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What Is Extensor Tendonitis?
Extensor tendonitis, also known as extensor tendinitis, is a condition characterized by inflammation and irritation of the extensor tendons in the body. The extensor tendons are responsible for extending or straightening the joints, allowing for movements such as lifting the foot or straightening the fingers.
Extensor tendonitis commonly affects the tendons on the top of the foot or the back of the hand and wrist. It is often caused by repetitive stress or overuse of the tendons, leading to inflammation and microtears in the tendon fibers. Some common causes and risk factors for extensor tendonitis include:
- Repetitive activities: Engaging in activities that involve repetitive motions of the affected tendons, such as running, jumping, typing, or playing certain sports.
- Poor technique or form: Incorrect body mechanics or improper form during physical activities can contribute to the development of tendonitis.
- Improper footwear: Wearing shoes that do not provide adequate support or have a poor fit can increase the risk of developing extensor tendonitis in the foot.
- Age and degeneration: Tendons can become more susceptible to injury and inflammation as a person ages or due to degenerative changes.
What Are The Symptoms Of Extensor Tendonitis?
The primary symptom of extensor tendonitis is pain and tenderness in the affected area, which is typically worsened by activities that involve the use of the affected tendons. Other possible symptoms include swelling, redness, and a feeling of warmth in the affected area. In severe cases, there may be difficulty in moving the affected joint.
Treatment for extensor tendonitis focuses on reducing pain and inflammation, promoting healing, and preventing further injury. Common treatment options include:
- Rest and activity modification: Avoiding or modifying activities that exacerbate symptoms and giving the affected tendons time to heal.
- Ice therapy: Applying ice packs to the affected area to reduce pain and swelling. Ice can be applied for 15-20 minutes several times a day.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen may be used to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.
- Physical therapy: Exercises to stretch and strengthen the affected tendons, as well as techniques to improve biomechanics and proper body mechanics during activities.
- Splinting or bracing: In some cases, wearing a splint or brace can provide support and relieve stress on the affected tendons.
- Corticosteroid injections: Injections of corticosteroids into the affected area may be considered to reduce inflammation and provide temporary relief.
It is important to seek medical attention if symptoms persist or worsen despite conservative measures or if there is a significant loss of function. A healthcare professional can provide an accurate diagnosis, determine the underlying cause of the tendonitis, and recommend appropriate treatment options. They can also provide guidance on preventing future episodes of extensor tendonitis and optimizing recovery.