Sunday, June 3, 2018

"Collapsed" Arches And Tibialis Posterior Muscle Pain



I had a really interesting case involving a triathlete/ runner recently. She had terrible pain in her arches and couldn't even walk around barefoot at home. It had started after she increased her run training recently. The orthopaedic surgeon she consulted had prescribed two pairs (yes two, you read correctly) of orthotics. And he said if they failed she would require surgery. A soft pair for her training and a hard pair while she was wearing her work shoes for her "collapsed arches".

She was advised not to run but was given the green light to bike and swim. Unfortunately, both times she wore her soft orthotics for cycling (and not evening running) her arches hurt after only fifteen minutes and she had stop riding. Even after icing her foot after the ride, her foot still felt sore the next day.

Upon further questioning, she told me she didn't use the orthotic  and was able to walk pain free for 2-3 hours a few days ago in her Havaianas flip flops (or slippers).

However, after she biked again yesterday morning for only ten minutes, the pain came straight back with a vengeance.

When I examined her, her foot was was fairly flat and she had no arches. Her pain was mostly on her navicular bone and it was very tender to touch. I took a quick look at her soft pair of orthotics and noticed that the medial (inner) side of the orthotic was highly built up.

I told my patient I thought it was probably the orthotic irritating her navicular bone since it flared up within such a short time of using it while riding her bike.
Here's how the Tibialis posterior irritates the navicular bone
Other than her navicular bone tenderness, her tibialis posterior muscle was sore upon palpation all the way up her shin. Yes, the tibialis posterior muscle is the very same muscle that causes the much dreaded shin splints in runners.

To make the long story short, I treated her and she's back running happily with no pain. What did I do? I treated her lateral, spiral and superficial back line.

Spiral Line

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