Top of the Foot Pain:
Extensor Tendonitis in Foot [Top of the Foot Tendonitis Treatment]
🦶Do you have extensor tendonitis top of the foot pain?🦶 We go over extensor tendonitis foot treatment, exercises, massage, and stretches!
Extensor Tendonitis Foot Pain Treatment Overview:
In this video, we review:
- Extensor tendonitis foot treatment.
- Extensor tendonitis foot exercises.
- Extensor tendonitis foot massage.
- Extensor tendonitis foot stretches.
Extensor Tendonitis Foot Swelling Infographic:
These are the top 5 causes of extensor tendonitis foot swelling:
Extensor tendonitis foot symptoms:
- Extensor tendonitis is one of the main causes of pain to the top of the foot.
- There is usually pain, and discomfort felt around the top of the foot and the front of the ankle.
- Usually, we find that either the left foot experiences extensor tendonitis or the right foot experiences tendonitis more than both feet at the same time.
- The pain usually builds gradually with runners or high activity, especially those with great physical demands.
- It can be challenging to turn your toes upward and curled them up towards the ceiling or the sky.
- Standing on your feet for long periods of time or running can make extensor tendonitis worse and make the pain feel worse.
- Gradually the tendons also become weaker over time and become more painful.
It is possible to see swelling to the top of the foot.
- There may be extensor tendonitis injuries to the foot, but generally, it is a gradual chronic buildup of foot pain.
- The most common symptoms of extensor tendonitis in the top of your foot are pain and discomfort in the top of your foot.
- The uncomfortable sensation is usually felt at the midpoint or the top of your foot.
- If there is swelling on top of the foot, then this is where you usually have a bump or lump on top of your foot.
- One foot is usually more affected than the other foot.
- One foot is usually in more pain because one foot is tighter than the other, and extensor tendons have to work hard to pull up against a tighter Achilles tendon or use that foot more than the other one.
Specific symptoms include:
- Pain on the top of the foot (dorsal foot pain).
- Diffuse swelling on the top of the foot.
- Pain along the top of the foot is worse during running.
- Pain when the tendons are passively stretched.
Extensor tendon foot anatomy:
There are 4 major extensor tendons to the top of your foot. If these develop inflammation, they are called extensor tendonitis.
These 5 extensor tendons are:
- Extensor hallucis longus, which goes to the big toe joint.
- The extensor hallucis brevis, which is the shorter tendon tear big toe joint.
- The extensor digitorum longus goes to your 4 small toes.
- The extensor digitorium Brevis connects to the 4 small toes but does not cross the ankle.
- In the tibialis anterior, which goes to the top inside of your foot.
These tendons work to lift your foot and turn it inward and outward slightly (depending on the tendon).
These extensor tendons can develop tendonitis if there is inflammation.
You could also develop an extensor tendon injury if you drop a knife or cut the top of your foot. Sometimes we see this in the clinic, but this is extremely rare to see an injured extensor tendon.
Extensor Tendonitis Top of the Foot Pictures:
What is extensor tendonitis of the foot:
- The most common tendon inflamed and the top of your foot is your tibialis anterior tendon.
- The second most common is the extensor hallucis longest tendon.
- The third most common is the extensor digitorum longus tendon.
- These tendons are most commonly inflamed in people working on hills or having to tilt their foot against a tight Achilles tendon contracture.
- Extensor tendonitis is inflammation of the tendons which straighten the toes. They run along the top of the foot and are known as the extensor tendons.
Extensor Tendonitis Explained:
- The muscles affected can be the Tibialis Anterior, Extensor Hallucis Longus, Extensor Hallucis Brevis.
- Inflammation of the tibialis anterior is most common, but inflammation of the extensor digitorum muscles is also possible.
- Another common cause of differential diagnosis is a navicular stress fracture.
- If you think you have a navicular stress fracture the click on this link, we can help!
Extensor Tendonitis Causes:
- Badly fitting shoes or shoes are laced far too tightly, causing pressure on the top of the foot.
- It can also be caused by a change in training methods or running terrain, particularly hill running.
- Running uphill means the extensor muscles must work harder to lift the foot, and downhill, they have to work harder eccentrically to slow the foot.
- Running on icy or slippery surfaces can also be a cause.
Extensor tendon zones foot:
- 5 muscles make up the extensor tendons on the top of the foot.
- The most common extensor tendons that we see are the extensor hallucis longus and the extensor digitorum longus.
- These 2 muscles extend from the front of your leg across the top of your ankle and insert into the tips of the top of your toes.
- The second most common muscle that we see get extensor tendonitis is the tibialis anterior muscle.
- The anterior tibialis muscle is a muscle that is responsible for turning your foot upward and inward. This muscle runs down the front of your leg and inserts onto the middle inside of your foot.
- These are the 2 most common zones that we see for extensor tendonitis foot pain.
Extensor tendonitis on the side of the foot:
The most common site of the foot extensor tendonitis is the tibialis anterior is a big muscle that goes down the front of your leg and inserts on the middle inside of your foot. The same treatment options detailed in the video above will help you heal this extensor tendonitis inside the foot.
Extensor Tendonitis Treatment:
What can the athlete do about inflamed extensor tendons?
- Rest until there is no more pain.
- Apply ice or cold therapy.
- Alter shoes or get shoes that fit properly!
- Ensure shoelaces are not too tightly tied.
- Pad the shoe in the forefoot to take the pressure off.
- Follow a rehabilitation program, including strengthening the extensor muscles and stretching the calf muscles at the back of the lower leg.
What can a sports injury specialist or doctor do?
- Prescribe anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen.
- Consider the possibility of a metatarsal stress fracture (often pain on passive stretching indicates tendonitis, but the pain when the toes are pulled outwards might indicate a stress fracture).
- If it is a long-term problem, your podiatrist may give a steroid injection.
- In sporadic cases, surgery is performed.
- If you are an athlete in Michigan, see a great sports medicine podiatrist!
KT tape for extensor tendonitis of the foot:
- We love KT tape and think that it is excellent. But if possible, go with a good compression brace for your foot and ankle.
- KT Tape can be beneficial to attach to the top of the foot, stimulating blood flow.
- Overall, the problem is a hassle to put on the tape, and it is probably not the most practical thing to do long-term.
- A compression ankle brace such as the ones listed in this article can be more effective and easier to slip on and put on the foot.
Extensor tendonitis foot stretches:
- We are big fans of extensor tendonitis foot stretches.
- If you watch the video above, we go into great detail and show exactly how to perform the extensor tendonitis foot stretches, including how to work on evaluating which foot is tighter and wide it is happening.
- In the video, we go over the best extensor tendonitis foot exercises, and foot stretches.
Exercises for extensor tendonitis foot pain:
- There is a proper time for exercises for extensor tendonitis of the foot.
- We believe that initially, you should focus more on massaging your extensor tendons and relieving the inflammation.
- As a few days or weeks go by, and the inflammation decreases for your extensor tendon pain, that is when exercise for extensor tendonitis foot pain makes sense.
- The best exercises include stretching the Achilles tendon and the plantar fascia and the hamstrings to pressure off the extensor tendons.
- At the end of the day, the extensor tendons are tiny muscles not designed to handle large workloads.
- They are different than muscles such as our calf muscles or thigh muscles.
Extensor tendonitis foot wrap:
- Rather than purchasing an Ace bandage or KT tape to perform an extensor tendonitis foot wrap, we recommend getting a good ankle compression brace.
- An ankle compression brace will help control the swelling from your extensor tendonitis foot inflammation.
- Studies show that foot wraps can effectively reduce swelling, but they do not necessarily improve healing.
- The true goal is to heal the extensor tendonitis by preventing it from developing in the first place.
- Wraps and compression braces can help control pain and swelling symptoms, but they will not heal the tendonitis alone.
- The true goal is to find out the imbalance between your left or right leg and why that leg is having to work harder through its extensor tendons.
Extensor tendon injury to the foot:
- We occasionally see injuries to the extensor tendons to the top of the foot.
- Sometimes people drop a knife or lacerate the top of the foot.
- An extensor tendon laceration or injury can be an emergency that does require surgery.
- If you suffered a laceration and cannot bend her toes upward, we recommend seeing her podiatrist for an evaluation.
Extensor tendonitis foot splint:
- If severe tendonitis is difficult to walk or run, extensor tendonitis foot splint or extensor tendonitis walking boot may be necessary.
- If there is any concern about damage or laceration, we always recommend using an extensor tendonitis foot splint or extensor tendonitis boot to help as much as possible.
Extensor tendonitis foot braces:
- If you have extensor tendonitis of the foot, a foot brace may be a good option.
- Previously some people did prefer to wrap extensor tendonitis or tape extensor tendonitis, but we prefer a good foot brace.
- There are 2 types of foot braces for extensor tendonitis.
- There are compression ankle braces and stability ankle braces.
- If you have severe pain or an injury, we would recommend a walking boot or a stability ankle brace.
- But if it is a minor pain and swelling that develops, a better option may be a compression ankle brace for extensor tendonitis.
- The following is the best foot braces for extensor tendonitis:
Frequently Asked Questions:
Should I wrap my foot for extensor tendonitis?
- Wrapping your foot for extensor tendonitis can be very beneficial to reduce the swelling and pain, but this will not help it heal faster.
- The key to the permanent healing of foot extensor tendonitis is to prevent stress on the extensor tendon in the first place. If you do want to control swelling, we have seen good results with compression ankle braces.
- These can be low-cost compression braces for around $20 US or in this price range.
- We attached some of our favorite braces in the links for treatment guides for ankle pain.
- In summary, wrapping the foot for extensor tendonitis is not the most effective treatment. It is easier to get a low-cost compression brace that can slide on and off easily.
How to heal extensor tendonitis foot?
- We have seen the best healing extensor tendonitis in the foot by first offloading the foot and cross-training. Cross-training and offloading the foot will reduce the inflammation of the foot.
- Cross-training can be complemented by wearing a good supportive orthotic, a good supportive shoe, and potentially a good supportive ankle compression brace.
- With the reach of these 3 supportive devices in place, the next step is to cross-train and take pressure off the foot extensor tendons.
- If this orthotic and brace can reduce the pressure can do this gradually, you can shift the focus towards stretching and strengthening of the foot extensor tendons to remove any imbalances or problems that may be happening.
How to tape my foot for extensor tendonitis?
- In the video, we go over our favorite braces in offloading devices.
- We do not believe it is a good idea to ask how to wrap my foot for extensor tendonitis, but instead, purchase a low-cost foot compression brace.
- This extensor tendonitis brace will help your extensor tendonitis to the top of the foot and save you a lot of time.