Perhaps you are an avid and dedicated runner who enjoys nothing but feeling the thrill of running every day. From treadmill workouts to outdoor adventures, you love the burning sensation of your muscles working hard, as well as the rewarding “runner’s high” that you get afterwards once you finish the workout.
That said, maybe you run many miles every day and recently, you have been starting to feel a slight pain coming around your outer ankle. No matter what you do with it—walking, running, even sitting—that annoying feeling does not seem to go away. Little do you know that you have peroneal tendonitis, an injury in which, if not taken into consideration, can worsen over time.
You might be wondering just what is peroneal tendonitis? We are here to help! Learn more in this article on what it is, as well as ways to prevent and treat it. Pretty soon, you will recover and be ready to take on more running obstacles your way.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Essentially speaking, peroneal tendonitis refers to the inflammation of the peroneal tendons, which run along the outside of the ankle to the back of the lower leg. It accounts for much of the calf muscle, as well as the ankle, so it can be especially painful if it is injured.
Just like with other common running injuries like plantar fasciitis, peroneal tendonitis happens when the ankle area is strained or overworked, which then leads to the tearing of microfibers and tissues within the location, thereby weakening the ankle. It is especially common in runners, since they tend to run a lot of miles without getting adequate rest in between workouts.
In addition, running on certain surfaces such as slopes can exacerbate calf muscles, which connect to the peroneal tendons themselves. As a result, the calf muscle becomes tight, which creates a stiffness that can lead to improper running form and subsequently injury, such as that of peroneal tendonitis.
Aside from runners, other athletes like basketball players, even dancers, are susceptible to getting peroneal tendonitis. This is due to the fact that these particular sports (running, basketball, dance) require the use of the ankle and lower leg to stabilize the individual, so that they can do what they want to do, i.e. perform physical activity.
As a consequence, it puts pressure on the ankle, which is otherwise a thin and fragile part of the body meant to support you, and therefore can lead to problems with pain.
In addition, peroneal tendonitis can also occur in individuals who are overweight or otherwise have bad joints. Again, having extra weight or inadequate joints can create pressure on the ankles, which can then lead to improper forms of walking, running, or even just standing.
Really, it is not an ideal situation to be in, for having peroneal tendonitis can be an inconvenience and decrease the quality of living in the individual.
Similar to plantar fasciitis and otherwise stress-induced sports injuries, peroneal tendonitis does not necessarily need to be a permanent problem, but rather that can be easily fixed if you make an effort to do so. That said, we have a few tips to help you prevent and otherwise heal from it:
The first step to recovering from peroneal tendonitis is to cease intense physical activity and let your body rest. Even if you cannot stand the thought of going for more than one day without running, trust us that it will beneficial you over the long term, especially if you want to get back into regular, pain-free running.
At the same time, however, this is not to say you completely stop all activities: you can continue to do some physical exercises, but lightly so. Running might not be an option, but other sports like swimming and cycling are low-impact and keep you in shape while your peroneal tendons recover.
Whereas you might have heard of the term “RICE” for icing injured areas, “PRICE” refers to a combination of protection, rest, ice, compress, and elevate. Applying some pressure to the area with ice can help numb the area and reduce the pain, even if temporarily so.
However, do not let the ice sit on for too long, since over time it can cause more damage than it can actually help.
Granted, your ankle will probably not be in very good shape to be supportive to your body, but all the same, if it is possible, doing some exercises to stretch out and otherwise strengthen the area will be very beneficial for you in the end.
It does not have to be anything fancy: exercises that merely stretch out the ankles or calves work well, as well as doing some light weights to work on resistance training. Besides speeding up recovery, these activities can prevent future injuries from happening.
Just like with ankle sprains, you might want to consider taping your ankles, as means of offering stability and protection to the injured area. Have someone wrap it up for you, as well as take it off from time to time to keep it sanitary and safe.
Sometimes, the pain can be unbearable, so in that case, taking inflammatory drugs can be worth it. Generic brands such as ibuprofen should do the trick, and even though it is only a temporary fix, it can soothe your body as it is in the process of healing.
Overall, having peroneal tendonitis does not necessarily mean the end of your running career. By taking important measures to healing and preventing it from happening in the future, you can be sure to get back on track sooner than later.
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