For people with Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction, or PTTD, pain and foot instability can be debilitating without support from orthotics for posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. This is a common condition that can happen due to an injury or a fall or overtraining without the right shoes on. If you have been diagnosed with this condition, you might be feeling like there is nothing that you can do to alleviate the pain in your feet while you heal.
For people who have naturally flat feet or those with conditions that cause flatfoot, it can be very painful to walk around, run, or even stand for short periods of time. The human foot is meant to have an arch in it to help protect the tissues that stretch from heel to toes and to improve balance and flexion in the foot. When there is no arch in the foot or the arch has broken down, foot pain can be a part of daily life.
Thankfully, custom orthotics can offer a solution for your foot pain and instability and get you back to doing the things that you love!
What Is PTTD?
As mentioned above, PTTD (Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction) is a common problem related to the feet and ankles. This condition happens when the tibial tendon gets inflamed and ceases to be able to provide support and stability to the foot. This can lead to flatfoot and issues with the arch of the foot that causes pain when walking, standing, or running.
This condition is often caused by an acute injury like a fall, which can tear the tendon. The tendon might also become torn due to overuse. Sports like tennis, basketball, and soccer are common culprits for causing this injury. In some cases, this condition can be linked to age and to weight and might be the result of a slow breakdown of the tendon over time.
No matter the reason behind a person’s PTTD, doctors try to avoid having to do surgery to fix the issue since this will limit the flexibility of the tendon over the long term. Orthotics are the preferred solution for the condition because they allow the body to heal on its own without invasive procedures.
If you have been diagnosed with PTTD, custom orthotics are likely the best solution for you to use to get your feet back to being healthy again. This might seem like it will be expensive, but custom orthotics are very affordable and are a great solution for your needs to help you to avoid surgery or a lengthy period in a cast.
Symptoms of PTTD
This condition causes specific symptoms that are easy to define. Even if you have not been to the doctor to get diagnosed, you will be able to identify this condition on your own with ease.
- Pain that radiates along the inside of the foot and ankle. This is where the tendon is placed and there might be swelling along the area where you feel the pain.
- Activity makes the pain worse, and high-impact actions like running can be very hard to do. You might even feel like activity makes your foot so unstable that you need to sit down to balance.
- Pain can also radiate to the outside of the ankle. This is more common in people where the arch of the foot has broken down and fallen due to the injury to the tendon. This causes pressure on the outside of the foot that is not present in the earlier stages of the condition.
What Are the Common Treatments for PTTD?
For most people, there are a variety of treatment options for their PTTD. As mentioned above, most doctors try to avoid having to do surgery to correct the issue. Most of the surgeries that can repair this condition are quite invasive and might lead to a loss of flexion in the foot.
The most common treatment plan involves a blend of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen and icing the affected foot or feet a few times a day to reduce swelling. There are instances where immobilization can help to reduce strain on the tendon, but this can be very limiting. This treatment plan can actually lead to the atrophy of other muscles and tendons.
Orthotics are the preferred treatment plan for most experts, and this is the solution that is most likely to alleviate pain and improve balance and support of the foot as healing is taking place. Without orthotics support, all of the other kinds of treatment plans that can be employed will be less effective.
Using correct orthotic support along with icing and the rest of the tendon can make a much bigger difference than rest all by itself. For most people, the limitations to their activities can be very difficult as well. This is where custom orthotics can make the biggest difference in comfort while the healing process is taking place. If you have to stand all day long or you have a job that requires a lot of walking around, you will need something to support your feet besides just rest and ice.
What About Insoles From the Store to Fix PTTD?
Insoles that you can buy at the grocery store are not intended to handle complex tasks like supporting feet with PTTD. The insoles that you can get for your shoes at the store are usually made to provide a small amount of cushion for your foot and might offer a little bit of arch support. They are not intended to support your feet in any significant way.
This is why custom orthotics are a much better choice for your needs when you have a complex or serious condition like PTTD. Custom orthotics are so much more than insoles. They are made to match the shape of your foot perfectly and to provide balanced support for your feet and your ankles and knees all day long.
Custom orthotics are made with various materials to create the right stable base with the right amount of softness for your comfort and to promote the healing of your foot. When you put your custom orthotics into your shoes, you will be making your shoes fit like they were custom made for your unique foot shape and needs.
No generic insole that you buy from the store will be able to offer you this kind of advanced support. The base layers of these kinds of orthotics are often made of durable and flexible materials that are custom cut on a 3D printer. These durable and stable base layers then have strategic layers of softer gels and foams added to them to provide softness along with support for your comfort. This is the only kind of shoe insert that will offer this level of support and cushion, and you should not expect an over-the-counter insole to deliver this kind of help for your PTTD pain.
How Can Custom Orthotics for Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction Help?
This condition might seem like it will be daunting, and you will not be able to get back to doing the things that you love. You might be afraid that you will have to have surgery, and this might scare you since you could lose some flexibility in the tendon afterward.
Thankfully, orthotics are often the best solution for this condition, and they can improve your pain and discomfort right away. If you have never had orthotics for any other condition, you might not know what they can do to support your feet and create solutions for these kinds of conditions. Custom orthotics are made for your specific needs and can provide a whole host of benefits that simple insoles from the store will never be able to offer you.
In the Case of PTTD, Custom Orthotics Can Provide the Following Benefits:
- Stabilize the Foot
- Custom orthotics can help to stabilize your foot and keep it in the right position to support healthy movement and comfortable standing positions. Orthotics that are made just for you will match the shape of your foot and provide the support that your shoes cannot give you after your injury. Keeping your foot from rotating away from a level plane can be the biggest benefit of getting custom orthotics to manage your PTTD. This is particularly true if your arches have fallen and your foot is overpronating when you are standing or moving around.
- Prevent Gait Issues
- When PTTD is present, many people cannot control the position that their foot lands in when they are being active. This is because the tendon has been stretched or torn, and the lateral support that should keep the foot in the correct position is gone. Custom orthotics can make sure that your foot’s flight path is correct when you are walking or running. This can prevent injuries to other muscles and tendons in your feet and legs and can help alleviate the pain related to the injured tendon as well.
- Even if you are not an athlete and you have sustained this injury, you will benefit from gait support so that your PTTD is not made worse by activity. This kind of support inside your shoes can also help to make you more comfortable if you do need to walk around or stand for a prolonged period of time.
- Reduce Ankle Movement
- PTTD can cause ankle instability as well as foot instability since the tendon involved is intended to support the foot and the ankle at the same time. This can lead to ankle pain and is often the biggest culprit behind instability in the foot and ankle related to this condition. With custom orthotics on your side, your ankle will be held in the correct position so that you are not putting pressure on the injured tendon when you are ambulating or standing around. Reducing and improving the way that your ankle moves are important toward healing the damaged tendon and keeping you comfortable while you are dealing with your PTTD.
- Improve Heel Pain or Pain in the Ball of the Foot
- When your foot becomes unstable, you might experience additional pain in the ball of your foot or your heel. This is often related to running or jumping or engaging in sports when your foot is not stable enough to prevent injury. Increased pressure on the heel and the ball of the foot due to instability related to PTTD can lead to bone bruises and inflammation of the soft tissue in over parts of your foot as well. You will be able to manage and also avoid these issues if you have custom orthotics in your shoes. This can help you to be more comfortable in general while you are healing and can help to keep other secondary foot pain conditions at bay.
How Do I Get Custom Orthotics for Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction?
The process to get custom orthotics is very simple. A top company that offers custom orthotics online is URthotics. this company sends you a foot mold impression kit to have custom orthotics made from the molds of your feet. With URthotics, your kit includes the forms and the questionnaire that needs to be filled out to complete your order. You will want to make sure that you fill out the questionnaire correctly and completely so that the technician making your custom orthotics can be sure they will take care of your needs correctly. Be sure to be clear about the kinds of activities that you are engaging in and the extent of your PTTD.
After your questionnaire is filled out, you will need to step into the foot molds that you have been sent so that a model of your foot is captured. Make sure that you step into the molds with a level foot and that you are careful about stepping straight down with each foot. This mold will be the foundation that your custom orthotics are built on, so you will want the captured mold of your foot to be correct.
Once you have made the molds of your feet and filled out the survey that is included, you will want to send the whole kit back so the technician who makes your custom orthotics can use your answers to the questions and the molds of your feet to make your custom orthotics. There is a pretty quick turnaround time for this process usually, and you should have your custom orthotics in no time.
Being able to take care of your PTTD is important in order for your feet and ankles to heal. You can provide the stability and support that your feet have been needing with ease when you have custom orthotics in your shoes every day. Without supportive care, most people will not be able to improve their PTTD with rest and icing alone.
What if My Custom Orthotics Make My Feet Tired?
This is normal, and when you are getting used to your custom orthotics, you might need to wear them for a few hours at a time with rest periods in between. When you have a painful foot condition or injury like PTTD, foot pain might be a part of nearly all of your daily activities. You will want to be sure that you ease into wearing your orthotics so that your feet do not get fatigued from the change in support.
This part of the process is usually really brief, and most people report that their feet feel better immediately after they insert their orthotics into their shoes. You will want to be sure that your shoes actually fit correctly as well. Shoes that are too big or too small might make your orthotics less comfortable than they should be. Shoes that are too small can also bend the orthotic incorrectly and warp it.
If you are not sure if your shoes fit correctly, you should go to a professional shoe fitter to have your feet sized. Many people are not wearing the right size shoes, and this can help to cause foot injuries. Making sure that your shoes are the right size can have a big impact on the overall comfort of your orthotics experience as you adjust.
What Shoes Can I Wear With My Custom Orthotics for Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction?
Custom orthotics are meant to be worn with lace-up shoes or closed-toe shoes with a full upper. This will keep your foot and the orthotic in place correctly at all times. If you have PTTD, you will likely be advised not to wear any other kind of shoe for a while in any case.
Heels and open-toed shoes are not meant to have orthotics placed in them, and they will be unlikely to support your feet correctly while you are healing your PTTD. If you have tennis shoes or other shoes with a full upper, these will be the best shoes to use with your orthotics as you are healing.
How Do I Care for My Custom Orthotics?
Custom orthotics are easy to care for. You will want to be sure that you never store them with moisture on them as this can make them warp or bend. You will want to remove them from your shoes after exertion to let them dry out for a while. If you need to clean them up, you will want to wipe them off with a wet towel and let them dry out.
Custom orthotics are meant to take on lots of hard use, so they should not need much in the way of care. Proper storage and removal of moisture from your orthotics are typically all that is required to take care of them on a daily basis. Be sure that you do remove debris like rocks or pebbles from your shoes so that these small and hard items do not cause damage to the orthotics as you are walking or running on them.
Orthotics for Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction Can Treat PTTD With Ease
If you have been dealing with PTTD without much luck, custom orthotics can help you to improve your comfort and heal your feet. Being able to go back to walking, standing, or even engaging in your favorite sports can be possible with the help of custom orthotics. If you have wanted to avoid surgery or a lengthy recovery process in a cast, you will need to look into getting custom orthotics for your PTTD treatment.
Orthotics are custom-made to fit your feet, and they will help you to prevent foot pain of various kinds while you are healing. It can be common to end up with other companion injuries when you have suffered a major injury to a tendon. The correct support for the soles of your feet and ankles can make a huge difference in the healing time of your PTTD and can help to manage your pain more effectively than pain medications.
Custom orthotics are easy to have made for you, and you will be so glad that you chose to take this important step to care for your feet after you have been diagnosed with PTTD.