Indications of a pulled tendon in your foot

Your foot has a few different tendons in it, and they are all capable of being pulled if you are exerting them too much.  Tendons are made up of tissues which connect your muscle to your bone, and when you push yourself too hard, these connections can become strained.  There are different levels of severity when it comes to pulling a tendon, but you may need medical treatment so it’s important to visit a doctor.  If you are unsure about whether or not you have pulled a tendon in your foot, here are some signs that you will experience if this has occurred.


Signs of a pulled tendon in your foot:

  •        -Pain
  •        -Sensitivity
  •        -Swelling
  •        -Redness



There is more than one tendon in your foot that can be pulled, so depending on which tendon is affected, you will experience pain in the area of the tendon that is injured.  This pain can occur on the top, sides, or bottom of your foot.  If the top of your foot is feeling pain, your extensor tendon has likely been damaged.  Alternatively, if the pain is coming from the arch of your foot your flexor tendon has been pulled.  Also, the pain in the back of your ankle is related to damaging your Achilles tendon.  It is likely that the painful area will become worsened when you are on your feet walking, jogging, running, or jumping.



When you damage a tendon, the specific area where the injury is located will become very sensitive.  You will likely notice this sensitivity when you are on your feet, or if you touch the tender area.  You may also feel some heat radiating from the affected area.  The sensitivity and heat will be the main indicator of a damaged tendon, and a sign that you should see a doctor.


Swelling and redness

Other than the obvious pain you will feel when you pull a tendon in your foot, another indication of injury is swelling and redness.  Your foot may feel like it does not fit inside your shoe normally, and may also appear red upon further inspection.  This swelling can get progressively worse if you continue to remain on your feet.  Swelling can also be an indicator of a more severe injury, like a broken bone, which is another reason why it is always wise to consult with a doctor.



One of the most effective ways to treat a pulled tendon is by applying ice to the affected area.  Your pain, swelling, and sensitivity will all decrease after being exposed to a cold object like ice.  A type of massage, called sports massage, may be able to help aide your recovery of a pulled tendon, depending on how bad the injury is.  You can be prescribed an anti-inflammatory, and you may also have to discontinue exercise for a period of time.  In some cases, a cast will be applied so the tendon can heal without interruption.


If you feel that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of a pulled tendon in your foot, or any other foot related issues, come see Dr. Woolley, DPM at the Utah Foot and Ankle Institute. Please call to make an appointment (801) 409-2100.