Tendinitis can affect just about every area of your foot. It most commonly affects your Achilles tendon as well as those that pass across the top of your foot -- the extensor hallucis longus and the extensor digitorum longus. Tendinitis is frequently caused by overuse and can lead to pain, inflammation, swelling and stiffness. Tendinitis can be treated with stretches to help strengthen the calf and foot muscles.
Seated Calf Raises
This exercise will help to strengthen your calf muscles, which can help to reduce the stress placed on the tendons in your feet -- especially your Achilles. Sit on a chair with your knee bent and your feet flat on the floor. Slowly raise your heels off of the floor so that only your toes are on the ground. You will feel a stretch in the back of your lower leg. Hold this position for a count of 10 seconds. Lower your heels back to the ground and repeat. Complete this exercise in two set of 10 repetitions.
Walking Calf Raises
Walking calf raises can help to strengthen your calves as well as the tendons that run across the top of your feet. Complete this exercise barefoot. Raise up onto your toes and start walking. Start with 20 steps and increase each day until you are able to take 100 steps walking just on your toes. Depending on your physical ability, it may take a week or two to reach this goal. While you are walking, you should feel a stretch in your calf muscles.
Plantar Fascia Stretch
A plantar fascia stretch can help to strengthen the bottom of your foot and relieve stress on your heels. Stand near a wall and press the toes of one of your feet against the wall so the ball of your foot is touching the ground. Slowly bend your knee forward while keeping your toes against the wall. Stop when you feel a stretch in the arch of your foot. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Relax and repeat. Complete three times for each foot.
Heel drops are designed to strengthen your Achilles tendon. Stand on the very bottom step, on an exercise step or stool. Place your toes and the balls of your feet completely on the step. Hang your heels over the edge of the step. Slowly lower your heels toward the ground. Stop when you feel a stretch in your heels and in your calf muscles. Hold this position for a few seconds and raise your heels back up. Complete 20 times. This exercise should be completed slowly to reduce the risk of falling. If you need to for balance, hold onto a railing or position your exercise step or stool near a counter top or the back of a chair.