An athlete experiencing severe pain from extensor tendonitis

Extensor tendonitis and sports: guidance for athletes.

At CityMD, we understand that for athletes, staying in the game is a top priority. That’s why we’re here to guide you through understanding and managing extensor tendonitis, a common hurdle for athletes involved in repetitive motion sports.

We aim to keep you performing at your best, with minimal interruptions from injuries like extensor tendonitis.

What is extensor tendonitis?

Extensor tendonitis is the inflammation of the extensor tendons, which are key to extending the fingers, hand or foot. This condition often arises from the repetitive strain these tendons undergo during sports activities. It’s a frequent problem among our athletic patients, especially those participating in tennis, golf, climbing or similar sports demanding repetitive wrist or ankle movements.


Causes and risk factors.

The primary cause of extensor tendonitis is overuse and strain of the tendons. Factors that can increase the risk of developing this condition include:

  • Repetitive motion or overuse in sports or activities.
  • Improper technique or equipment use.
  • Pre-existing conditions or muscle imbalances that place additional stress on the tendons.


Recognizing signs and symptoms of extensor tendonitis.

Early recognition of extensor tendonitis is vital to effective treatment and quick recovery. Athletes should be vigilant for the following symptoms:

  • Pain and tenderness on the top of the hand, wrist or foot, especially during or after activity.
  • Swelling or inflammation in the affected area.
  • Stiffness or difficulty moving the affected fingers, hand or foot.
  • Weakness in the hand or foot, making it difficult to perform certain movements.


When to seek medical attention.

CityMD is here when your symptoms persist or impact your daily activities. Our team is ready to provide the expert care needed to get you back in action as safely and quickly as possible.


How to treat extensor tendonitis.

Immediate care.

The initial approach to treating extensor tendonitis involves the R.I.C.E. method:

  • Rest: Avoid activities that exacerbate the pain.
  • Ice: Apply ice to the affected area to reduce swelling and pain.
  • Compression: Use a bandage to reduce swelling, if recommended by a CityMD provider.
  • Elevation: Keep the affected hand or foot elevated to minimize swelling.


Long-term management and prevention.

  • Physical therapy: Physical therapy can help strengthen the muscles around the affected tendons, improving flexibility and reducing the risk of future injuries.
  • Proper technique and equipment: Ensure you use the correct technique and equipment for your sport to avoid unnecessary strain on the tendons.
  • Gradual return to activity: Once the pain and swelling have subsided, gradually reintroduce activity to avoid re-injury.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications: Over-the-counter or prescription medications can help manage pain and inflammation. Ask your CityMD provider for advice about your options.


Treating extensor tendonitis: CityMD’s commitment to athletes.

CityMD is committed to helping athletes overcome extensor tendonitis through comprehensive care that includes diagnosis, personalized treatment plans and preventative strategies. 

Our goal is to address your immediate concerns and equip you with the knowledge and resources for long-term health and performance in your sport. Together, we can manage extensor tendonitis effectively and keep you doing what you love.

Health and Wellness

We’re ready to care for you.

Visit any CityMD urgent care location in your community today for an evaluation with one of our expert providers.