Extensor Tendinopathy

extensor tendinopathy

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What is Extensor Tendinopathy? Learn more about this condition


Extensor tendinopathy is the common name for inflammation that occurs on the top of the foot and ankle. Extensor tendinopathy is also called extensor tendonitis.

A tendinopathy refers to a painful overuse injury of the tendons. In this case, it affects the tendons which run along the top of the foot and act to extend (‘pull up’) the ankle and toes. These tendons are the tibialis anterior, extensor hallucis longus, extensor hallucis brevis, extensor digitorum longus and also extensor digitorum brevis. Together, the extensor muscles bring the toes and foot up toward the shin, in direct opposition to the larger calf muscles. If the calf muscle is tight, this then places more strain on the extensor tendons.

Causes of Extensor Tendinopathy

  • Overuse   i.e increasing activity levels
  • Abnormal Foot Position
  • Ankle Sprain
  • Muscle Imbalance
  • Poor & tight fitting footwear

Symptoms of Extensor Tendinopathy

Symptoms of this condition include:

  • difficulty raising the foot
  • pain which worsens with hill running as well as climbing stairs, and
  • in some cases mild swelling on the top of the foot

As with other tendinopathies, treatment consists of relative rest, soft tissue releases and a graduated strengthening program. Analysis of lower limb biomechanics is also important to identify underlying contributing factors.

Treatment of Extensor Tendinopathy

To treat extensor tendinopathy, we recommend:

  • Reducing training load
  • Discontinuing or modifying provocative activities
  • Changing footwear and loosen tight laces to ease the pressure on the top of the foot
  • Change running shoes if needed
  • Early rehabilitation exercises to reduce pain, improve tissue healing as well as reduce inflammation
  • Strengthening exercises to improve tendon properties, durability and also to prevent reoccurrence.
Are you suffering from this condition? One of our podiatrist can assist and then recommend what treatment options are best to get you back on track.
Schedule an appointment here or you may call us at 44 (0) 207 101 4000. 📞



We hope you have a feetastic day! 👣☀️

-The Chelsea Clinic and Team




Related Pages:

Check our latest blog about Abductor Hallucis Tendinopathy here https://www.thechelseaclinic.uk/abductor-hallucis-tendinopathy/

Read our blog about Achilles Tendinopathy here https://www.thechelseaclinic.uk/achilles-tendinopathy/

Check our blog about Tibialis Posterior here https://www.thechelseaclinic.uk/tibialis-posterior/

Learn more about Peroneal Tendinopathy here https://www.thechelseaclinic.uk/peroneal-tendinopathy/

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