Tendonitis occurs when a tendon becomes irritated and inflamed, resulting in pain that may recur due to repetitive use. Tendonitis in the feet is most common among young, physically active people who put constant stress on their feet, such as distance runners and dancers. There are several effective ways to reduce the impact of tendonitis in the feet, though it can take weeks or even months to make a complete recovery.
Rest is an essential part of treating tendonitis of any kind. Since tendonitis usually arises from repetitive stress, eliminating the stress by resting the tendons will promote healing. One of the most difficult parts of dealing with tendonitis in the feet, is that it can be hard to stay off the feet completely, as normal daily activities usually require walking. Depending on the severity of the tendonitis, you may wish to use crutches to keep pressure off the feet. At the very least, sports training and intense physical activity should be stopped until all pain is gone and you can walk normally without discomfort.
Since tendonitis is caused by inflamed tendons, taking steps to reduce blood flow to the affected area to reduce inflammation can help speed recovery and dull pain. Icing the foot affected by tendonitis for 15 minutes every few hours while pain persists is a good idea. Also, ice the feet after any activity that could lead to inflammation. For instance, if you are starting to get back into activity after resting for a few weeks, ice the feet every workout.
Another way to reduce the effects of tendonitis is to take anti inflammatory medication. This will benefit recovery in two ways: it will reduce inflammation, therefore speeding recovery from tendonitis, and it will also reduce pain. It is a good idea to take medication after activity while you ice at the very least, or you can take some before activity. Make sure to read the directions of the medication you use thoroughly and do not overuse medication.
A potential cause of tendonitis in the feet is improper footwear, such as ill fitting shoes or worn out shoes. If you exercise recurring foot tendonitis, consider switching to a new type of athletic shoe. A podiatrist or the staff at a running store should be able to make recommendations as to what type of shoe will best support your foot type. Using insoles or orthotics (custom fitted shoe inserts) can also help support and cushion the foot.
Another potential contributing factor of foot tendonitis is weak or inflexible muscles and tendons in the feet ankles and legs. Regularly stretching the calf muscles and Achilles tendon, the quadriceps and the hamstrings, especially after activity is a good idea. Tendonitis in the feet can occur from pushing off too strongly with the toes, especially the big toe. Making an effort to change your gait so that you push off less with the big toe may help reduce pain.