According to the article "Foot Tendonitis" on Arthritis-symptom.com, a reputable resource for joint pain, posterior tibial tendonitis is the most common type of foot tendonitis. Symptoms usually include pain and inflammation in the inner ankle. If left untreated, a person can sometimes suffer a collapse of the arch in their foot. A person can also get tendonitis in the Achilles' tendon and in the ball of the foot. The best way to get rid of foot tendonitis is through a combination of rest, immobilization, ice, heat, medication and exercise.
Things You'll Need
- Ice pack or hand towel
- Heating pad or tub of very warm water
- Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve)
- Foot brace
- Shoe inserts
- Large bath-size towel
Treatment For Your Foot Tendonitis
Refrain from all physical activity that entails using your foot. Stay off your feet for several days. For severe foot tendonitis, wear a below-knee cast for six to eight weeks to limit movement of your foot and ankle. For less severe pain, wear a foot brace to limit foot movement. When wearing shoes, place heel inserts in them.
Take two ibuprofen or naproxen pills every four to six hours throughout the day.
Put ice in an ice pack or inside a towel. Strap or tie the towel around your foot so that it is compressed directly against the source of your pain. Keep the ice on your foot for 15 to 20 minutes. Repeat this procedure every three to four hours while you are awake.
Once the initial inflammation has subsided, use a heating pad on your foot or soak it for 15 to 20 minutes in very warm water. Repeat heat treatment several times per day.
Perform the following two exercises: Grab a large bath-size towel in both hands. Place the towel around the toes and ball of your ailing foot. Slowly pull up on the towel and stretch your foot back. Hold that position for 15 to 30 seconds, then relax. Do three repetitions of the exercise. Next, lie on your uninjured side with your legs together. Tighten the muscles in your top leg. With your top leg straightened, lift it 8 to 10 inches above your other leg. Hold it for a few seconds, then lower it. Repeat that movement up to 10 times.
Tips & Warnings
- You should ice your foot within the first 48 to 72 hours after the onset of inflammation and pain. Ice causes vasoconstriction (narrowing of blood vessels), which minimizes inflammation and consequential pain by limiting the flow of blood and lymph to your foot. Once the initial inflammation is under control, heat can promote the flow of blood, and substances like oxygen and vitamin C that promote healing, to the affected area. Massage and exercise also promote blood flow to the foot. Massage can relax muscles and nerves in the foot, which helps alleviate pain. Massage also reduces scar tissue, which is the major contributor to recurring tendonitis. Basic stretching exercises can keep the foot flexible, while resistance exercises add strength and stability to your foot.
- Never apply ice directly to your skin, as this can cause frostbite. Also, do not commence any exercise routine until after the ice and ibuprofen have reduced the initial inflammation and pain. Exercising too soon can aggravate your foot tendonitis.
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