Runner's MRI showed extensor digitorum tendinopathy

by Richelle

I have been dealing with pain in my left ankle, which has spread to the top of my foot now, since mid february of 2009.

I was training for a half marathon at the time.

I continued to run for about another month b/c it wasn't changing the way I ran. Then I suddenly got a shin splint on the medial aspect of my left shin.

I went to two different physiotherapist and finally saw a doctor to get an MRI. I had been off running for 5 months when I finally got the results. Possible mild chronic extensor digitorum tendinopathy.

The doctor gave me two options. He said I could try a topical anti-inflammatory or a cortisone shot. I went with the anti-inflammatory cream, but it hasn't helped.

I have also been slowly building my running back up using a walk run method. I do not want to get a cortisone shot. I am going to take more time off running to see if it will heal. I'm just wondering if there are any exercises or stretches I can do to help it.

Also I'm thinking about swimming and taking a spin class but want to make sure those activities won't continue to aggravate it.

I miss running so much and just want to heal so I can get back to it.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.




Joshua Answers:

Hi Richelle.

Well, let's see.

Tendonitis? What exactly did they mean by 'tendinopathy' I wonder?

Damage? Strain? Fatigue?

Certainly shin splints points to TOO MUCH tightness and connective tissue constriction and a Process of Inflammation.


1. Swimming and Spinning, I highly suggest it. It shouldn't irritate you. And, there's only one way to find out.

2. I know how addictive running can be, and I
think it really is the best way to get fit, but it is one of the hardest on your body. I'm certainly not built for lots of running. I'm definitely a walk run kind of guy.

And, I think walk run is an incredibly smart way for a runner to run. When the muscles fatigue, the joints take the load. Frequent walks helps the muscles recover.

3. I don't think that a cortisone shot would help anything in the long run, if even in the short run.

4. And I don't think rest is going to give you the long term results you want either.

Certainly stay active with swimming and spinning. It could be that cross training all three instead of only running might be smart for your future.

5. I would stretch. That japanese tea sitting on your lower legs position is great. If you can do that comfortably, you're at lower risk for shin splints.

And all lower leg and hip stretches, in general.

6. Supplement with Magnesium for Tendonitis.

7. Hmmm, what else. Lots of stuff. Self Massage, icing, increase your protein intake, Omega 3's, make sure your Vitamin D levels are up where they should be.

How's that for advice? :)

More specific questions, more specific answers.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Dec 23, 2009
PART 2 - stretching? - Runner's MRI showed extensor digitorum tendinopathy
by: Richelle

Hey, thanks for the reply.

What is the japanese tea sitting on your knees/legs stretching????

My ankle/foot has stopped hurting every morning now, so it must be getting better. I have been stretching my calf muscles.



Joshua Comments:

Hi Richelle. Sorry it's taken so long to get back to you.

The japanese sitting thing is, when you are basically sitting on your ankles, with your knees and shins and top of foot on the floor.

I should probably find a name for that, but I don't know that I've ever heard of one....

How is the pain now? Still stopped in the mornings/getting better?

Were you/have you been doing anything other than stretching calves?

Mar 20, 2011
It's better!
by: Richelle

It's better! Thanks for the tips.

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