Toe pain is one of the most common types of foot pain. Wearing ill-fitting or narrow shoes regularly is a frequent cause of toe pain. Shoes with narrow toe boxes can cause blisters, calluses, corns, and ingrown toe-nails, and can worsen other conditions, including bunions, hammer toes/claw toes, and Morton’s neuroma.
The five toes (phalanges) and their connecting long bones (metatarsals) comprise the forefoot. Each toe (phalanx) is made up of several small bones. The big toe (hallux) has two phalanges, two joints (interphalangeal joints), and two tiny, round sesamoid bones. The other four toes each have three bones and two joints. The phalanges are connected to the metatarsals by five metatarsal phalangeal joints at the ball of the foot.
Flexor tendinopathy (tendonitis)
What are the flexor tendons and flexor tendonopathy?
The tendons which bend the toes originate from two muscles of the lower leg; the Flexor digitorum longus and the Flexor hallucis longus muscles. They run down the inside of the ankle and under the foot to the toes and are known as the flexor tendons. Flexor tendinitis is less common than Extensor tendinitis but can be more painful and disabling. It is more likely to occur in dancers.
How does flexor tendinopathy feel?
Tenderness along the course of the tendons. Pain when the big toe is bent against resistance e.g pushing off foot when walking. Pain on the inside back of the ankle and in the arch of the foot is also experienced.
Management and how to fix flexor tendinopathy?
Your physiotherapist will assess the problem and treat it accordingly. Treatment of inflammatory tendinopathy usually involves soft tissue release, specific exercises and supportive taping.