Foot tendon problems

Updated February 21, 2017

The human foot is a very complex and amazing assembly of 26 bones, 33 joints, 100 muscles, blood vessels, skin, tissues, ligaments, tendons and nerves. Fibrous foot tendon tissues connect bones and joints with muscles.

Foot tendon problems can be painful and debilitating. Achilles Tendonitis is the swelling of the Achilles tendon, running from the calf muscle up to the heel. It occurs due to overuse, infection, trauma, playing stressful sports or arthritis. The U.S. reported 232,000 Achilles tendon sports injuries in 2002 amid people aged 6 and up. Characterised by tender tendon, heated inflamed skin and pain during movement, Achilles tendinitis is usually treated with ice, NSAID drugs, physiotherapy, rest, casts and surgery.

Posterior Tibial Tendonitis and Flatfoot

Extending from the back of the ankle bump's inside to the bottom of the foot is the posterior tibial tendon. Formation of nodules when worn out tendons heal themselves results in a condition called tendonosis. If this weak area becomes swollen posterior tibial tendinitis develops with pain in the foot's instep. If the tendon ruptures the result is flat foot. As per the American association of orthopaedic surgeons, this condition is more common in women rather than men due to wear and tear of tendons through hormonal changes in the perimenopausal stage. Physical rest, use of an arch support in shoes, medicines like aspirin and ibuprofen and surgery are treatment techniques.

Anterior Tibial Tendonitis

Anterior tibial tendinitis is associated with overuse of the anterior tibial tendon that permits upward foot movement. The tendon inflammation is treated with arch support, anti-inflammatory medication, casts and cold therapy. It is associated with overuse of the anterior tibial tendon that permits upward foot movement. The tendon inflammation is treated with arch support, anti-inflammatory medication, casts and cold therapy.

Peroneal Tendon Problems

The two peroneal tendons located at the back of the outer anklebone help the foot in pointing outward or downward. Peroneal tendon issues arise from stress while playing sports, wear and tear, swelling of tendons and ankle trauma or sprain. Pain in the outer foot, swelling and tenderness of the tendons are typical symptoms. Treatment includes rest, physiotherapy, casts, anti-inflammatory medication and surgery.

Extensor Tendon Problems

Inflammation of the extensor tendons of the foot that run alongside the top of the foot and help in straightening the toes, cause experiences of pain and swelling on the top of the foot, making running difficult. This condition, which is triggered by overuse, stress and ill-fitting shoes is treated with cold therapy, rest, wearing comfortable shoes and administration of steroids or ibuprofin or other comparable pain relievers.

Flexor Tendonitis

Flexor tendinitis occurs when the flexor tendons that extend from the ankle's inside to the toes, running below the feet, get inflamed. Pain is felt in the ankle's inside back, foot arch, and on the bending of the big-toe. Rest, cold therapy, anti-inflammatory medicines and surgery are treatment methods.

Plantar Fascitis

The plantar fascitis, a type of tendinitis, occurs when tendons from the heel up to the feet ball tear and are inflamed. Pain in the heel that spreads to the arch is the symptom that occurs. Treatment includes exercises, splints, NSAIDs and surgery.


Early treatment of foot tendon problems can save you from excruciating pain, surgery and deformities of the foot. However prevention is better than cure so try to avoid such conditions by taking good care of your feet, do regular foot stretches and stretch your feet to prepare them for strenuous activities.

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About the Author

Norah Faith was born and raised in Texas and from there she has traveled nationally and internationally. After acquiring her teaching license from New Mexico State University, she found herself teaching ESL around the world. She continues to teach today and finds satisfaction writing for Demand Studios and other sites.