What is Extensor Tendonitis?
Extensor Tendonitis occurs when the extensor tendons in the foot become irritated and inflamed. This is often caused by shoes that are too tight and run against the top of the foot, especially in runners. The Extensor Tendons are vulnerable due to the fact that there is very little fat on the top of the foot to protect them from outside pressure or force. People with Extensor Tendonitis often notice pain on the top of the foot, in the mid-foot area. The pain usually comes on slowly and gets worse as the Extensor Tendons continue to be used.
The below exercises are designed to help strengthen the Extensor Tendons. Exercises should not be attempted too early in the recovery process or re-injury will occur. If it causes pain, don’t do it!
Sit or stand with your feet planted on the floor. Flex your toes so they press down on the floor and hold this for 5 seconds without moving the rest of your foot. Do 10 reps 3x per day.
Do this exercise with bare feet. Sit down in a chair with your feet planted on the floor. Place a pencil on the floor, just in front of your feet. Attempt to pick up the pencil using your toes. When you’ve picked up the pencil, hold onto it with your toes for 5 seconds, then drop it. Do 10 reps 3x per day.
Place the back half of your foot (from about mid-foot to heel) on a 2″ high exercise platform (if you don’t have one, a hardcover book will work), with your forefoot sitting on a weight scale. Press your forefoot down onto the weight scale with all of your weight and hold for 5 seconds. Do 10 reps 3x per day.
Spreading the Toes
Do this exercise with bare feet. Sit in a chair with your feet planted on the floor. Spread your toes apart as far as you can, hold for 5 seconds, then let them go back together. Do 10 reps 3x per day.