The Tibialis Anterior Muscle

Shin splints may prevent you from running.
Your physical therapist can help evaluate and treat your shin splints. Getty Images

The tibialis anterior muscle is the muscle located in the front part of the shin bone of your lower leg.  The muscle courses from an area just below your knee, down the front of your shin, and finally attaches to the top of your foot.

Function of the Tibialis Anterior Muscle

Your anterior tibialis muscle serves to help flex your ankle and foot off the ground, as occurs when tapping your foot.  The muscle also helps to pull your foot in, a motion called inversion.

 Since the anterior tibial muscle attaches to the top of your foot, it also helps to raise your arch of your foot.

Problems that Can Occur with Your Tibialis Anterior Muscle

A few different problems can occur with your anterior tibialis muscle that may cause functional mobility limitations.  These may include:

If you have a problem with your anterior tibialis muscle, you may notice pain in your shin, ankle, or foot, or weakness may prevent your anterior tibialis from functioning properly.  A visit to your doctor or physical therapist is in order if you suspect anterior tibialis problems, especially those that cause a loss of functional mobility.

Treatments for Tibialis Anterior Dysfunction

Your physical therapist can prescribe various treatments to help improve the function and mobility of your anterior tibialis muscle.

 Typical treatments may include:

Your anterior tibialis muscle may also become weak is you suffer a sprained ankle or ankle fracture that requires a long period of immobilization.

If you are having weakness, pain, or tightness in your lower leg or shin, you may benefit from a visit to your physical therapist to assess your specific situation.  A problem with your anterior tibialis muscle may a contributing factor to your condition, and your PT can prescribe the correct treatment to help.

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