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What is tibialis anterior tendinopathy?



Tibialis anterior tendinopathy is swelling within the tibialis anterior tendon at the front of the ankle joint. Physiotherapy is an excellent treatment for tibialis anterior tendiniopathy.


How does tibialis anterior tendinopathy happen?



Tibialis anterior tendinopathy is often caused by overuse of the tibialis anterior tendon. The tibialis anterior tendon transmits from the tibialis anterior muscle to the foot to bring the foot back towards the head. Repetitive use of the tibialis anterior muscle and, therefore, the tibialis tendon can cause microscopic tears within the tendon. The body commences an inflammatory response to repair these tiny tears. This swelling within the tendon is tendinopathy.

Tibialis anterior tendinopathy can also be caused by tight strapping or tight shoelaces over the tibialis anterior tendon at the front of the ankle joint. This compression increases ‘wear and tear’ on the tendon, causing microscopic tears and, therefore, a tendinopathy.


What are the symptoms of tibialis anterior tendinopathy?



Tibialis anterior tendinopathy causes a gradual onset of pain within the tibialis anterior tendon as it crosses the front of the ankle joint. This pain may initially only be painful after exercise. Stiffness may also be felt at the front of the ankle joint. The initial signs of tibialis anterior tendinopathy are often ignored, as they disappear quickly with walking about or applying heat over the front of the ankle. However, if you continue to exercise, the tendinopathy can worsens to a point where your pain is present for longer periods during exercise until it is present all of the time. Other symptoms can include:

What should I do if I have tibialis anterior tendinopathy?



Tibialis anterior tendinopathy does not get better on its own without treatment. If you suspect you have tibialis anterior tendinopathy, you should arrange a physiotherapy assessment as soon as possible. In the meantime you can start initial treatment by icing the front of your ankle with crushed ice or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a damp cloth for 15–20 minutes every couple of hours.


What shouldn’t I do if I have tibialis anterior tendinopathy?



If you suspect that you have tibialis anterior tendinopathy, you should not ignore your problem. IF you continue to exercise you could cause further damage and prolong your recovery.


Physiotherapy treatment for tibialis anterior tendinopathy.



Physiotherapy is very important in the treatment of tibialis anterior tendinopathy. Initially, your physiotherapist will be able to diagnose your problem, establish its severity and devise a treatment plan. Treatment may involve: Your physiotherapist will also be able to assess and determine why you developed tibialis anterior tendinopathy and address the prevention of re-occurrence when you return to full activity.


Could there be any long-term effects from tibialis anterior tendinopathy?



Tibialis anterior tendinopathy does not cause long-term effects if properly diagnosed and treated. If left untreated, it can cause prolonged pain and a lengthy lay-off from exercise.

To arrange a physiotherapy assessment call Physio.co.uk on 0330 088 7800 or book online.


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