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Tendonitis in Foot Treatment: Medication, Surgery, Physical Therapy

tendonitis in foot treatment
Written by Benedikt Meyers
Last Update: August 23, 2023

Tendonitis is an unpleasant disease that occurs when a tendon is inflamed or irritated. This could occur in any part of the body, but the ankles and feet are the mostly affected. Tendonitis may be caused by overuse, repeated motions, or overstretching. A sprained ankle can cause tendonitis as well. Tendonitis is generally treated without surgery and with resting.

What Is Foot Tendonitis?

Foot Tendonitis

Tendons are the dense cord-like fibers that hold your muscles with your bones. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes, ranging from tiny ones in your fingers to bigger ones in your legs and shoulders. Tendons are durable and elastic, and they interact with muscles to shift the bones across your joints. When a tendon is swollen or overstretched, it may become swollen and cause tendonitis.

Tendonitis is commonly caused by overuse, but it may also be triggered by an accident, particularly when participating in sports. It may also be caused by systemic issues or conditions like arthritis or diabetes. If one of the tendons in the foot gets inflamed, it is known as foot tendonitis. When this occurs, the tendon swells and becomes irritated.

The tendon can also thicken or develop a bone spur in some cases. The most common signs of foot tendonitis include pain and/or discomfort in the ankle or foot. When you try to move or do other things, the pain usually gets worse. The discomfort can even appear as if it is moving up the foot or across the leg.

Tendonitis in Foot Treatment With Medication

1. Pain Relievers

Tendonitis pain can be relieved by taking aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen sodium. Anti-inflammatory topical creams, which are common in Europe and are becoming more frequently distributed in the United States may also help ease pain without the risks of taking anti-inflammatory drugs by mouth.

2. Corticosteroids

To treat tendonitis, your doctor can also inject corticosteroid drugs directly into the tendon. Cortisone medications can help to relieve pain and inflammation. Corticosteroids aren’t prescribed for tendonitis that lasts more than three months (prolonged tendonitis), since regular doses will degrade a tendon and raise the chance of damaging it.

3. Platelet-Rich Plasma

Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy includes taking a drop of your blood and circulating it to extract platelets and other curing factors. After that, the solution is applied to the region where the chronic tendon inflammation is established. Platelet-Rich Plasma treatment has shown potential in the treatment of multiple chronic tendon disorders, but further research is needed to evaluate the best uses, doses, and procedures.

Treating Tendonitis with Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can effectively cure most forms of tendonitis. A program of targeted exercise intended to stretch and improve the damaged muscle-tendon group can be beneficial. Eccentric strengthening, for example, which enhances muscle activity, is a very successful therapy for many chronic tendon disorders and is often considered first-line therapy. Tendonitis therapy also includes education to help improve body mechanics, shape, and stance to help minimize the pressure on a tendon that is under tension from everyday or repeated activities.

Treating Tendonitis with Surgical & Other Procedures

In cases where physical rehabilitation has failed to relieve symptoms, you can follow the treatments mentioned below as well:

1. Dry Needling

Dry needling is a technique used to speed up the treatment of tendonitis severe tendon injuries. The procedure increases blood flow to the region, which releases growth factors that promote stem cell formation, fibroblast activation, and the activation of the healing process.

2. Ultrasonic Treatment

Ultrasonic treatment is a technique that includes a tiny incision to implant a special instrument that incorporates ultrasonic sound waves to eliminate tendon damaged tissues. The injured tissue is removed, which helps the tendon to regenerate better and relieves discomfort.

3. Surgery

Surgical treatment could be required based on the intensity of the tendon damage particularly if the tendon is ripped apart from the bone. A surgeon will typically make one or two minor cuts in the tissue over the injured tendon and then stitch the broken parts of the tendon together during tendon reconstruction.

Treating Tendonitis With Home Remedies

1. Resting

Avoid doing anything that makes the discomfort or swelling worse. Try not to play or work with the discomfort. Rest is necessary for tissue healing, however, this does not suggest full bed rest. Other exercises and activities that do not put pressure on the damaged tendon are possible. Water sports and water exercise can be tolerated very well.

2. Use Ice

Apply an ice pack to the affected region for 20 minutes multiple times per day to reduce inflammation, muscle spasms, and swelling. Cold bags, ice therapy, and baths with water and ice cubes can all be beneficial. Freeze a foam container full of water for an ice bath, so you can handle the container while adding the ice straight to the foot.

3. Compress the Affected Area

Wearing compression sleeves or compression socks will also relieve and eliminate tendonitis pain. Compression should help in the improvement of blood circulation in injured areas, which is crucial for foot and leg injuries. That’s because gravity will take its course and blood must accumulate in the lower extremities, particularly if the limb is swollen.

4. Elevate the Affected Area

If you also have tendonitis near your knee, elevate the injured leg over the point of your heart to minimize swelling. This aids in the movement of excess fluid back to the heart for distribution to the remainder of your body. The optimal position to help relieve inflammation is lying on the bed with your legs raised. It is preferable to rest on your back.


1. What Is the Best Way to Heal Foot Tendonitis?

Ans. Tendons need few weeks of rest to recover and to make some changes to activities you usually do. If you feel tenderness or discomfort in your muscles or joints, you should apply cold packs and ice as quickly as possible.

2. Will Foot Tendonitis Ever Go Away?

Ans. Tendonitis will be relieved in a matter of days with physical therapy and rest. Tendonitis occurs when a tendon is overwhelmed by a rapid or strong impact, causing micro-tears. Tendonitis, if left untreated, may develop into tendinosis.

3. Can I Walk With Foot Tendonitis?

Ans. Don’t place any pressure or stress on your tendon for a few days before you can move on it without discomfort. If no extra pressure is exerted on the tendon during a certain time, it will generally recover faster. If you need to travel long journeys while recovering your tendon, your doctor can advise you to use crutches.

4. What Happens if Tendonitis Goes Untreated?

Ans. If left untreated tendonitis can progress to chronic tendinosis, causing irreversible damage to the tendons. It may also result in a tendon fracture that requires surgery to repair. So, if you believe that you have tendonitis, avoid doing the things that are causing you the most discomfort.

About the author

Benedikt Meyers

Benedikt Meyers is an accomplished executive with significant experience in global sales and marketing, product development, and supply chain for the apparel and footwear industries. He’s a skilled relationship builder who has lived in Asia for 10 years and visited the world to develop key alliances with industry partners in order to meet production and supply demands in ever-evolving markets.

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