What is foot tendinitis?

The tendons that are most likely to get tendinitis are the: 

  • Achilles tendon, which attaches the calf muscle (on the back side of your lower leg) to the back of the heel. 
  • Posterior tibial tendon, which attaches the inside of the calf muscle to the bones on the inside of the foot. 
  • Peronealtendon, which attaches the outside of the calf to the outside of the foot. 

Foot tendinitis is when one of these tendons becomes inflamed. When this happens, the tendon will swell and become irritated. In some cases, the tendon may harden (calcify) or cause a bone spur to grow.

Symptoms

Pain in the foot or ankle, and/or weakness are the most common symptoms of foot tendinitis. The pain will often get worse when trying to walk, or when doing other activities. The pain may also feel as though it moves down the foot or up the leg. Other symptoms may include: 

  • Achiness in the foot and/or ankle 
  • Snapping sounds or sensations in the ankle 
  • Thickness at the heel or at the bottom of the calf muscle 
  • Flat foot 
  • Pain on the inside or back of the ankle 

When to See a Doctor

The symptoms of foot tendinitis may mimic other, more severe conditions. If you have pain in the foot or ankle that doesn’t go away with rest, or worsens over time, see a doctor. Imaging tests may be needed to rule out or confirm foot tendinitis. 

More Information

Causes

Foot tendinitis is sometimes caused by normal use and age but is more often brought on by overuse. This is most common in athletes because they perform the same motions over and over. 

People that have flat feet also have a tendency to develop foot tendinitis. Sometimes tendinitis happens because the tendon is injured. 

Foot tendinitis can also occur with foot and ankle problems that have caused damage to the area, such as: 

  • Arthritis 
  • Muscle tears 
  • Dislocation 
  • Other inflammation 
  • Flat feet