following are easy exercises you can do right at home. Start on the floor with your affected foot out in front and loop a towel around the ball of the foot. Gently pull the towel towards you until you feel a stretch in the calf. Next, stand next to a wall and place the toes of the affected foot up against the wall—lean forward until you again feel a stretch in the calf. While standing, balance on the affected foot and then progress to pushing up onto the ball of your foot while still balancing. Trying to walk down a straight line on your tiptoes can also be helpful. Last, take an exercise band and loop it around the bottom of your foot. While holding the other end and providing resistance, press your foot downward. You can also do the reverse by looping the band around the top of the foot and with the other end attached to a fixed object, pull your foot upward.
If flat feet are becoming painful for you and interfering with the shoes you wear and the activities you can do, make an appointment with Dr. Kevin J. Powers for a complete evaluation. We can help determine if physical therapy for PTTD is right for you. Call our Bloomington, IN office at (812) 333-4422 for an appointment today.