Why Do I Have Pain When Curling My Toes?
Usually when we think of foot problems, we expect pain and discomfort to come from the bottoms of our feet. They are, after all, the parts of us that most frequently make impact with the ground, right?
While that may be true, it is very much possible to experience pain on the top of the foot, too! And this is especially true when tendons responsible for pulling the foot upward become inflamed. We call this extensor tendonitis, a condition that causes pain when curling the toes.
But what exactly is extensor tendonitis? What causes this condition in the first place? And how can you treat and prevent it from holding you back?
Let’s discuss this a bit more.
Extensor Tendonitis – A Toe Curling Problem
To understand this painful condition, we must first become familiar with how tendons work.
Tendons are tough, fibrous, bands of tissue that connect muscles to bones. The extensor tendons, in particular, join the muscles on the front of the lower leg to the toes, and are responsible for keeping your toes straight and pulling them upward away from the ground during each and every step you take.
Now, the term tendonitis refers to the inflammation of a tendon. And when inflammation happens in the extensor tendons in the feet, it can become painful to curl your toes in a downward motion. This condition is known as extensor tendonitis.
People who have extensor tendonitis will experience pain in the top of the foot. This pain often gets worse with physical activity or when curling the toes – doing so will cause the inflamed tendons to stretch beyond their capability. Sometimes, extensor tendonitis will also cause swelling across the top of the foot.
Wondering if you have developed a case of extensor tendonitis? Try this simple test:
Flex your foot downward and have someone apply light resistance against the top of your toes. If pain increases on the top of the foot, then it’s likely that extensor tendonitis is the culprit.