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Peroneal Tendonitis: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment Options

Peroneal Tendonitis: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment Options

The peroneal tendons are a pair of long, slender tendons that originate from muscles in the lower leg and cross behind the ankle bone. They attach to the foot on the outside of the ankle, just below the ankle bone. The peroneal tendons help lift the foot and point the toes.

Table of Contents

  • What is peroneal tendonitis?
  • What are the causes of peroneal tendonitis?
  • What are the peroneal tendonitis symptoms?
  • What does peroneal tendonitis feel like?
  • How is peroneal tendonitis diagnosed?
  • How long does peroneal tendonitis take to heal?
  • How do you treat peroneal tendonitis?
  • How do you apply kinesiology tape for peroneal tendonitis?
  • What’s the best long-lasting yet skin-friendly kinesiology tape?
  • What are some at-home exercises for peroneal tendonitis?
  • How do you prevent peroneal tendonitis?
  • Conclusion

What is peroneal tendonitis?

The peroneal tendons can be easily injured. When they are overused or strained, tiny tears can develop in the tendon tissue. Over time, these tears can worsen and lead to peroneal tendonitis—a condition that causes pain and inflammation around the tendon.

Athletes who play baseball, basketball, football, golf, and are into gymnastics may be prone to this overuse injury, Peroneal tendinitis is one of the most  common injuries for runners, as well.  

peroneal tendonitis causes

What are the causes of peroneal tendonitis?

Folks who play sports that involve repetitive movements that involve the ankle are the most susceptible to peroneal tendonitis. Here are some of the common causes of the condition: 

  • Overuse or trauma
  • A sudden increase in training intensity
  • Footwear that does not give enough support or shoes with a poor fit
  • Running on uneven ground

The people who are prone to peroneal tendonitis include: 

  • People with high foot arches 
  • Imbalance in lower limb muscles 

What are the peroneal tendonitis symptoms?

The symptoms of peroneal tendinitis may worsen when pushing off the foot during gait or when standing on tiptoe. These include: 

peroneal tendonitis symptoms

  • Pain in the lower ankle and/or leg
  • Swelling in the area 
  • Instability 
  • The affected area is warm to the touch 
  • A pop when the injury occurs

What does peroneal tendonitis feel like?

If you have peroneal tendinitis, you may experience: 

  • Back ankle pain 
  • Lessened pain when resting, and pain that worsens when moving 
  • Feeling pain when turning the foot in and out 
  • Swollen back ankle
  • Feeling of ankle instability when carrying heavy objects 
  • The affected area is warm to the touch

Feeling of ankle instability when carrying heavy objects  Peroneal Tendonitis symptom

How is peroneal tendonitis diagnosed?

Diagnosis is typically based on a physical examination and can be confirmed with imaging studies such as an X-ray, ultrasound, or MRI.

MRI

How long does Peroneal Tendonitis take to heal?

Peroneal Tendonitis can take several weeks or months to heal, depending on the severity of the injury. With proper treatment and patience, most people will make a full recovery. 

Peroneal Tendonitis will not result in long-term complications, but it can make daily tasks difficult. This injury may require a lifestyle change to accommodate for the pain and discomfort.

How do you treat peroneal tendonitis?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to peroneal tendonitis treatment; treatment depends on the severity of symptoms and underlying cause. Conservative treatment measures such as rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) are often recommended in the early stages of peroneal tendonitis.

Some of the treatment options of peroneal tendinitis are: 

  • Immobilization. Ensure that the foot and the ankle do not move by using support or a wearing walking boot. 
  • Kinesiology tape. Applying kinesiology tape may help give the area support and stability while alleviating some of the discomfort brought about by the injury. 
  • Anti-inflammatory medication. Drinking an anti-inflammatory medication, like ibuprofen, may help minimize swelling and pain due to the injury. 
  • Physical Therapy. Applying ice and heat on the area as well as undergoing physical therapy can help reduce discomfort. Once the symptoms have subsided, your therapist may prescribe strengthening exercises to aid in improving motion and balance. 
  • Surgery. While it rarely happens, ignoring the symptoms of peroneal tendinitis can lead to further damage and may require surgery. Early treatment is key to preventing long-term problems.

If you are experiencing pain and inflammation around your peroneal tendon, be sure to see a doctor or your physical therapist for evaluation and treatment. 

How do you apply kinesiology tape for peroneal tendonitis? 

A peroneal tendonitis taping may be used to support the peroneals while they heal. Kinesiology taping is most beneficial when peroneal tendonitis symptoms are present in mild to moderate cases. 

However, it does not work in severe peroneal tendonitis cases. It can also help relieve chronic peroneal tendonitis discomfort due to overuse of peroneus longus by redistributing pressure on the peroneal tendons. Better than braces and wraps, kin tapes move as you move and do not limit the range of motion. Read more about the  benefits of kinesiology taping in our blog

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Here are the steps on how to apply kinesiology tape for peroneal tendinitis: 

  1. Place the ankle in a 90-degree position. Measure and cut your tape as needed. If you’re using  precut kinesiology tape, you’ll need a single strip. 
  2. After removing the backing at the ends, anchor the tape to the inside of the heel bone near the bottom of the foot. Angle the tape that it’s pointing towards the outside portion of the foot. Make sure that there’s 0% tension on the ends of the tape. 
  3. Next, apply 50% tension to the rest of the tape. Then, apply it with an angle that it reaches behind the ankle bone. Bend the strip up to the side of the leg. The tape should cover the area of discomfort. 
  4. Take another strip and anchor it inner part of the midfoot area. Ensure that it’s pointing towards the heel. Give the rest of the tape 50% tension and wrap it below the outside of the ankle bone. Make sure that there’s no stretch applied to the tape ends. 
  5. Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive. 

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In treating your peroneal tendonitis, you should also consider the quality of the kinesiology tape you’re using. Taping shouldn’t just be about muscle and joint support, but should also be friendly to your skin - this is what Tape Geeks is all about! 

Enjoy a great stick without making your skin sick with Tape Geeks kinesiology tape! TG tapes are hypoallergenic, zinc-free, and latex-free. What’s more, they’re manufactured in an ISO-certified and dermatologist-approved factory in South Korea which are known for their consistent and reliable adhesives. 

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What are some at-home exercises for peroneal tendonitis?

Here are some of the exercises that you can do at home to strengthen your peroneal tendons. If you experience any pain while performing any of these movements, you should stop immediately. 

Towel Stretch

This exercise move helps stretch the foot and calf muscles. It may help in minimizing pain while helping heal the peroneal tendon injury. 

  1. Start in a sitting position on the floor. Then, wrap a towel around your toes a gently pull back until you feel a stretch, 
  2. Hold the stretch for about 30 seconds. Repeat three times. 

Heel Raises

Heel raises help in strengthening the calf muscles. 

  1. Start in a standing position. 
  2. Next, rise onto your toes and hold this pose for 5 to 10 seconds.
  3. Then, slowly lower your heel down. 
  4. Repeat this exercise move 5 to 10 times. 

Standing Calf Stretch 

This exercise promotes flexibility and also helps relieve muscle soreness. 

  1. Start by standing in front of a wall. Place your palms against the wall at a slightly higher height than your shoulders. 
  2. Next, step back into a split stance. Keep both your feet flat on the floor. Make sure that your toes are pointing forward. 
  3. Lean forward slowly and bend the front knee. By doing this, one should feel a stretch in the lower leg 
  4. Hold the position for 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat this exercise 2 to 3 times for each leg. 

How do you prevent peroneal tendonitis?

There are a few things that can be done to help prevent Peroneal Tendonitis from developing. First, make sure to wear supportive shoes with good arch support when participating in activities that may put stress on the peroneal tendons. 

prevent peroneal tendonitis

In addition, doing stretching and strengthening exercises regularly can help keep the muscles and tendons around the ankle healthy and strong. 

If you do experience pain or discomfort in the ankle or foot, be sure to see a doctor as soon as possible for proper diagnosis and treatment. Early intervention is key in preventing further damage to the peroneal tendons.

Conclusion

If you want to know how to recover from peroneal tendonitis and prevent future occurrences, this article will provide the information needed. From what it is and its symptoms and causes, to treatments that can be applied at home or by a healthcare professional, we’ve tried our best to cover all the bases here. 

Want to read more about different types of injuries? Check out the  Tape Geeks blog!

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