Extensor Tendonitis Running – UPDATED 2021 – A Complete Guide
Many runners have experienced the extensor tendonitis running injury, although many people don’t know what it is until they experience the pain associated with it.
This type of injury is usually caused by too much running, excess stress on the tendons, and sometimes wrong footwear.
In this article, we look at what causes extensor tendonitis and how it affects the runner. We also look at the recovery time and what type of plan you should follow during the recovery period, and when you should start back running again.
Extensor Tendonitis Running – A Complete Guide
Extensor tendons play an important role in a runner’s stride because of the work they endure. The extensor tendons travel along the top of the foot and attach the toes to the muscles on the front of the legs. Because of this, they are constantly put under load when running and are subject to overuse and vulnerable to injuries since there is minimal padding around the tendons.
So, when a runner overuses these tendons, the extensor tendonitis running injury starts to develop.
This type of injury is usually caused by the following:
– Shoes laced too tightly or shoes that rub or irritate the top of the foot.
– Long periods of standing on your feet.
– Excess running uphill and downhill.
– Tight calf muscles.
– Flat feet or high arches.
– A rapid increase in mileage.
Runners with wide feet are more likely to experience extensor tendonitis because of the pressure against the top of the foot created by too narrow shoes. However, they aren’t the only people that are likely to experience tendonitis. Runners that tend to overtighten shoelaces are another group of people affected by tendonitis on the top of the foot.
Some of the symptoms you may experience when dealing with extensor tendonitis are:
– Pain on the top of your foot.
– Pain around the midpoint of the dorsal (top) of the foot.
– The pain gradually builds over time.
– Tendons may become weaker.
If you experience pain in the top of the foot from running, it will usually disappear within a few days if it is just mild inflammation.
However, if after a few days the tendons become inflamed or the pain worsens, you might be experiencing tendonitis. If this is the case, it is important to visit your doctor to help diagnose the cause of the inflammation.
Best Shoes For Extensor Tendonitis
The best shoes for extensor tendonitis are flexible, lightweight, and of the right width. Brands like New Balance offer 5 different widths to cater to every width of the foot, so there is no excuse to purchase shoes that are too narrow for your feet.
If you struggle to find the best shoes for extensor tendonitis or have no idea what to look for, speak to your physiotherapist or running coach. They can help point you in the right direction.
Remember everyone is different and what may help relieve symptoms for one may not work for another.
Below is a list of some of the most popular running shoes for people that suffer from extensor tendonitis.
Best Shoes For Extensor Tendonitis:
However, we recommend seeing a running footwear specialist that can measure the width of your feet and make sure you are picking the right shoe for your running gait.
Extensor Tendonitis Shoe Lacing & Foot Wrap
Just like running shoes, there are several ways to help relieve the pain caused by inflamed extensor tendons. One of the best ways to relieve pressure from the top of the foot is to use the extensor tendonitis shoe lacing technique. This technique allows more room for the foot while still keeping it secure.
If you find that using the extensor tendonitis shoe lacing technique doesn’t help, you can try using a foot wrap instead. A foot wrap can help to relieve inflammation and aid in the healing process.
Below are some of the most popular foot wraps for extensor tendonitis and other foot-related injuries.
Extensor Tendonitis Recovery Plan
Unfortunately, if you have been diagnosed with tendonitis in the top of the foot, you may need to start thinking about your extensor tendonitis recovery plan.
Like any injury, the first few weeks are crucial. Resting the sore tendons is recommended, and daily icing will help to relieve inflammation. If the pain worsens, NSAIDs can help relieve pain.
Once the inflammation and pain have subsided, you can now look at starting a stretching and strengthening program. Doing so will help the tendons regain their strength, flexibility, and range of motion.
During this time, it is also crucial that the calf muscles are relaxed and supple. Self-massaging and regular stretching will help prevent the calf muscles from placing more strain on the extensor tendons.
Once you are pain-free and have full range of motion back, you can slowly begin running again. However, you must build up the volume again and refrain from any speedwork or intervals for the first few weeks.
The recovery period can last anywhere from 2-8 weeks, depending on the severity of the tendonitis. If you can avoid stress on the foot during the first week, you maybe be able to start a stretching and strengthening program within a week.