Pain at the Back of the Ankle? It Could Be Peroneal Tendonitis
Does pain at the back of your ankle that radiates out to the outside of your foot have you wincing in pain? You may be suffering from inflammation of a tendon at the back of the foot, called peroneal tendonitis. The good news is with a little bit of stretching and simple exercises, along with other treatment methods, you can be back on your feet in no time.
What is Peroneal Tendonitis?
Peroneal tendonitis is a condition where the peroneal tendons located on the sides of your lower leg/upper foot become agitated and inflamed. This inflammation of the tendons is often accompanied by pain and swelling in the affected area that may make it uncomfortable to walk or rotate the ankle.
Peroneal tendonitis may also cause pain behind the ankle bone and at the arch of the foot. This is because the peroneal tendons are located around the ankle and help your foot to bend and rotate.
Below you will find all of the information you need to help you determine if you may be experiencing peroneal tendonitis and what you can do to help ease the discomfort while you wait to see a qualified medical professional.
What Causes Peroneal Tendonitis?
There are a variety of different situations that may cause peroneal tendonitis, however, the condition is mostly caused by straining the ankle or lower leg in some way.
Peroneal tendonitis is most commonly brought on as a result of regular, sustained walking or running. This is because running and walking cause the foot to roll out in a way that may encourage the tendons to pull away from the bone uncomfortably. As a result, many athletes and regular runners, in particular, are prone to developing this condition.
Workers who stand in one location regularly (especially on unsupportive flooring) are also likely to experience issues with the peroneal tendons.
This uncomfortable straining could also be a result of direct trauma to the ankle or upper foot region. Soccer players, ice skaters, basketball players, and even equestrians are at risk for moving their feet in ways that could bring on peroneal tendonitis.
Outside of peroneal tendonitis brought on by physical activity, some people generally have weak ankles that may contribute to the likelihood of stressing the tendons near the ankle bone in their feet.
In this case, something as simple as briefly losing your footing on the stairs could be enough to spark a case of peroneal tendonitis.
How Do You Cure Peroneal Tendonitis?
The most important thing you can do to help yourself recover from a bout of peroneal tendonitis is to allow your legs, ankles, and feet some time to rest.
This tendon strain and inflammation were brought on by overuse (or misuse), so it stands to reason that putting your feet and legs through any additional unnecessary strain will simply make the condition worse rather than better.
The peroneal tendons help specifically with bearing your weight and helping with stability. These tendons go a long way towards securing the strength of your arches and ankles. If you do not give them enough care and time to heal after being strained, you risk causing yourself more issues in the future.
To get some relief from the pain, you can like take over-the-counter pain medicine or apply a cold compress. If you find that the symptoms of peroneal tendonitis are not alleviated with rest and basic pain medications, you will want to seek the evaluation of a qualified podiatrist to make sure that you have not sustained a fractured ankle or severely injured tendon.
How to Avoid Peroneal Tendonitis
The most important thing you can do to avoid agitating your peroneal tendons is to listen to your body and be aware of your boundaries when it comes to physical activity. This condition is most often brought on by people pushing themselves too far physically which results in complications that prevent the comfortable execution of basic movements.
In short, you do not want to run too hard and then end up not being able to walk. That being said, you will want to ensure that you are doing everything you can to take care of your feet and legs when you know you are engaging in an activity that may cause some strain to those parts of your body.
Stretching before exercising (especially running, hiking, or even taking an easy stroll on the treadmill) is fundamental for avoiding any undue strain on the feet and legs.
Get in the habit of dedicating some time each day to gently stretching out those parts of your body that you use most often (namely those hard-working feet and ankles!). This can help you develop strength in your feet and ankles that will help you in going about your day or engaging in your favorite pastimes.
Not only should you strive to make sure that your feet and ankles are well-prepped for going about your daily routine, but you should also ensure that they are well cared for throughout the day.
This primarily comes in the form of buying quality, supportive shoes. The type of shoe that will suit you best differs from person to person depending on the particular needs of your feet, profession, and interests. However, be sure that whatever shoes you choose that there is adequate arch support and are designed to be used for the activities you do most often.
If you find that you may not be able to afford a new pair of supportive shoes that fits your lifestyle, you may want to look into investing in some insoles, especially custom orthotics, for a pair of shoes you already own. This simple modification may save you some series of discomfort down the line.
If you are someone with genetically inclined weak ankles, you might also consider investing in ankle braces for daily wear. Wearing braces on your ankles can provide an extra layer of stability that may help you from rolling your ankle or foot out in a way that will cause the peroneal tendons (and the rest of your foot and ankle) stress.
Be sure to consult your podiatrist about the best treatment plan for you and your feet, as well as brand and specific support recommendations.
To request an appointment with a podiatrist at Triad Foot & Ankle Center, click here or call 336-375-6990.
Disclaimer: The information and other content provided in our blogs, videos, or in any other content or linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For a full disclaimer, please click here.