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Peroneal Tendonitis

Peroneal Tendonitis

What is Peroneal Tendonitis?

Tendonitis (also spelled tendinitis) is the irritation or inflammation of the tendons (thick fibrous bands of tissues that attach muscles to bones).

Think of a tendon like an elastic band that stretches when you move. Tendons also help absorb some of the shocks from your muscles when you move.

Tendonitis can occur in many parts of the body, but typically happens in areas where there are more significant amounts of movement, like the feet.

Peroneal tendonitis occurs when the peroneus longus and/or peroneus brevis tendons become inflamed or injured, weakening the tendon(s). These tendons connect the peroneal muscles of your lower leg to the bones in your foot.

Causes | Symptoms | Treatment | Prevention

What Causes Peroneal Tendonitis?

Peroneal tendonitis is typically caused by a sudden injury to one or both of the peroneal tendons, such as from sports that require a lot of starting and stopping or frequent change of direction like basketball, football, soccer, hockey, tennis, skiing and dancing.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Peroneal Tendonitis?

Depending on the cause of your peroneal tendonitis, signs and symptoms may include:

  • Redness, swelling and tenderness
  • Pain along the outside of the foot and ankle and/or top of the foot
  • Pain that gradually worsens over weeks or months, especially with activities that aggravate the foot such as jogging or standing on your tiptoes
  • Decreased range of motion and flexibility
  • Decreased strength

Concerned about symptoms of peroneal tendonitis? Book an assessment with a physiotherapist today.

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How is Peroneal Tendonitis Treated?

Treatments for peroneal tendonitis can include:

  • At-home treatment, including:
    • applying ice packs for 10-15 minutes, 3-4 times a day, typically for the first 48 hours or until swelling goes down
    • resting your foot
    • anti-inflammatory painkillers such as Advil or Aleve to reduce pain and swelling
    • avoiding activities that cause pain or put stress on your foot
    • incorporating low-impact activities, like biking and swimming, once you are healed
  • Physiotherapy
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), either prescribed, or over-the-counter, such as ibuprofen or naproxen
  • A short-leg cast or range of motion boot to immobilize the foot and allow the tendon(s) to heal, though this can cause the muscles in the leg and foot to become weak, and thus is often paired with physiotherapy
  • Surgery

Physiotherapy for Peroneal Tendonitis

Physiotherapy is a drug-free and non-surgical treatment that focuses on reducing pain and swelling, regaining strength, increasing joint mobility and function, and preventing recurrence.

At pt Health, you’ll receive a thorough assessment which addresses the source of your problem.

Depending on your individual needs, physiotherapy for peroneal tendonitis can include:

Are you seeking physiotherapy for peroneal tendonitis treatment? Book an assessment today.

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Can Peroneal Tendonitis Go Away on Its Own?

Yes, if successfully treated at home, peroneal tendonitis can get better on its own. However, if it’s not treated correctly, tendonitis can turn into tendonosis. 

Tendonosis (also spelled tendinosis) is a chronic, recurring condition that happens as a result of overuse, repetitive strain, repeated injuries to the same area, or an injury that hasn’t healed properly. 

Without proper treatment or activity modification, tendonosis can degenerate the tendon(s).

Can You Prevent Peroneal Tendonitis?

If you have an increased risk of peroneal tendonitis (for example, you play a certain sport that has a high impact on your feet), you may want to consult a physiotherapist for a custom treatment plan to address your unique concerns. 

However, there are steps you can take to prevent or reduce the chance of developing peroneal tendonitis, including:

  • Exercising regularly, including stretching exercises such as yoga or tai chi (at least 30 minutes every day)
  • Easing into new exercise routines
  • Warming up before exercise
  • Stretching after exercise
  • Taking regular breaks from repetitive movements
  • Practicing good posture
  • Practicing proper technique in sport
  • Wearing orthotics and proper shoes
  • Eating an anti-inflammatory diet (avoiding processed and refined foods and sugar)
  • Maintaining a healthy weight (which reduces pressure on the feet)

Book a Physiotherapist Consult for Peroneal Tendonitis Today

Concerned about symptoms of peroneal tendonitis? Book an assessment with a physiotherapist today.

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