Extensor Tendonitis Rehabilitation

What is Extensor Tendonitis/Tendinopathy?

Extensor Tendonitis is inflammation of the extensor tendons which run along the top of the foot. It is an overuse injury common in runners. Symptoms include gradual onset pain on the top of the foot, often described as an aching pain. Exercise, especially running causes symptoms to worsen. You may have some diffuse swelling over the top of your foot and curling your toes to stretch the tendons may reproduce pain.

Extensor tendinopathy is probably a more accurate term because this describes the degeneration of the tendon. Pain from most long-term, chronic extensor tendon injuries is likely to be degeneration from wear and tear, not acute inflammation.

Who is this program suitable for?

This program offers a step-by-step guide to Extensor Tendonitis rehabilitation, consisting of 4 recovery phases and a 5th injury prevention/mitigation phase. Suitable for both recent injuries and long-term sufferers, it’s tailored to ensure progression through each phase upon meeting specific exit criteria. Ideal for athletes at any level, from beginner to elite.

How does it work?

The program consists of 4 phases with a 5th injury prevention/mitigation phase. You progress through the phases, only moving on to the next phase when you have reached specific exit criteria.

Elite-level sports physiotherapist Paul Tanner introduces each phase and guides you through the program via a series of videos. The app tells you exactly what to do each day (Today’s tasks) and records your progress to be reviewed later by yourself, or your coach/physio. We don’t just aim to heal your injury with this program but enable you to come back even stronger than before.

Program structure

Paul’s Extensor tendonitis rehabilitation program comprises the following:

Phase 1

Phase one begins as soon as possible after you are aware of your injury. The main aim of phase 1 is to reduce pain and inflammation as well as begin to load your tendon in a safe, controlled manner.

Phase 2

During phase two we gradually increase the load through your foot and introduce movement, whilst managing symptoms.

Phase 3

The aim of phase three is to further increase the load through your foot through heavy, slow resistance exercises. We also introduce plyometric (hopping and jumping) exercises.

Phase 4

Phase four is the eccentric phase where we load the tendon while it is stretching. This is particularly important because eccentric strengthening has been shown to improve symptoms but also the collagen makeup of the tendon, making it stronger long term.

Phase 5

This is the maintenance phase where you go back to normal training and gradually reproduce the demands of your sport.

What is included?

The program includes the following elements:

Treatment & Healing

This covers how and when to apply treatment such as cold therapy & compression, heat, massage, and taping.


Over 60 different exercises with video demonstrations covering mobility & stretching, activation, strengthening, motion control/proprioception, and functional or activity-specific exercises and running progressions.

Priority support

If you have any questions about the program or your progress then use in-app support to get in touch with our qualified sports therapist for advice.

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