Any tendon in the foot or ankle can be susceptible to stresses and repetitive movements. Tendons are bands of connective tissue that attach bones to muscles. With 26 bones making up the foot and ankle, there are more than 100 muscles, ligaments and tendons connecting them. Overuse and overstretching can cause small tears in the tendons, leading to inflammation and pain. Symptoms range from mild pain to stiffness, swelling and difficulty walking.
While tendinitis can develop anywhere in the foot and ankle, the most common are achilles tendinitis, which causes pain at the back of the foot, and extensor tendinitis, which is felt on the top of the foot. All can take weeks or months to resolve.
Types of tendinitis:
Achilles tendinopathy – Pain, swelling and stiffness in the achilles tendon at the back of the foot. Click here for more detail
Extensor tendinitis – Usually caused by friction or pressure from a bad fitting shoe, this condition is seen in people who are on their feet a lot, or who run on uneven surfaces and tend to tie their shoes a bit too tightly. The extensor tendons connect to the toes, so the movement and pressure can cause significant pain on the top of the foot, especially when running.
Posterior tibial tendinitis – Inflammation of the tendon running along the inside of your foot and ankle, causes pain when walking or pushing off the foot.
Peroneal tendinitis – Inflammation in the tendons that run along the outer side of the ankle and across the bottom of the foot, causes pain standing or walking. It frequently is seen in people using poor training techniques, especially in running, or those participating in sports that require quick pivoting movements, such as basketball.
Anterior tibial tendinitis – Since this tendon controls movement at the front of your foot, inflammation will cause pain anytime movement is focused there, especially when descending stairs or walking downhill.