Peroneal tendonitis is a condition in which the peroneal tendons, located on the outside of the ankle, become inflamed and painful. The peroneal tendons help stabilize the ankle and allow for proper movement.
Causes of peroneal tendonitis are overuse, repetitive motions, trauma, or misalignment of the foot and ankle. Symptoms of peroneal tendonitis include pain and tenderness along the outside of the ankle, swelling, and weakness in the ankle.
Treatment for peroneal tendonitis may include rest, ice, physical therapy, and braces or orthotics to support the ankle and reduce stress on the tendons. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair or reconstruct the affected tendons.
What Causes Peroneal Tendonitis?
Peroneal tendonitis is caused by overuse or repetitive stress on the peroneal tendons. These tendons, located on the outside of the ankle, are responsible for stabilizing the ankle and supporting the foot during activities such as running, jumping, and playing sports. When the peroneal tendons are overused, they can become irritated and inflamed, leading to pain and swelling in the ankle. Some other common causes of peroneal tendonitis are:
- Excessive pronation: Excessive pronation, or inward rolling of the ankle, can put extra stress on the peroneal tendons and cause them to become inflamed. Overpronation is often caused by being overweight.
- Overuse: Participating in activities that involve repetitive twisting or turning movements, such as running, jumping, or playing sports, can cause overuse of the peroneal tendons and lead to tendonitis.
- Poor ankle stability: Weak ankle muscles or poor balance can cause the peroneal tendons to work harder and become inflamed.
- Foot or ankle injury: Previous injury to the foot or ankle, such as a sprained ankle, can increase the risk of developing peroneal tendonitis.
- Flat feet: People with flat feet may be more likely to develop peroneal tendonitis, as the flattening of the arch can increase stress on the peroneal tendons.
- Wearing improper footwear: Wearing shoes that do not provide enough support, such as shoes with worn-out soles or shoes that do not fit properly, can increase the risk of developing peroneal tendonitis.
- Age: Unfortunately, as people age, their tendons may become less flexible and more prone to injury.
It is important to seek medical attention if you experience pain or swelling in the ankle, as early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent the condition from becoming chronic and worsening over time.
What Are the Treatment Options for Peroneal Tendonitis?
As stated before, seeking a doctor or physical therapist is suggested. Although at-home treatments can provide some relief, a healthcare professional can determine the best course of treatment for your peroneal tendonitis. Early and appropriate treatment can help speed up recovery and reduce the risk of future injury.
Treatment options for peroneal tendonitis may include:
- Rest and ice: Resting the affected ankle and applying ice to the area can help reduce pain and swelling.
- Physical therapy: Physical therapy can help improve strength and flexibility in the ankle, reducing the risk of future injury.
- Exercise: Some exercises can help strengthen the muscles around the ankles and reduce stress around the peroneal tendons.
- Bracing or orthotics: Braces or orthotics can help support the ankle and prevent further injury.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
- Steroid injections: A doctor may sometimes recommend a steroid injection to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
- Surgery: In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair or reconstruct the affected tendons.
Exercises for Peroneal Tendonitis
Exercise can play an essential role in the treatment and management of peroneal tendonitis. Below are some examples of exercises that can help treat or prevent peroneal tendonitis.
- Ankle calf raises: Stand on the edge of a step and raise your heels off the step, then lower your heels back down. Repeat 10-15 times.
- Resistance band exercises: Place a resistance band around your foot and ankle and perform ankle dorsiflexion and plantar flexion exercises.
- Balance exercises: Stand on one foot and hold the position for 10-15 seconds, then switch to the other foot. Repeat 10-15 times.
- Stretching: Gentle stretching of the calf muscles and the peroneal tendons can help maintain flexibility and reduce stress on the tendons.
How Can Custom Orthotics Help with Peroneal Tendonitis?
Custom orthotics can help treat peroneal tendonitis by supporting the ankle. Custom orthotics can control excessive pronation by supporting the lateral longitudinal arch. Overpronation is a common cause of peroneal tendonitis but it can be avoided. By controlling the inward rolling of the ankle, the orthotics can reduce stress on the peroneal tendons. Offsets, such as heel lifts and metatarsal pads, can be customized to offload pressure from the peroneal tendons and redistribute it to other areas of the foot.
Although custom orthotics do not typically go up to the ankle, they can still provide stability to the ankle and improve alignment, helping to reduce the risk of further injury and protect the peroneal tendons from further stress. Custom orthotics are made to fit the unique shape and needs of each individual’s foot, providing the most effective support and protection.
Not only do custom orthotics help reduce the pain and discomfort associated with peroneal tendonitis, but they also address the underlying causes of peroneal tendonitis. Wearing custom orthotics improves overall foot health and helps prevent the recurrence of the injury.
Should I Wear Braces, or Are Orthotics Better?
Braces and orthotics are both commonly used to treat peroneal tendonitis, but they serve different purposes.
Braces are devices that wrap around the ankle and provide support and stability to the joint. They can be used to prevent further injury and to reduce pain and inflammation in the peroneal tendons. Braces can be worn during physical activity or daily activities and can be adjusted for a proper fit.
Orthotics, on the other hand, are inserts that are placed inside the shoes to provide support to the foot. Orthotics can be custom-made to fit the unique shape and needs of each individual’s foot. They are designed to control excessive pronation, redistribute pressure, and improve the alignment of the foot and ankle, which can reduce stress on the peroneal tendons.
In the treatment of peroneal tendonitis, a combination of braces and orthotics may be recommended by a healthcare professional. Braces can provide immediate support and stability to the ankle, while orthotics will address the underlying causes of the injury and prevent future damage.
Finding Custom Orthotics for Peroneal Tendonitis
No matter if you have a diagnosis of peroneal tendonitis or another condition such as supination, plantar fasciitis, or overpronation, you can feel confident that the best step you can take to prevent further injury and feel comfortable doing everyday tasks is to get a pair of custom orthotics.
Our custom orthotic designers have over 25 years of experience and have experience correcting a variety of foot conditions, including tendonitis. Trust us to get you back on your feet and feeling well. Take our fast and easy quiz and get started taking care of your feet and correcting the underlying cause of your tendonitis today.