Peroneal Tendonitis Taping – All you need to know
What if there is a pain that does not seem to fit into any of the most common running injuries like knee or the Achilles tendon injury? What if the pain is on the outside of the ankle and your lower leg? There is a high chance that this pain is caused by peroneal tendon damage called peroneal tendonitis or peroneal tendinopathy.
Peroneal tendonitis or tendinopathy is a relatively rare and unpleasant condition. Because they are rare and not well-known, peroneal tendon injuries are often misdiagnosed and get worse without a proper treatment.
What are the functions of the peroneal tendons?
- The primary function of peroneal tendons is eversion – outward roll of the foot.
- Their second function is plantar flexion of the foot (foot pointing downward).
- They also stabilize the arch, especially during weight-bearing activities like walking and running.
Is there a difference between peroneal tendonitis and tendinopathy?
Peroneal tendonitis is a common term for peroneal tendinopathy. Tendonitis actually means inflammation of the tendon. However, inflammation is actually a rare cause of tendon pain. Most pain comes from degeneration and scarring.
Initially, the tendon will react to stress with inflammation. In an attempt to manage the increase in stress more efficiently, the peroneal tendons become thicker.
However, after a longer period of time, the tendons start to degenerate. This degeneration is also known as tendinosis and may ultimately lead to rupture.
What are the symptoms of peroneal tendonitis?
This pain can start during or after the weight-bearing activities. Initially, the pain is absent during rest. However, it may progress to the point where the pain is present even when not active.
Because of the irritation a of the tendon and the surrounding tissues, the skin above the affected area can be red and warm.
What are the causes of peroneal tendinopathy?
Peroneal tendinopathy is primarily an overuse injury, caused by the repetitive stress on the tendon. It is often seen in individuals who participate in sports that involve repetitive ankle motion like running, football, basketball etc.
The are many contributing factors that can lead to the peroneal tendinopathy like high arched, supinated feet, ankle sprains, tight calf muscles, inadequate shoes etc.
- High arched, supinated feet
Peroneal muscles and tendons work harder to reduce the supination by pronating the foot, causing more stress on the peroneal tendons.
- Ankle sprains
Peroneal tendon injury can be caused at the time of injury or due to an unstable ankle after injury.
- Tight calf muscles
Tight calf muscles cause a more rapid transfer of stress onto your midfoot during running and therefore increase stress on the peroneal tendons too.
How to treat peroneal tendinopathy?
RICE therapy consists of rest, ice, compression and elevation. This therapy is aimed at reducing the stress on the tendon and allowing the irritated tendon to settle and heal.
You should avoid any physical activity that can aggravate the injury until the pain has gone.
Once the pain has decreased, you should also consider:
The aim of exercises is to reduce the stress on the peroneal tendons. This will speed up healing process and slow down the progression of this medical condition.
On this site you can find some of the best exercises for peroneal tendonitis.
Massages can be applied to muscles or tendons. They reduce muscle tension and stimulate healing in the tendons.
- Wearing a supportive shoes, orthotics and insoles
The point of supportive shoes, orthotics and insoles is to offload the stress on the outside of the ankle. They are especially helpful if the cause of peroneal tendonitis is abnormal foot shape.
If you’re not sure which shoes you should buy, I’ve compiled a list of best shoes for peroneal tendonitis which you can check on this site.
Ever since the adoption of kinesio tapes by many athletes, the usage of taping has become more popular among regular people. They are easy to apply, reduce swelling and pain, support the ankle and control the motion of the tendons.
What is peroneal tendonitis taping?
Peroneal tendonitis taping is a method in which athletic tape is applied directly to the skin of the ankle, feet and lower foot in an adequate way, in order to stabilize the position of corresponding bones, muscles and joints.
This taping will support and reduce stress on the peroneal tendon and support the ankle during activity. It can be used as a treatment or prevention.
Different types of tape
Not all athletic tapes work the same way. They usually differ in form and function. Most of them are non-elastic, giving you rigid support and greater immobilization. However, not all injuries require the same level of immobilization. That is why you should know about different types of tapes and their function.
1. Rigid tape
Rigid tape is stiffer and is better for a greater reduction of movement. It is usually used in combination with an under tape. Under tape is kinder to skin and goes underneath the rigid tape.
2. Elastic tape
Elastic tapes are used when you want to restrict movements during injuries, but still want to have a certain amount of motion that is in a healthy range. They give you more flexibility when applying it to your skin, muscles and joints.
3. Cohesive bandages
Cohesive bandage is a type that doesn’t contain glue. It is usually used for wrapping around a muscle or joint. Cohesive bandages give additional compression and immobilization.
4. Kinesiology tape
This type of tape is also known as kinesio tape, K tape or KT. They’ve become more popular in the past couple of years because of their usage by many athletes.
Difference between conventional athletic taping and kinesiology taping
There are two types of athletic taping – kinesiology taping and conventional athletic taping. These techniques differ in method of application and function.
The point of conventional taping is to provide greater support and limit motion in an injured joint and muscles. Therefore, it is usually used for more severe injuries, where immobilization is necessary.
The downside of this taping is that it creates compression on injured tissues, limiting both blood and lymphatic circulation and slowing down the healing process. That is why it should be used only for a short period of time.
Kinesiology taping, kinesio taping or k taping
This method uses kinesio tapes that are very thin and elastic. They have hypoallergenic acrylic adhesive that prevents skin irritations.
Kinesio tapes can be applied in more than one way. The tapes can be applied over the injured area or along the borders of it. That way you can prevent unhealthy movements but still allow motion within healthy limits.
Because of their elastic properties, most kinesio tapings can be worn longer in comparison to other types of tapes. If applied properly, they can be worn 3 to 5 days.
What are the benefits of peroneal tendonitis taping?
If the taping is done correctly, it can:
- Assist the healing process of peroneal tendons by offloading the stress on the outside of the ankle, peroneal and calf muscles and tendons
- Allow an earlier return to everyday and physical activities
- Prevent further injury progression
Kinesiology taping for peroneal tendonitis – the simplest way of taping
There are various techniques for peroneal taping. Some of them are more complicated and require more than one person for application. They also use different types of tapes or combination of them. However, kinesio taping is much easier to use. I will present to you one of the simplest kinesiology taping techniques for peroneal tendonitis.
For this technique you need two full strips of kinesiology tape.
- First, position the ankle in a 90 degree angle.
- Then, anchor a full strip on the inside heel without stretch on tape.
- After that, apply the tape around the bottom of the heel and up to the point of pain.
- Anchor the second tape on the inside arch without stretch on tape.
- Then, apply the tape around the heel to the outside of the foon.
Peroneal tendonitis is a chronic condition which needs to be treated properly and as soon as possible. During acute manifestation of this medical condition it is really important to rest and give the tendon enough time to heal. However, many people don’t have enough time to rest and continue with their activities too soon. Even if your pain is gone, because it is a chronic and progressive condition, it won’t take a long time for it to come back.
Shoes and orthotics are great for reducing the stress. However, they don’t have any other therapeutic function. Kinesiology taping, on the other hand, have more advantages. They also help with swelling and pain, stimulate blood flow, control the ankle motion and stimulate strengthening of the tendons, muscles and joints.
That is why you should used them in combination with shoes, orthotics and physical rehabilitation. The combination of the above methods will slow down the progression of this condition and get you back on your feet as soon as possible.
I hope that with this text I’ve thought you the basics of peroneal tendonitis and taping for this condition, so the next time you feel the symptoms on the outside of the ankle and foot you will know what to do.
And remember, these are just temporary solutions. Because it is a chronic and progressive condition, you should go to a doctor. They will recommend you the best way to to treat this condition.