I was recently reminded of what I do as a physical therapist during an encounter with a friend last week. My friend is an avid runner and as he has gotten older he has found that he has various aches and pains when running. Last week he came to me complaining of calf pain and asking if I had any stretches for him. Luckily I had a little time and I performed an evaluation.
I asked Tom several questions about his pain, analyzed his gait, looked at his feet while standing, performed range of motion tests of his ankle and knee, performed strength tests of his lower leg muscles. After this evaluation I found that Tom actually had a strain of his Tibialis Posterior muscle. I explained to Tom that this muscle is underneath the calf muscle and runs to the bottom of the foot to support the arch. Tom’s arch was collapsing when he put weight on his foot and the Tibialis Posterior muscle was having a hard time controlling this resulting of a strain of the muscle.
I recommended that Tom start using an over the counter orthotic with a firm arch support as well as icing the affected muscle. Tom called me this morning to tell me that he was no longer having the pain. Tom then asked me how I knew what the problem was.
I said to Tom:
“That’s what I do. I am a Physical therapist.”
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