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Stretches for Peroneal Tendonitis

by Jaydee Vykoukal, PT, DPT September 28, 2021 0 Comments

ankle stretching

Peroneal tendonitis stretches are the first line of defense for pain in the outside of the shin, ankle, and foot. This pain is commonly caused by muscle overuse, secondary to faulty biomechanics or a sudden increase in activity (particularly with running). Having a good stretching regimen can provide relief and possibly prevent further aggravation or injury. Keep reading to learn about stretches for peroneal tendonitis.

Best Stretches for Peroneal Muscles

The peroneal tendons and muscles run along the side of the ankle and foot. Addressing these sore areas can provide a lot of relief. Ankle inversion (bringing the bottom/side of the foot inward) will be the focus of these stretches. Outside of these specific stretches, general ankle moves like ankle rolls and ankle pumps can also provide relief from stiffness and pain.

Note: Be cautious with these stretches if you are experiencing any ankle instability.

Seated Ankle Inversion

Sitting in a chair, bring the ankle you want to stretch up and across your knee. Then, simply grab your foot with your hands and bring the inner edge and bottom of your foot up toward the ceiling. You should feel a strong stretch in the side of the shin.

Hold for 30-60 seconds for 2-3 sets on each side.

Seated Ankle Range of Motion

Sit in a chair with your foot in the center of a wobble board or half of a foam roller (foot parallel with the foam roller) on the floor. Then, let the bottom of the foot rotate inward to face the middle of your body until you feel a stretch in the side of the lower leg. Alternatively, to promote blood flow and reduce stiffness, you can slowly move the ankle side to side (ankle inversion and eversion) for 20-50 repetitions.

Hold the stretch for 30-60 seconds for 2-3 sets on each leg.

Leg Stretches

When dealing with peroneal tendonitis, stretching surrounding leg and ankle muscles can provide a lot of relief since the ankle tends to get stiff all over with an injury. Try these easy lower leg stretches to get the ankle feeling loser. 

Seated Calf Stretch

Stretching the calf in sitting with a stretch strap is a great way to relieve tension in the lower leg and the bottom of the foot itself. If you don’t have a strap, grab a long towel or belt. Wrap the loop around the ball of your foot with the knee out straight in front of you and heel resting on the ground. Then, pull the top of the foot up toward your shin until you feel a stretch in the back of the calf. To get more of a stretch in the bottom of the foot, you can move the loop up higher right to the base of your toes or even wrap the loop around your big toe.

Hold for 20-30 seconds for 2-3 sets on each leg.

Standing Calf Stretch

Stand in front of a chair or wall for balance. Then step into a lunge position with the leg you want to stretch behind you. Keeping the back knee straight and the foot pointing straight forward, shift your weight into your front leg with the knee bent. Keep the bottom of your feet firmly on the ground. Keep shifting until you feel a strong stretch in the back of the calf muscles.

Hold for 30+ seconds for 2-3 sets on each leg. To get a deeper stretch, bend the back knee as you shift your weight forward.

Hamstring Stretch

Lie on your back with a stretching strap or belt. Wrap the loop around the bottom of your foot and straighten the knee. Your opposite knee will be bent with the foot flat on the floor. Bring your straight leg up toward your chest as far as possible until you feel a stretch in the back of the leg and hold. Once you find a comfortable position, you can also add ankle movements to deepen the stretch and loosen the ankle at the same time.

Hold for 30-60 seconds for 2-3 sets on each leg.

Benefits of Stretching

Stretching the ankle (and entire lower body) has both immediate and long term benefits.  Having a consistent stretching program built into your normal weekly routine is great for your overall tissue health. Some of these benefits include:

  • Better tolerance for weight-bearing activity that was previously painful
  • Less risk of further injury to the peroneal muscles, calf muscles, hamstring, ankle, and foot 
  • Ankle pain relief and reduced stiffness in the peroneal tendons
  • A good way to warm-up calf muscles for strengthening exercises
  • Improved range of motion movement patterns for proper coordination and strength
  • Applicable for most common causes of peroneal tendon injury
  • Great treatment option for peroneal tendonitis, especially when combined with other home treatments like heat, ice, taping, exercise, and massage

Tips for Peroneal Tendonitis Stretches

Proper stretching techniques and sequencing can make or break your program. Follow these simple guidelines to get the most efficiency out of your stretching program.

  • Stretch the foot and ankle as often as possible
  • Stay consistent with your stretching program
  • Always start your stretching program slowly and gently, do not force any movements that are aggravating or make your ankle feel unstable
  • Try holding your stretches for a longer period of time (over 60 seconds) as tolerated
  • Use your stretching program as a warm-up before exercises

    Peroneal Exercises

  • Consult a professional if you aren’t sure where to start to prevent aggravation and boost recovery
  • Try resistance bands in conjunction with your stretches to enhance their difficulty
  • If you feel pain in the outside of the foot or outside of the ankle, stop immediately and take an ibuprofen
  • Stretch before running

    Running with Peroneal Tendonitis

Talking to a Physical Therapist

Dealing with lower leg pain of any sort can be complicated. There are a lot of different tissues that can be affected and they are all intricately interconnected. For example, problems in the foot and ankle can cause low back pain and vice versa. This is where consulting a physical therapist, a movement specialist, can help you with a personalized treatment program that addresses all of your specific problem areas and dysfunction.

With physical therapy sessions and rehab, you can expect to receive an in depth examination. From there, a program will be designed to manage pain and stiffness while restoring strength, coordination, and balance to the body. This is especially helpful if you like to participate in higher level activities like running  and sports. You will feel empowered to make a sustainable recovery.

Choosing Safe Peroneal Tendonitis Stretches

Stretching the peroneal muscles and tendons is straightforward and typically gives you quick relief. Adding in additional lower leg stretches along with massage, strengthening exercises, and other treatment options will only help expedite the process. With a good treatment program in place, you should be feeling better within weeks. If you aren’t making the progress you want or your symptoms get worse, make sure to get in touch with your doctor for additional treatment recommendations or to rule out other potential issues like an ankle sprain or fracture.

Sources:

https://www.cfac.net/2019/11/21/what-is-peroneal-tendonitis/#:~:text=Peroneal %20te ndonitis%20is%20a%20condition,bone%20which%20results%20in%20inflammation.

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318349

Peroneal Tendonitis Products

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Jaydee Vykoukal, PT, DPT
Jaydee Vykoukal, PT, DPT

JayDee Vykoukal is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, owner of the healthy habit platform Health Means Wealth, and freelance medical writer. She loves traveling and spending time with her family in nature. Her passion is helping others continue to participate in the activities they love through education and proper exercise.



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