Signs & Symptoms of a Pulled Tendon in Foot When Walking

Many types of strenuous exercise can cause tendon injuries in the foot.

There are several different tendons in the foot, all of which can become pulled if over-used. Tendons are tissues that connect muscle to bone, and extensive muscle exertion can put strain on the connections. If you believe you have pulled a tendon in your foot, it is important to see your doctor. Depending on the type and severity of your injury, you may require some form of medical treatment. There are several symptoms that may indicate you have pulled a tendon in your foot.



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Depending on the tendon affected, you may experience pain on the top, bottom or sides of your foot. This pain would be exacerbated by walking or running. Pain at the top of your foot would suggest an injury to your extensor tendons, while pain in the arch may indicate a flexor tendon injury. You may also experience pain at the back of your ankle if the injury is to your Achilles tendon.

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Tenderness or Heat

When walking, you may notice tenderness in certain areas of of your foot if you have injured a tendon. If you touch the tender areas, you may feel heat as well. This tenderness and heat can provide a good indication of which tendon or tendons you have injured and should be reported to your doctor.

Swelling or Redness

Beyond the physical pain, swelling in your foot is the clearest indication that you might have some type of injury. You may notice that your foot feels tight in your shoe when walking and appears red upon examination. The swelling may also worsen when you are walking or running. While swelling can indicate a pulled tendon, it could also be indicative of a more-serious injury like a broken bone.



One of the best treatments for a pulled tendon is the application of a cold compress to the affected area. This can help reduce pain, swelling and tenderness. Depending on the type and severity of the injury, sports massage may relieve symptoms and aid the healing process. Your doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication, recommend that you modify or stop certain exercises, or apply a cast to allow the tendon to heal.




Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.

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