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Peroneal Tendonitis Exercises

Peroneal tendonitis is a painful condition to live with. But did you know that exercising and stretching can be good for your rehabilitation? Couple this with expertly crafted shoes that are designed to improve overall support and you’ll be well on your way to feeling better.

What is Peroneal Tendonitis?

Peroneal tendonitis is a specific type of inflammation of the tendon. While it is not all that common, it tends to result from repetitive motion among athletes. If you have peroneal tendonitis, you may experience pain when you are walking, jogging or running. This pain affects the outer part of your foot and lower leg, and is noticeable from the moment you awaken in the mornings. There may also be swelling in the ankles

Additional risk factors for developing peroneal tendonitis include spraining your ankles repeatedly, tightness in your calf muscles, or high arches. 


Does Stretching Alleviate Peroneal Tendonitis? 

It is common for physicians to recommend physical therapy for peroneal tendonitis. As part of your therapy, you may be advised to perform certain stretches and exercises. Research shows that stretching can enhance elasticity in the tendons, which may have a beneficial effect when healing from tendon injuries. 


Best Peroneal Tendonitis Exercises and Stretches 

Now that you understand the benefits of stretches and exercises for peroneal tendonitis, let’s go over a few of the best peroneal tendonitis exercises. You may also want to take a look at the best exercises for neuropathy

While these exercises should be safe for you to perform, it is important to be cautious when starting out. If you feel any unusual or severe pain while you are doing them, immediately stop. You might be performing the exercise correctly, or you could simply be overdoing it. Either way, take a break, and be careful once you start up again. 

Man stretching his foot

If any particular exercise is not working out for you, that is perfectly okay; you can just do the others. 


Towel Stretch

  1. Sit on the floor with  your legs flat on the ground pointed out straight in front of you. 
  1. Lean forward, and loop a towel around the bottom of your feet, holding onto either end of it with your hands. 
  1. Pull the towel gently toward you. It will stretch your feet  toward you. Release it. Repeat as needed.


Standing Calf Stretch

  1. Stand with one foot in front of you. Lift your toes up off the ground with that foot, keeping your back foot planted firmly on the floor. The heel of your front foot should also remain in contact with the floor.
  1. Lean forward carefully. Wait 30 seconds, then lean back. Repeat several times.

If you are worried about your balance, do this stretch in front of a wall or chair. 


Plantar Fascia Stretch

There are a number of ways to stretch the plantar fascia, but here is an easy one using a tennis ball:

  1. Seat yourself on a chair.
  1. Put a tennis ball on the floor, and place your foot on top of it.
  1. Roll the ball around using your foot for a few minutes. 

If you do not have a tennis ball, you can substitute another rollable object. For example, a rolling pin can work great, as can a bottle with ice in it.

Tendonitis is an inflammatory condition, so the coolness of the ice can be very soothing and may help to reduce some of the pain and swelling. You can always put other objects in the freezer for a while before use as well if you want to cool them down. 


Ankle Flexion

This exercise is almost exactly like the towel stretch. But instead of using a towel, you use a resistance band. And you do not have to lean forward to reach; you can sit upright. The steps are otherwise exactly the same. You might prefer this exercise if you have difficulties leaning forward. 


Heel Raises

  1. Stand in front of a chair and hold onto the back of it.
  1. Rise up on your tiptoes.
  1. Lower yourself back down. Repeat as many times as suits you.

You can also do this exercise standing on the edge of a raised surface, like a curb or step, with your heels over the edge; this gives you a wider range of motion for your feet. But only do this if you will not lose your balance. 

If possible, try to do it where you have something you can hold onto—but keep in mind that may not prevent you from falling over backwards. You could have someone spot you—or just stick with doing it on flat ground to avoid this possibility. 


Toe Extensors

  1. Sit in a chair. Put one foot on the floor, and raise the other up over your knee.
  1. Use your hand to gently pull your toes up and back.
  1. Hold for a few seconds, then release.

While you are holding your toes back, you can use your other hand to massage your arch. 


Hamstring Wall Stretch

  1. Find a doorway where you can lie on your back.
  1. Keeping one leg flat on the floor in front of you, raise up the other along the doorframe, straightening it as you go. 
  1. Once your leg is straightened (likely at around a 45 degree angle to your body), hold the position.
  1. Bring your leg back down. Now, switch and do it with your other leg. Go back and forth a few times.

Woman stretching her legs up against the wall

Can Shoes Improve Peroneal Tendonitis Symptoms?

The gentle peroneal tendonitis exercises we discussed above do not require you to walk. As we mentioned before, you should avoid too much repetitive motion as well while you heal from peroneal tendonitis. But you are going to need to do some degree of walking just to go about your daily life. 

One thing that can help you to minimize the stress on your feet and ankles and manage your symptoms as you do is wearing suitable footwear.

We recommend Cadense Original Adaptive Shoe for men and women. These shoes feature patented variable friction technology.

Woman wearing light blue adaptive shoes

What this technology does is allow you to move across obstacles without having to lift your foot up high. If your peroneal tendonitis is making it difficult for you to raise your feet while you walk, this feature will help you move in a safer and more natural way across a variety of different types of terrain.

Additionally, these shoes are designed with ample support, ensuring that they are ideal for a range of wearers with different foot shapes and arch heights. The sensation of walking in them truly does compare to walking on a cloud. Chances are high you will want to continue walking in them after your peroneal tendonitis heals. 


Frequently Asked Questions

You are now familiar with some of the best exercises for peroneal tendonitis. But you may still have some additional questions. To wrap up this post, let’s answer a few frequently asked questions about peroneal tendonitis. 

What is the fastest way to cure peroneal tendonitis?

Start with icing your tendon for acute inflammation and resting. You can reduce inflammation by taking NSAIDs. Applying heat may help in some cases of chronic inflammation. Afterwards, you can begin physical therapy with gentle exercises and stretches. Bracing and compression may also be helpful. Your doctor might prescribe you a steroid treatment as well if the pain is severe or if the problem has been chronic.


What aggravates peroneal tendonitis?

Try to avoid over-engaging in the same repetitive motions that led to the injury in the first place. For example, if running caused the injury, avoid running until the injury heals. You can still walk, but try not to overdo it. You should also try to keep your ankles aligned when you are sitting so you do not cause further aggravation. 


How long does it take for a peroneal tendon strain to heal?

It can take up to several weeks for a peroneal tendon strain to heal. If you are also experiencing peroneal neuropathy, take a look at these natural treatment ideas.

Try to be patient, and avoid returning to your regular activities at full steam ahead until you are well-healed. If you try to go back to walking or running like you were before the injury, you probably will just keep re-straining it and extending the healing process. 


Is it okay to massage peroneal tendonitis?

Yes, a gentle massage may help to boost circulation and ease the symptoms of peroneal tendonitis. A really aggressive massage should be avoided, however. Use common sense, and communicate clearly with your massage therapist. If anything they are doing is causing intense or unusual pain, let them know immediately to stop. 

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