If you have ankle pain that worsens with physical activity or swelling and tenderness in the area behind the outer ankle bone, you could have a condition called peroneal tendonitis. This type of foot injury is common in individuals who play sports rigorously or do not do the requisite warm up and stretching routines before physical activities.
An inflamed peroneal tendon can cause many problems. It is always a good idea to prevent it. Here, we will talk about how to prevent peroneal tendonitis, and how to preserve the health of this important tendon in your body.
Understanding Peroneal Tendonitis: Why it Happens
The peroneal tendons connect the lower leg to the bones in the foot, providing stability to your ankles. They can become inflamed or irritated, from overuse or from an ankle injury.
Athletes and individuals who participate in sports or exercises that require frequent ankle movements, such as running, jumping, or dancing, are at a higher risk of overusing these tendons.
Another possible cause is biomechanics. Abnormalities in foot structure, gait (the way you walk), or the distribution of weight while walking or running can lead to uneven stress on the peroneal tendons. This can cause irritation and inflammation of the tendon over time.
Wearing shoes that lack proper arch support, cushioning, or stability, and an abrupt increase in the intensity of your exercise, sport, or activity can also lead to peroneal tendonitis.
Practical Tips for Preventing Peroneal Tendonitis
Prevention is important to maintain mobility and to preserve the health of the peroneal tendon. Here are some helpful tips to follow:
#1 Change Your Footwear
You could be wearing shoes that are lacking in arch support, cushioning, and shock absorption, and do not meet the specific requirements of your sport. Appropriate footwear is the first line of defense against undue strain on the peroneal tendons. Consider your unique foot structure when selecting footwear.
#2 Aim for a Gradual Progression
This advice applies to athletes, weekend warriors, and recreational players. Gradual progression is important to prevent straining of the tendon. Peroneal tendonitis is not the only issue you can develop without a gradual progression in intensity of activity.
#3 Strengthen the Muscles in Your Legs and Feet
Strengthening the muscles surrounding the ankle and calf is vital for stability and alleviating tension on the peroneal tendons. Engage in exercises like calf raises, ankle rotations, and resistance band work to fortify these areas.
#4 Warm-Up and Stretch
Prior to engaging in physical activity, perform dynamic warm-up exercises, followed by focused stretches for the calves, ankles, and feet. This prepares your muscles and tendons for the demands of the activity.
#5 Seek an Expert in Foot Biomechanics
Seeking a biomechanical assessment from a podiatrist can be the key to preserving the health of the soft tissues in the foot, including the peroneal tendons. The results of a foot assessment performed by an expert can reveal any abnormalities in your gait or foot structure that contribute to greater stress on the peroneal tendons. A podiatrist can prescribe custom orthotics to address the issues.
Peroneal Tendonitis Exercises
Here are some helpful exercises for peroneal tendonitis prevention:
- Ankle Pumps (Eversion and Inversion) – Sit comfortably on a chair. Gently move your foot inward (inversion) and then outward (eversion). This exercise promotes ankle stability, reducing the strain on the peroneal tendons. Do at least 20 repetitions of this ankle pump exercise.
- Calf Raises – Stand up straight. Then, slowly go up onto your toes. Slowly lower yourself back down. This exercise strengthens your calf muscles and is good for building foot support. Do four sets of 20-30 repetitions.
- Towel Stretches – Sit down with your legs extended in front of you. Wrap a rolled up towel around one foot, holding both ends with your hands. Gently pull on the towel, gradually increasing the tension until you feel a stretch along the back of your leg. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds, then switch legs and repeat the stretch.
Peroneal Tendonitis Treatment in Cincinnati, OH
For the expert treatment of peroneal tendonitis, consult our podiatrists at Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care. We have produced great results from our personalized peroneal tendonitis treatment programs for our patients.
Unlike other podiatry clinics, we fine tune our recommendations according to your needs and truly care about helping you recover and soar in your athletic pursuits.