Tendinitis foot pain: 5 causes and treatment options

Foot pain can affect your mobility and overall quality of life. Tendinitis is a common cause of foot pain. It occurs when the tendons become inflamed or irritated. Tendons are the thick bands that connect your muscles to bones. Tendinitis can be caused by a variety of issues, but the good news is there are many treatment options available to help you find pain relief and regain your mobility.

Understanding tendinitis in the foot

Tendinitis in the foot can affect various tendons, including tendons in the ankle, arch or heel. Common types of tendinitis that are related to foot pain include:

  • Achilles tendinitis.
  • Posterior tibial tendinitis.
  • Peroneal tendinitis.

These conditions are often caused by repetitive stress, overuse or sudden injury. Understanding the underlying causes of tendinitis in the foot is essential to be able to treat it effectively and potentially prevent it from happening again in the future.

Causes of tendinitis foot pain

Potential causes of tendinitis foot pain can include:

  • Overuse and repetitive stress — Running, walking long distances or standing for extended periods of time are activities that involve repetitive movements. These movements can cause strain on the tendons in the foot. This strain can lead to inflammation and pain.
  • Improper footwear — Wearing shoes that don’t have adequate support or are an improper fit can cause abnormal stress on the tendons in the foot. Improper footwear can contribute to the development of tendinitis. Common shoe culprits can include high heels or shoes with insufficient arch support.
  • Poor foot biomechanics — People who have flat feet, high arches or abnormal gait patterns can all be more susceptible to tendinitis. These conditions can change your weight distribution and cause stress on the tendons. This stress can cause inflammation and pain in your feet.
  • Sudden injury — Tendinitis can also be caused by an acute injury. Trauma to the foot can cause inflammation in the tendons, leading to pain and limited mobility.
  • Medical conditions — Certain medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes can make tendinitis a more common problem. These conditions can cause the tendons to weaken. This weakness can make tendons more susceptible to inflammation and injury.

Treatment options for tendinitis foot pain

There are a variety of treatment options to help reduce or alleviate tendinitis foot pain. These treatments can vary due to the severity of the tendinitis. Mild to moderate tendinitis doesn’t require the same level of interventions as severe tendinitis can require. Treatment options can include:

  • Rest and immobilization — Resting your affected foot and avoiding activities that exacerbate your pain is essential. Immobilization can include using a brace, splint or walking boot. This immobilization can help you reduce stress on the inflamed tendons, giving them adequate protection and time to heal.
  • Icing and elevation — Applying ice or a cold pack to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. Combining ice with elevation can help promote blood circulation and reduce swelling.
  • Physical therapy — Physical therapy can play an important role in the treatment of tendinitis foot pain. Physical therapists can use a variety of techniques to help reduce inflammation, improve flexibility and strengthen the muscles supporting the affected tendons.
  • Orthotic inserts — Orthotic inserts can help provide proper arch support and alignment. Orthotics and well-fitting shoes with supportive insoles can help reduce stress on the tendons, improve foot biomechanics and help alleviate pain.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications — NSAIDs like ibuprofen can help reduce pain and inflammation. It’s important to use these medications as medically advised to avoid potential side effects.
  • Corticosteroid injections — In some cases, your health care provider may recommend a corticosteroid injection to help reduce inflammation, which can provide you with temporary relief from pain.
  • Surgery — In severe cases of tendinitis that don’t respond to conservative treatments, surgical intervention may be necessary.

Physical therapy for tendinitis foot pain

Physical therapy can be highly beneficial in helping to manage tendinitis foot pain. Your physical therapist can design a customized treatment plan that focuses on both alleviating current symptoms and preventing future occurrences. Your physical therapist may use treatments including:

  • Ultrasound therapy — Ultrasound waves can generate heat deep within tissue. This penetration is deeper than a heating pad can achieve. The ultrasound waves can help promote blood flow. Improved circulation can help boost the healing process.
  • Stretching exercises — Specific stretching exercises can be used to help improve your flexibility in the affected tendons and muscles of your foot. Improving the flexibility can help restore your range of motion and reduce stiffness you may be experiencing.
  • Strengthening exercises — These exercises are designed to help target the muscles of the foot and ankle to help promote strength and stability.
  • Manual therapy — Physical therapists often use hands-on techniques like soft tissue manipulation and joint mobilization to reduce muscle tightness and promote relaxation in your foot.
  • Electrical stimulation Electrical stimulation can be used to help decrease pain and improve your range of motion. It uses mild electrical signals to help block nerves from sending pain signals to your brain. It may also help improve circulation to the muscles and tendons.
  • Kinesiology taping — Kinesiology taping may be used to help decrease pain and improve the function of your tendons and muscles.

Choose Lattimore PT for expert, compassionate care for your foot tendinitis

Lattimore PT is committed to helping you through your personalized rehabilitation journey for foot tendinitis. Our team will work diligently with you to help alleviate your pain, improve your mobility and enhance your overall quality of life. We strive to not only treat your symptoms, but to also help address the root cause of your foot tendinitis. Lattimore PT can help you overcome your foot tendinitis and help you get comfortably back on your feet.

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.

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