Understanding Foot Tendonitis

Your feet have several tendons, which are bands of tissue that connect the muscles and bones in your feet and facilitate movement. Tendonitis occurs when any of your tendons become damaged and inflamed. Inflammation can prevent tendons from healing on their own by restricting the flow of nutrient and oxygen dense blood to the damaged area, so tendonitis requires treatment. Here's what you need to know about tendonitis of the foot.


Tendonitis can be caused by putting too much pressure on your feet, which can occur when you're overweight, have a poor running technique or play high-impact sports. Flat feet or high-arched feet can also put too much stress on your feet by overstretching the tendons when you walk. Certain medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis can cause inflammation of the tendons in your feet.


Common symptoms of tendonitis of the foot include pain and stiffness. The pain is typically worse when you put weight on your foot and will feel like a burning or stabbing sensation that can spread across your entire foot if left untreated. Tendons are usually flexible, but inflammation will restrict their movement and leave your foot feeling stiff.

Diagnosis & Treatment

Your podiatrist will diagnose tendonitis by examining the affected foot and flexing your foot to determine how stiff it is. They will also ask you to describe your symptoms and take details of your health history to determine whether there could be another cause for your symptoms.

There are a number of treatment options to explore with your podiatrist, who will make a recommendation based on the severity of your symptoms. You will be advised to rest your foot, which will encourage the swelling to come down and improve blood flow to the area. If you have a job that requires standing or walking for long periods, you may have to ask your employer to assign you to other duties while your foot heals.

If the pain is severe your podiatrist will recommend painkillers, which can be combined with anti-inflammatory medication. Stretching and strengthening exercises can be an effective way to loosen a stiff foot and reduce inflammation by promoting blood flow to your foot. Your podiatrist will show you a few beneficial exercises you can do at home and may also perform some exercises on your foot during each clinic appointment.

Tendonitis caused by flat or high-arched feet can be treated with custom-made orthotic insoles, which simply slip into your shoes. Your podiatrist will measure your feet and write a prescription for your insoles, which you must wear at all times. They relieve pressure on tendons by realigning your feet and distributing weight more evenly.

If you're experiencing foot pain, schedule an appointment with a clinic like McLean & Partners as soon as possible as prompt treatment can reduce the time it takes for your foot to heal.