How To Cope With Peroneus Tertius Pain ?

Running may lead to various types of injuries, that’s just how it is. As someone who truly enjoys running – and I assume you do, too – I’ve been through my fair share of tendon injuries and muscle aches.

Why am I telling you this?


Because I feel like it's essential for you to know that you're not alone in this – lots of runners around the world experience peroneus tertius pain at some point in their life. And once you become one of them, it's of utmost importance to realize where it comes from (or what caused it) and how to deal with it.

That’s why today’s article contains all the crucial information about peroneus tertius pain. Keep on reading!

First Things First: What Is Peroneus Tertius

Also known as fibularis tertius, the peroneus tertius is a muscle located in the lower part of your leg. The purpose of this particular muscle is double: it allows us to extend or flex our foot at the ankle (which is called dorsiflexion), as well as to tilt the sole of our foot towards (inversion) or away (eversion) from the „midline" of the body.

The lower third portion of your fibula's anterior surface, the lower section of the interosseous membrane, and the intermuscular septum amid it and the peroneus brevis muscle form the fibers from which this muscle arises.

If your previous research mentioned something about a tendon, don't let that confuse you. Even though it's technically a muscle, the peroneus tertius is sometimes referred to as the fifth tendon.

Oh, and here's an interesting fact about this muscle:

It's entirely possible for it to be absent in some people. An estimated 8 percent of the world's population shows an absence of the peroneus tertius muscle.

What Causes Peroneus Tertius Pain?

When a sudden pain in the lower part of your leg (mainly at the front of your leg with a tendency to radiate towards the ankle) interrupts your daily activities, the first thing you want to know is:

What happened?

And if the pain is present in your heel, making it hard to walk and surging with each step, or your ankles feel weak and unstable, what you're experiencing might be peroneus tertius pain.

In the spirit of answering your central question – what caused your peroneus tertius pain – here's a list of the most common causes:

  • Twisting your ankle in a sudden, forceful manner is probably the number one reason for peroneus tertius injury and pain. This type of strain is commonly seen as a result of sport-related injuries.
  • Wearing high heels might put an unnecessary amount of strain on these muscles, and even lead to an injury. Ladies, keep this in mind the next time you try to decide between a pair of flats and high heels.
  • Prolonged immobilization (commonly seen in leg fractures) might result in peroneus tertius pain.
  • I know crossing your legs at the ankles while you're sitting might be comfortable, but if you keep up with this behavior, you're risking peroneus tertius strain, which will only lead to a painful condition.

There are also several risk factors directly related to this type of muscle pain in your lower leg, all of them being medical conditions. If you recognize a state you've been previously diagnosed with on this list, it merely means you're running a higher risk of developing peroneus tertius pain.

Take a look:


If you're dealing with persistent peroneus tertius pain, you should consider buying a new pair of shoes, one that will be able to provide plenty of support and stability to your legs as you walk. If you're not sure where to start your search, you should check out my recommendations for the best running shoes for peroneal tendonitis.

Don't let the title confuse you; even if you don't have peroneal tendonitis, this type of footwear is made to support your feet, thus relieving pain not only in your ankles but your peroneus tertius muscle, as well.

Useful Massage Technique For Peroneus Tertius Pain

If you're dealing with peroneus tertius pain, there are some excellent self-massage techniques you could try. And don't worry if you're not an expert on the topic – I'll guide you through each step, and explain everything in great detail so that the course of the massage could be quickly followed by pretty much anyone.

Without further ado, here are some practical massage techniques you should try out today:

  • Before You Start – First of all, you need to make sure you’re sitting in a comfortable position. Here’s what I mean by that: your legs should be relaxed, with your feet flat on the ground. Also, make sure you’re able to reach them without too much effort.
  • Warming Up The Muscle – Before you move on to the actual massage, you need to warm up your muscle first. So, begin by stroking your lower leg gently, yet firmly, using your middle three fingers of both hands. The movement should start just above your ankle and move all the way up to the outer side of your knee.

Remember to only move your hands upwards, towards your knee. No downward movements! You should repeat that for at least two minutes; as your muscle warms up, you can gradually increase the level of pressure you're putting on with your fingers.

  • Massage Technique 1 – Starting just above the ankle bone, use your thumbs to apply deep pressure to the peroneus tertius muscle. The movement should start in the middle, but as you begin implementing force, your thumbs should travel to the sides of your lower leg, away from each other.
Achilles tendon massage

This movement should be done at least three times, before you move your thumbs up the leg a bit and repeat it three times there, as well. Gradually go all the way to the knee, and remember the three-time rule as you move on with your massage.

  • Massage Technique 2 – Have you identified any tight spots on the lower part of your leg? The technique I'm about to explain will help you relieve the tension, as well as any possible muscle knots that might have formed.

Using your thumb, apply pressure on these knots in a circular motion; you may use the knuckles of your index and middle finger if you find that method easier. 

You should repeat this circular motion ten or so times in each direction; that should be enough to break those muscle knots and relieve tension. You'll undoubtedly be able to feel these spots loosen up as you continue to massage them, so use that as a guide.

Peroneus Tertius Pain: Conclusion

As you can see, peroneus tertius pain is a somewhat common occurrence in the world of avid runners. You're not alone in your struggles, which is always a good thing to hear.

The best advice I could give you is to provide your body time to heal, meaning you'll have to lay off the long runs for the time being. Also, if you're looking for a way to relieve pain, which I'm sure you are, try out the massage techniques I previously mentioned.

If you have additional suggestions on dealing with peroneus tertius pain, feel free to leave a comment in the section below!

Bella Williams

Hi! I'm Bella. I love running. I write this blog to share everyone about running.

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