Please note: Our Online Booking tool is currently down, please contact us on 0330 088 4222 to arrange your appointment and we will honour any online booking discount.

You are here:

Extensor tendinopathy

Extensor tendinopathy is an umbrella term used to describe either tendinitis or tendinosis of the extensor tendons of the foot, or both.

Tendinitis refers to the inflammation of a tendon, whereas tendinosis refers to degeneration (weakening and wear) of the tendon. Therefore, extensor tendinopathy can be either inflammation or weakening and wear of a tendon.

Extensor tendinopathy results in pain and swelling on top of the foot.

What is extensor tendinopathy?

Extensor tendinopathy of the foot is an overuse injury that affects the extensor tendons, which leads to pain and swelling on top of the foot. The extensor tendons are connected to the muscles than enable the toes and ankle to extend. The muscles and tendons that extend the toes include:

  • Extensor digitorum longus (these tendons extend all the toes except the big toe)
  • Extensor hallucis longus (extends the big toe)
These tendons pass over the ankle and across the top of the foot, connecting at the toes. Extensor hallucis longus (which extends the big toe) is most commonly affected.

What causes extensor tendinopathy?

Extensor tendinopathy can be caused by the following:

  • Tight calf muscles
  • Flat feet
  • Poorly fitting footwear
  • Degeneration, due to for example:
    • Aging
    • Certain medical conditions
  • Injury

What are the signs and symptoms of extensor tendinopathy?

The signs and symptoms of extensor tendinopathy include:

  • Pain on top of the foot, particularly when the toes are extended
  • Swelling on top of the foot

How is extensor tendinopathy diagnosed?

One of our podiatrists will be able to diagnose extensor tendinopathy based on a history, the signs and symptoms and an examination.

Benefits of podiatry for extensor tendinopathy

If you have extensor tendinopathy you can expect the following benefits from podiatric assessment and treatment at

  • Decrease in pain
  • Decrease in inflammation
  • Cause, not just symptoms treated
  • Improvement in foot and lower limb mechanics
  • Decrease in muscle tightness
  • Improvement in muscle strength
Benefits for extensor tedinopathy are achieved a number of different ways, but focus mainly on stretching and strenghthening tight or weak muscles and tendons, and by improving any poor foot and lower limb mechanics that have contributed to your symptoms.

If you have, or think you may have extensor tendinopathy please visit for an assessment

What would podiatry for extensor tendinopathy involve?

Podiatry for extensor tendinopathy would involve obtaining a thorough medical and social history, which along with any signs and symptoms and an examination of the area will help the podiatrist to form a diagnosis.

The aim of treatment for extensor tendinopathy is to reduce pain and inflammation, therefore once a diagnosis of extensor tendinopathy has been made the following treatments may be recommended:


Extensor tendinopathy is an umbrella term used to describe either tendonitis (inflammation of the tendon), tendinosis (weakening and damage to the tendon), or both. Extensor tendinopathy affects the extensor tendons of the muscles that allow the toes to straighten. Extensor tendinopathy is characterised by pain and inflammation across the top of the foot.

If you think you have extensor tendinopathy visit one of our podiatrists who will be able to help.

To arrange an assessment with one our podiatrists please email or call 0330 088 4222.

Save 5% by booking an appointment online.

Find your nearest clinic
Find your nearest clinic
We have clinics located throughout the North West. We also provide a home visit service.
Find out more »
No waiting lists!
No waiting lists!
Tired of waiting for treatment? Be seen by a podiatrist today!
Find out more »
Speak to a podiatrist
Not sure how we can help?
Speak to a podiatrist to find out how we can help. Call us on 0330 088 4222.
Find out more »
  • We work with:

  • Individuals

  • Organisations

  • Health professionals

Organisations we work with

Kelloggs Logo BBC Logo Highways Agency Logo FA Logo Hovis Logo McVities Logo

We are registered with


Get in Touch!

0330 088 4222

If you would like to speak to one of our specialists then please complete this form.

We are open 7 days a week