Extensor Tendonitis – Pain on the Top of the Foot

Apr 14, 2014

Have you ever considered all that goes into the movement of your feet? If your feet have been healthy, the answer may be no. However, if you have experienced pain on the top of your foot, you’ve probably realized that moving your feet requires a chain reaction that goes all of the way up to the calf. Tendons that run along the top of the foot are called extensor tendons. Connected to the toes, they lift the foot, and work with the Achilles tendon and the muscles in the calf to move the foot down as well.

If you experience top of the foot pain, you may have extensor tendonitis. This condition occurs when the extensor tendons are overused and inflammation occurs. Pain across the top of the foot when you lift your toes is common with this type of tendonitis. 

As with any type of tendonitis, the first course of treatment should be rest. Ice and an anti-inflammatory may help to reduce swelling. Gently massaging the area may also help. Since calf muscles that have tightened are one of the risk factors for developing extensor tendonitis, stretching is highly recommended as part of the healing process. Other exercises designed to strengthen the tendon can be done once it is well-rested.

Commonly recommended exercises include flexing the toes while standing three times per day. You do this by pressing your toes down toward the floor (don’t curl them). Count to three and then release for ten reps. Pick up a pencil with your toes! Can you hang onto it for six seconds—ten times? Even walking on your toes for up to 20 seconds is a great, easy way to get the extensor tendon back into shape.

Are you experiencing pain in the top of your foot? Is it slowing you down? Call the office of Dr. Sanjay Patel, and find the source of your discomfort. We have convenient offices in Milford, CT (203)876-7736, and Hamden, CT at 203-288-4055.  Make an appointment by phone or online.