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Peroneal Tendonitis Treatment Guide

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

Ankle Brace

With overuse, poor footwear, or a variety of other reasons, the peroneal muscles along the outside of the foot and ankle become inflamed and irritated. Luckily, the majority of peroneal tendonitis treatments can remedy damage to this tissue, providing lateral stability to the ankle and foot. There are a lot of options for treating and recovering from tendonitis. Keep reading to learn how to treat tendon problems like peroneal tendonitis.

Simple Home Treatments

When your symptoms are new or mild to moderate, starting with treatments at home is an economical way to jump-start your healing journey. It requires no wait time and can give you relief quickly. If you’re concerned about other possible injuries or your pain is severe, always make sure to consult your doctor before starting any home treatment to prevent aggravation.

  • Stretches and Exercises

    Range of motion stretches and exercise are always a great place to start to promote flexibility, reduce stiffness, and increase circulation for healing. It’s always best to begin with simple non-weight bearing lower body stretches and gradually increase the complexity. Exercises should keep focus on regaining proper coordination in your calf muscle, but careful to avoid overuse to prevent further injury.

    Stretches for Peroneal Tendonitis

    Strengthening Exercises for Peroneal Tendonitis

  • Taping the Peroneal Tendon

    There are a few different ankle taping techniques that can provide stability to the lower leg and help with healing. For peroneal tendonitis, the best option is usually kinesiology tape. This flexible tape can promote circulation while reducing tension on the tendons to allow rest and healing. If you are having trouble completing daily activities or want to continue participating in higher-level activities with less risk of aggravation, taping is a viable option.

    Taping Techniques

  • Massage

    Whether it is self-massage or a professional appointment, there are many different massage options for providing ankle pain relief. Massage techniques include deep tissue, myofascial, trigger point, and cross friction. They all provide unique benefits to the leg and ankle, depending on what you’re specific problem areas and symptoms are.

    Learn More About Massage Relief

  • Bracing

    If you are experiencing a fair amount of ankle instability that is making it hard to do your normal daily routine, an ankle brace or splint might be the solution. The key is to find an adequate support that will still challenge the ankle and provide range of motion for weight-bearing activity.

    Choosing the Right Ankle Support

  • Anti-Inflammatory Medications

    Over the counter options that will help with both inflammation and pain include ibuprofen, Advil, naproxen, and Aleve. If your symptoms are severe and you need a stronger medication, you can talk to your doctor about prescribing nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or even narcotics. It’s important to note that all of these options come with side effects such as organ damage and possible addiction. Medication is not meant to be a long term solution but can definitely help in the short term.

  • Immobilization

    Stabilizing the ankle and avoiding weight-bearing or activity may be necessary with a more severe injury, such as a grade 3 ankle sprain or tendon strain. With more severe sprains, there is often a lot of ankle instability due to tissue tears that requires a period of immobilization. This can range from a few weeks to up to 3 months. Immobilization will quickly result in ankle stiffness and weakness, so talk to your doctor about finding a balance between rest and movement.

  • Pain Modalities

    The RICE method of rest, ice, compression, and elevation throughout the day can quickly reduce swelling and decrease pain. Simply grab an ice pack, an ace bandage wrap, and something to prop your leg up above your heart for 15 minutes 2-3 times per day for maximal benefits. These can also help with your tolerance for other treatment options.

Medical Treatment for Peroneal Tendinopathy

If you aren’t making the progress you want with home treatment, it’s time to get some professional help from a trusted healthcare provider. If your symptoms are moderate to severe you should see your doctor to get proper recommendations for treatment. They can discuss what options are best for optimizing your healing.

  • Physical Therapy

    With a physical therapist you will receive an in depth examination to determine your specific limitations and create a treatment program together that will give you short term relief and long term benefits. Initially, treatment will focus on pain relief and restoring function to the ankle.

  • Cortisone Injection

    An injection into the inflamed area in the outside of the ankle or foot with cortisone is an option for reducing inflammation and pain quickly. It can be enough to give you relief and get you on track with a home program that you can tolerate. Cortisone can be harsh on the surrounding tissues and is typically a short term solution.

  • Surgery

    Surgery is not common for peroneal tendonitis. Surgery would most likely be recommended as a last ditch effort with severe ankle instability. If a severe ankle sprain was sustained, surgery may be required to restore stability to surrounding ligaments so that the peroneal tendons can resume their normal stabilising function. If your orthopedic doctor recommends surgery after, you will most likely be in a brace or cast for 6 weeks without any weight bearing allowed.

Treatment Options for the Peroneal Tendon

To get the recovery you want following an ankle injury like peroneal tendonitis, it is best to incorporate a mix of treatment options to provide pain and swelling relief while restoring strength in the peroneal tendon. It’s always important to pay attention to your symptoms and avoid anything that is aggravating them. Talk to your podiatrist or physical therapist if you have any concerns, have a sudden change in symptoms, or are simply frustrated with the process and need some advice.


Peroneal Tendonitis Products


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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