Extensor tendonitis is also called extensor tendinopathy. Extensor tendonitis is the common name for inflammation that occurs on the top of the foot, and over the top of or just below the ankle. Typically it is caused by inflammation to the extensor digitorum tendons (towards the outside) or the extensor hallucis longus tendon (towards the inside). Care must also be taken by an experienced chiropractor or physiotherapist to rule out tibialis anterior tendon also (most inward).
Causes of extensor tendonitis
Extensor tendonitis is the most common cause of what is known as ‘top of foot pain’. The tendons, which pull the foot upwards, are injured and inflamed. This is often caused by overuse, badly fitting shoes and shoes that are too tight on the top of the foot causing pressure and inflammation of the tendon and area. Changes in training and exercise can also cause extensor tendonitis, such as running uphill, particularly on a treadmill.
Symptoms of extensor tendonitis
Pain is the most common symptom of extensor tendonitis. The pain is often felt on the top of the foot during activity, such as running. Pain often goes away during periods of rest. Swelling in this area is also common. The pain will increase gradually over time.
One of our Sydney chiropractors or physiotherapists will perform an assessment test by resisting the athlete from pulling their foot upwards. If pain is felt then this is an indicator that the extensor tendons are injured.
Treatment of extensor tendonitis
To treat extensor tendonitis, our chiropractors and physiotherapists recommend:
- Reducing training load
- Discontinuing training provocative activities
- Change your footwear and loosen tight laces to ease the pressure on the top of the foot
- Change running shoes if needed
- Hands on treatments, cryotherapy, electrotherapies to reduce pain and inflammation
- Early rehabilitation exercises to reduce pain, improve tissue healing and reduce inflammation
- Strengthening exercises to improve tendon properties, durability and prevent reoccurrence.
We recommend you see a chiropractor or physiotherapist who will confirm a diagnosis and provide you with the best exercises to strengthen the extensor muscles. Exercises will be selected on an individual basis that will benefit the patient most. These exercises may include toe-raising exercises. Sydney Spine & Sports Centre (S3C) is a chiropractic and physiotherapy centre of excellence located in Balmain and Dee Why,Sydney. Our chiropractors and physiotherapists used evidence-based treatments that are safe, gentle and effective for extensor tendinitis.