Tendonitis of the Foot and Ankle
Tendonitis is one of the most common sources of foot and ankle pain. A tendon is strong tissue that attaches muscle to bone. Inflammation around this tendon causes pain and sometimes swelling. Taking a break from the aggravating activity will usually relieve the painful symptoms.
There are several different types of tendonitis that affect the foot or ankle. They are:
- Posterior tibial tendonitis. Posterior tibial tendonitis is most often found in people with flat feet. Pain and swelling are likely to occur in the instep. If this type of tendonitis continues to occur, it will likely cause toes to spread out in an outward direction.
- Peroneal tendonitis. Peroneal tendonitis is inflammation of the tendon that wraps around the outside of the ankle. Pain and swelling are apt to occur here as well as above and below the ankle. Just the opposite of posterior tibial tendonitis, peroneal tendonitis is usually associated with high arches.
- Flexor tendonitis. One activity that causes flexor tendonitis is dancing. The aggravating pain is usually felt in the back of the ankle on the same side as the great toe.
- Extensor tendonitis. Extensor tendonitis on the top of the foot is normally caused by the foot rubbing on the shoe.
Tendonitis is one of the injuries termed “overuse injuries,” and means the tendon has been stretched beyond its normal limit and may have small tears. The activity that causes this isn’t necessarily physically demanding, just more stress is placed on the tendon than is normal, without the proper conditioning. It can occur, for example, if a person changes their normal walking program from one mile per day to three miles per day. More highly stressful activities are likely to cause tendonitis sooner if proper training has not occurred. Uncommon foot structure, medical conditions and injury can also contribute to the likelihood of tendonitis.
In order to manage the symptoms or prevent tendonitis consider the following:
- Proper warm-up, stretching and conditioning
- Only increase time and intensity of work outs in small degrees
- Use rest, ice, compression and elevation
- Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication
If home treatment fails to provide relief, contact Dr. Perlstein at (718) 438-8188. He has high tech diagnostic capabilities right at his office that allows for a quick and correct diagnosis, which means he can get you started on a treatment plan immediately.