Step Up Your Foot Health: How to Treat Extensor Tendonitis

The most common cause of top of foot pain is Extensor Tendonitis. Inflammation and irritation of the tendons across the top of the foot causes pain when you lift your toes or bring up your ankle. It usually develops from repeated friction across the top of the foot or excessive pressure from poorly-fitting shoes. 

Fo a detailed view of the areas affected see our top of the foot pain chart.

What exactly is Extensor Tendonitis?

Extensor tendonitis of the foot, also known as extensor tendinopathy, is an overuse injury that affects the tendons that attach the muscles of the leg to the top of the foot. Treatment for extensor tendonitis of the foot typically involves a combination of rest, physical therapy, pain management, and in some cases, surgical intervention.

Can I treat Extensor Tendonitis on my own?

There are some things you can try on your own but it is our recommendation that you see a medical professional to prevent further injury to your feet. Here are some self-help steps that can be taken to treat extensor tendonitis of the foot:

  • Avoid activities that exacerbate the pain. Give the affected foot time to heal. Depending on the severity of the injury, resting the foot can range from a few days to several weeks.
  • Apply ice packs to the affected area for 15-20 minutes at a time several times a day to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help manage pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Contact a physical therapist who can help develop a customized exercise program to strengthen the muscles of the foot and improve flexibility. 
  • A brace or splint can be worn to support the affected foot in order to reduce stress on the tendons.

What will a doctor do to help heal Extensor Tendonitis?

In some cases, a corticosteroid injection may be recommended to reduce inflammation and pain. And in severe cases that do not respond to conservative treatments, surgery may be indicated. The surgical procedure may involve removing damaged tissue and repairing any tears in the tendons. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan for extensor tendonitis of the foot.

Can exercise or wearing the right shoes help Extensor Tendinopathy?

Find the right shoes for your job.

If you are trying to take care of it on your own at home there are several strategies you can employ to manage and alleviate these symptoms, including targeted exercises and wearing the right shoes during the day. This may mean the right dress shoes to work if your job requires you to wear fashionable shoes and not sneakers.

The right shoes can make all the difference in providing your feet with the necessary support and cushioning, minimizing the pressure on your tendons and thereby preventing further inflammation. When selecting dress shoes, for instance, be sure to opt for comfortable and supportive shoes that feature a low heel, a wide toe box, and adequate arch support, as all of these factors can help to alleviate stress and minimize pain in your feet.

Make sure you break them in.

With dress shoes it is important to note that every shoe takes some time to break in. Even great dress shoes need to be worn a bit and may not feel perfect the first time you try them on. This can be difficult if your foot is already in pain.

Get your feet moving.

In addition to exercises and wearing the right dress shoes, it's also essential to take breaks throughout the day to stretch and move your feet. This can help boost circulation and prevent tendons from becoming too strained or inflamed, while also keeping your feet limber and flexible. It main sound strange but resting your feet also includes moving them and getting the blood circulating. If you work at a desk job, consider investing in a standing desk or using a footrest to reduce the amount of time you spend sitting and minimize the strain on your feet.

Exercise plays a vital role in dealing with Extensor Tendonitis.

If you're looking to treat your Extensor Tendonitis, exercise is a key component of any successful treatment plan. In fact, exercises that target the muscles and tendons in your feet and ankles can help alleviate inflammation and reduce pain. For example, simple yet effective exercises like calf stretches, heel raises, and ankle rotations can go a long way in improving circulation and flexibility in your feet.

Take a comprehensive approach.

Don't just do one thing. Dealing with the frustrating symptoms of Extensor Tendonitis requires a comprehensive approach that includes exercises, proper footwear, and regular breaks to stretch and move your feet. By incorporating these strategies into your daily routine, you can effectively reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, and ultimately improve your overall foot health.

Seek advice from a medical professional.

It's crucial to keep in mind that if you're experiencing pain or discomfort in your feet, it's always best to seek advice from a medical professional instead of trying to handle things on your own. While the exercises and footwear suggestions we've shared can be helpful in managing symptoms, everyone's situation is different, and a qualified foot doctor or healthcare provider can provide a tailored diagnosis and treatment plan that meets your specific needs. Sometimes when you try to treat things on your own you can can cause worse issues. So, if you're feeling any discomfort in your feet, we strongly recommend that you consult with a medical professional to prevent the possibility of causing any additional issues.

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