Peroneal tendonitis—also known as peroneal tendinopathy—can be life changing. You can’t stay off your feet for that long unless you work from home. And even then, there’s no way to effectively stay off your feet long enough to allow the tendons to heal naturally.
So if you’re looking for ways to ease the pain and inflammation, you might want to try massage for peroneal tendonitis. It’s easy and accessible to everyone, and you can do it almost anywhere and at any time.
You have nothing to lose by trying it, and it could be the one thing that helps enough to prevent a doctor’s visit. Once you know these techniques, you can effectively ease the pain in your peroneal tendons whenever needed.
Does Self Massage Help Peroneal Tendonitis?
When done right, massage can help peroneal tendonitis. Going to a physiotherapist can be extremely helpful, but learning how to do self-massage can give you a valuable tool whenever you need instant relief.
For peroneal tendonitis, much of the massage will center on the lower leg muscles. This will release tension around the lower legs, easing pain and inflammation in the peroneal tendons.
Benefits of Massage Therapy
Massage therapy has multiple benefits, whether you go to someone else or you do it yourself. Here are some of them you can expect:
- Improved circulation in your ankles and feet
- Increased range of motion of your tendons
- Reduced pain in the massaged area
- Increased relaxation
- Accessible for everyone
- Easy to do anywhere and at any time
5 Self Massage Techniques for Peroneal Tendonitis
Ready to learn massage for peroneal tendonitis? Here are the top 5 self-massage techniques for relieving peroneal tendonitis.
Transverse Friction Massage
Find the area on the peroneal tendon that’s painful. This is where you want to focus your massage. For this technique, you want to apply the pressure of the massage perpendicular to the tendon.
The tendon runs down your lower leg, so apply pressure across the ankle, from left to right or right to left. You should apply enough pressure that you certainly feel it on the tendon, but not so much that you can’t stand it.
Rub back and forth for two to five minutes on the painful tendon. Starting slowly is a good idea because it may be painful initially.
Trigger Point Therapy
It’s important to note that this massage technique is applied on the peroneal muscle and not the tendon. In some cases, the pain in the tendon comes from tightness in the muscle, so this is a valuable technique to have in your arsenal.
The key here is to find the knot in the peroneal muscle, known as the trigger point. You want to place direct pressure on this point using your knuckle or a massage ball.
After 30 to 60 seconds of holding the pressure, you’ll feel the knot release. If it doesn’t, you may want to press a little harder. Don’t attempt this on a tendon or bony area of the ankle, though.
Plantar Foot Massage
It’s also worth learning plantar massage, as a tight plantar fascia can contribute to foot and ankle pain. You can use your hand if you want to, but the best way to target the plantar fascia is to use a massage ball.
Place a massage ball or lacrosse ball on the floor and roll your foot over it, pressing harder in the painful areas.
If you don’t have a ball, you can sit on a chair, rest your affected leg on top of your other knee, and use your thumbs to massage the underside of your foot.
Tight calf muscles can sometimes lead to pain and inflammation in the peroneal tendons. Using a myofascial release technique on your calf muscles can help.
You can either start by the knee and work your way down or at the ankle and work your way up. Apply a slightly uncomfortable pressure and move up or down, depending on where you start.
If you find any sore points, do deeper-pressure trigger point therapy. Massage for anything from one to 10 minutes, depending on how you feel. You can also use a foam roller for a deeper calf muscle massage.
Deep Tissue Massage
Massaging deeply into the lower leg’s muscle helps break up existing scar tissue that may be contributing to the pain. It can also release pain-relief hormones, which can make a big difference.
Here’s an easy technique. Place your hands around your leg so your thumbs can reach the muscles on the sides of the lower leg. Press into these muscles deeply with your thumbs, performing trigger point therapy and transverse friction massage.
Move up or down the leg, depending on where you start. You can do this for 5 to 10 minutes, or as long as it feels comfortable. Your muscles should feel looser and your peroneal tendons should feel less painful.
Tips for Self-Massage for Peroneal Tendonitis
Want to do your own massage for peroneal tendonitis? Follow these tips to do it effectively and without making the pain worse.
Tip 1: Start Slowly
If it’s your first time doing self-massage, you need to take it slow and determine your ideal pressure. Press too hard upfront, and you’ll bruise yourself and possibly cause more pain.
Start slowly and get a feel for it. The more you do it, the better you’ll get at it, and your peroneal tendons will feel.
Tip 2: Use Ice to Reduce Swelling
If your peroneal tendons—and the surrounding tissues—are swollen, ice them first to relieve the swelling. Massaging swollen tissues can worsen the pain and inflammation, so be patient and wait until the swelling has gone down.
Tip 3: Massage the Tendon and Surrounding Muscles
Even if you don’t have muscle pain, it’s a good idea to massage both the tendon and the surrounding muscles.
This will loosen up everything in the area, so nothing could be overlooked and continue to cause pain. Don’t forget the plantar fascia here too!
Tip 4: Practice with a Foam Roller
Using a foam roller effectively takes practice. Using one is a great idea, as it’s an easy and effective tool for releasing tension in the calves. But you may need to take some time to work on it before you get it right.
Practicing with a foam roller and a massage ball is a good idea. This will give you the most well-rounded chance of getting all the knots and tension out.
Just like with normal massage, start slow here—going too hard can cause worse pain, while going too fast means you may not be able to get enough pressure.
Tip 5: Stretch the Calf Muscle
Keeping your calf muscles stretched will lower your chances of developing peroneal tendonitis again. Calf muscles easily become stiff and tight, especially if you spend many hours seated.
Stretch your calf muscles regularly, and you may find that your peroneal tendons feel better. Whenever you’re doing self-massage for peroneal tendonitis, including a calf muscle stretch to cover all bases is a good idea.
You can do your own stretching techniques at home daily to keep your muscles loose and comfortable.