As we established in part 1 of this article, everything in life has a reaction to an action; and the same goes for posterior tibial tendonitis. Whether you have this condition because of your age, injury, or poor biomechanics due to a pre-existing condition such as flat foot, your body is reacting accordingly.
Like anything else, it is very important to seek medical attention as soon as you detect a problem. Starting treatment immediately can help you avoid your last resort – surgery. With that said, consider some of these ideas that you can do right in the comfort of your own home.
1) Ice massage: Freeze water in a cup and then massage the ice into the painful area up to 10 minutes.
2) Taping: Have a doctor or trained therapist show you ways to tape your foot for extra support. This is especially recommended for athletes.
3) Elevation: The good old fashioned way of treating just about anything. When resting, try elevating your leg above your heart.
4) Light exercises: Speak with your doctor or physical therapist about light exercises you can do at home to keep the tendon loose and moving.
In some cases it is common for your doctor to recommend crutches for a few weeks until you can walk without pain. And depending of the severity, you might find yourself in a foot cast for a few weeks until the pain and inflammation subside. Either way, have patience and do as the doctor tells you or you may find yourself under the knife for a very difficult procedure and frustrating recovery.
No matter what kind of surgery you have, you are always putting yourself at risk for complications and infection. So, it is imperative to be smart about the decisions you make regarding your treatment and recovery. However, if your tendon ruptures, your choices may be cut short. A ruptured tendon is the fastest way to a serious amount of pain and a not-so -un visit to the Operating Room. That’s why you should take all precautions and treatments seriously to avoid rupturing or worsening your condition.
Whether you have surgery or not, many people wonder when is the right time to resume normal activity. This is a difficult question because not every person has the same “normal activity.” Athletes don’t have the agenda as television producer or a lawyer for that matter. In general, the longer you wait to start treatment, the longer it will take to get back to “your normal.” The biggest mistake you can make is resuming too soon and re-injuring yourself. It is common and unfortunate. So before you lace up to hit the pavement, ask your self these questions.
1) Do you have the same full range of motion in both feet? There should be no difference between the “injured” foot and the “uninjured” foot.
2) Do you have full strength in both feet?
3) Can you walk straight without pain or limping?
If you can say yes to all three, then you should be in good shape. If there is even a little hesitation to one of the questions, be patient and continue treatment.
No matter what you do in life, age and genetics will always be against you (or in your favor depending on how you look at it). Those speed bumps aside, you can keep your personal health going strong by being conscious of all the decisions you make regarding the positions you put your body in on a daily basis.