Peroneal Tendonitis/Foot tendonitis

So, on feb 19th, despite my foot feeling slightly achey, I thought it'd be safe to take part in a cross country race which I was competing in. Although I have run with achy feet in the past, after the race, I could barely walk as the hilly and uneven terrain aggrivated whatever was wrong with my right foot image

After seeing a physiotherapist, I was told I had peroneal tendonitis and that it would probably last for 3-6 weeks. However, despite being able to walk properly now and everything, I still have a dull ache left in my foot and the pain is constantly moving! I haven't been for a run now in almost 10 weeks and I'm majorly depressed image I had to miss out on a half marathon which I had been training for and I have another one in June but at this rate, I doubt I'm gonna make this one either!

 Has anyone out there ever experienced foot pain/peroneal tendonitis? And if so, how did you recover from it?? Really desperate for some positive stories - at the moment this injury feels never ending image

 Thanks guys!



  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    Tendonitis is frustrating.  Tendons take a long time to heal because they don't have much of a blood supply.  Not sure where your area of pain is but from my experience:

    • Find someone who can do deep tissue manipulation of the area e.g. sports injury therapist 
    • Keep the area warm and the tendon gently stretched, and try to avoid resting it too much.  If you can run without acute pain I would try to, but at a much lower intensity than normal.
    • Avoid actions that contract the tendon
    • Be patient

    Sorry it's a bit general.  I had tendonitis in the achilles and along the top of the (same) foot for a total of 15 months, including all of 2011, but they are both now completely healed.  I posted my story on here a couple of months ago.  Wasn't able to train much but just about managed to complete all my events including a 100-miler.

  • thank you ever so much for your reply!

    15 months though?! jeeeez. that's agesimage i hope mine doesn't last that long. I've been warned my doctors that if I were to run on my foot, it'd make the injury worse and I don't want to end up with something chronic so I'm too scared to run on it to be honest. Didn't you find running made it worse at all? Do you get any problems with your achilles now? I'm scared that once I do recover, I'll end up getting the same injury again, swear foot injuries are the worst!

     Thanks again for your reply - and congrats on completing all your events! I'm gonna read your story image x

  • I'm going to agree with T Rex, basically. I had extensor & peroneal tendonitis a year or so ago. Rest didn't help (six weeks complete rest to sort out the concurrent stress fracture, and the tendons were no better). What -did- work was physiotherapy, including painful work on the muscles those tendons come from, and LOTS of stretching and strengthening exercises. Toook me four months from the original injury to get back to running, but 367 days after the injury I ran a 50K, so... I massage my lower legs in the evening after every run now, as well as doing my stretching etc.
  • So  did you not run for a whole 4 months, Debra? And did you wait until there was no pain left in the foot at all until you began running again?

    My physio has advised me to massage with my fingers the side of my leg where the pereoneal muscle is but I don't feel like that's doing anything image especially as the pain from the injury is translated into my foot - can't feel it in the side of my leg above my foot at all despite my physio insisting that it feels tight!

     I'm also worried about losing loads of my fitness - was it hard to get back into running after 4 months? Please say no! I've been swimming 5 times a week and riding my bike everywhere to help to try and maintain some fitness. I hope I don't have to start back at square one again with the running and find it really difficult image


  • Emma, if you try massaging/pressing on the muscles on both legs at the same time with the same amount of pressure, just to the outside of your shin bone, you should be able to feel that the injured side is tighter - work all the way up to you knee on the outside of the leg - it was just below the knee that mine hurt. If you don't think it hurts, try using a rolling pin like a foam roller on one side then the other (i.e. put the rolling pin on the ground and roll your leg along it using your own body weight to push your leg into the rolling pin) - you should feel a difference then!

    I didn't run from mid-February to near the end of May. I think I wasn't allowed to run until the pain had gone - or gone except for the odd is it/isn't it? twinge. I kept positive by volunteering at my local parkrun. Luckily I was able to keep cycling (as a means of transport, mainly - I don't cycle for fun). Since you've been swimming and cycling, your general fitness should be fine.

    Getting running again -will- take some time but not the same as starting without having run before. Looking back at my running diary, I re-started with 20 mins twice a week, gently, on grass (orders from physio). Two weeks later it was up to 30 mins three times a week. After six weeks, I'd reached one hour for my Sunday long run and by 11 weeks, 90 minutes for that run. I then just kept on increasing (with occasional drop-down weeks) all the way to my 50K in February.

  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    If you can't find my story I'll try to find it and boing it for you.

    Low intensity running did not make the injury worse, rather the opposite.  Forcing myself to keep moving with a proper running action was a vital part of the recovery process.  Resting I found to be actually harmful.

    It is unlikely that you will have the courage to massage yourself hard enough for the ideal treatment you need. This was certainly the case with the achilles, and also the extensor longus, for both of which I had regular deep tissue massages with my sports injury therapist.  The pain was immense and at first took several days to recover from each time.  I interspersed short runs between my visits, which also took several days to recover from at first.  Massage starts with the muscles connected to the tendon (in my case the calf) before finishing off around the tendon itself.  In the soft tissues all sorts of scar tissue builds up - "crystals" - which need breaking down and dispersing.

    If the area is inflamed and swollen treatment is a very slow process but eventually you get there.

    But bit by bit I improved but it did take 15 months altogether for the achilles tendonitis to clear up.  Bad foot now as strong as the other one with not even a hint of trouble.

    My Dr said AT "comes when it feels like it, and goes when it feels like it, regardless of what you do. You might as well resume your normal level of activity."  I didn't like to tell him that my "normal level of activity" he might not regard normal!!

  • thank you both ever so much again for your replies! I've been so depressed over these past couple of months - this injury feels never ending! image

    Debra - did you find that your injured foot felt constantly heavy and achy? That's what mine feels like! And the pain always moves around my foot too - it's mainly achy underneath the foot on the arch, but it sometimes hurts midfoot on top as well.

    Also, did you ever use the eliptical trainer whilst injured? Although my physio advised it was safe, my podiatrist advised me against using it as I reported it made my foot ache more after using it image but then again, my physio said my foot was gonna ache no matter what I did so I don't know whether or not to use it anyway!

    T-Rex - that's really encouraging that you were still able to run with your achilles tendonitis! Did you just wait until it had reached the point whereby you could walk normally but it just constantly hurt? That's the stage I'm at at the moment anyway!


  • Emma, I'm trying to think back. Achy I think yes - in that when the pain finally went it was a real "Oh! - That's what not hurting feels like - I'd forgotten." But I don't think like you're describing, and my pain was in specific places. Midfoot on top of the foot sounds like either extensor tendons or a pressure point (e.g. from laces) - the other possibility is of course a metatarsal stress fracture, but I presume you've had that ruled out? My peroneal tendonitis was more on the outside of the foot, where the tendon attaches to the fifth metatarsal bone; I also had the extensor tendonitis affecting the tendons on the top of the foot. Complete story dotted around the thread called "Possible Tarsal stress fracture" started by Magpie37 on 09/04/2011 - I came in as the third post on page 2 - you might find it useful.

    Never used an elliptical trainer - don't have access to a gym.

  • Well my physio's examined my foot and I've had x-rays and everything and there's no fracture there. It's just generally achy all over but my physio and podiatrist are adament that it's peroneal tendonitis. Maybe people get affected differently depending on the severity of it? But thanks for the recommendation, i'll read that forum image did you find that the pain went away gradually or it just suddenly seemed to go at once? I feel like this injury is never ending because the pain always seems the same to me! Thanks again for your replies!


  • Hey guys just an update on the foot situation! I went to my physiotherapist today and she says that there's no more tightness in the peroneal muscle but she could feel some tightness in the bottom of my foot so she massaged that for a while - she's now recommended that I re-introduce running again despite the fact that the pain's still there. I'm really scared that this will make it worse though! She's convinced though that the pain will be there regardless of whether or not I run so it's just a matter of time to let it heal. What do you guys think about this? In particular to you T-Rex - as I remember you saying you still continued to run with your achilles tendonitis?

    Lemme know your thoughts!


  • Emma, I have had achilles, peroneal and patellar tendonitis' whilst training for my first marathon (London) this year - so frustrating!! I took 1-2 weeks off running with each. I found the ibruprofen gel to be fantastic. And keep stretching the foot/anke/leg. I physically couldn't run when I first got it, so was sensible and took the time off, but still on my first run or two back each time it did hurt a bit, but it definitely eased. I saw a sports medicine doctor, and he reminded me of the importance of proper stretching and weight training if you are running a lot, as I had just been running and running and running but nothing else!! I had about 6 injury-free weeks before the marathon, in which I reduced my running sessions from 6 to 4 times a week, and did 2 gym sessions (with weights etc) and 2 swim sessions. I finished the marathon, in 3.28, so not too bad despite what felt like continuous injury. Stick in xx

  • Emma, tightness in the bottom of the foot souns more like plantar fasciitis to me? In which case I think many people do return to running and just cope with the pian. That seems to clear up when it wants to, from what other people have told me... Sorry I can't be more helpful; my injury was obviously different. However, I know that if the physio had told me I could run I would have run, pain or no pain...

  • Thank you both for your replies! Yaz - did you run the marathon with your foot still aching then? Did running make the ache worse at all? I just hope I've reached the stage now where I can run (even if it hurts) without it getting worse. I've been doing other exercise whilst I've had this injury such as swimming, cross training and cycling and my foot aches even more afterwards but I guess that's inevitable seeing as I'm putting pressure on the affected area. And Debra - think there is some tightness in the plantar fasciia - I've been massaging the arch with a rolling pin/ice bottle of water so I hope that helps!

    Just don't want to make my foot any worse - these past 3 months have been a nightmare!

    Thanks again for both your replies!


  • Hi guys, interesting threads, I started running 10th Jan 2012 as part of my New Years resolution to loose weight ! Good news I have reduced my weight from 15st 10, to 14st 4lb. I`m a 39 year old 6foot bloke. My best 10k is now at 43.10. However 2 weeks ago BAM !!! my regular 10k was done and my left Achllies was so painful and I could hardly walk !!! My regular training pattern upto that point was 10k each day Mon - Fri on a treadmill, Weekends off to rest. (no problems whatsoever) I have done the RICE bit and have attempted a couple of runs over the past 2 weeks, alhough pain is still present it is bareable and I can notice the difference, so I guess as per T-Rex, moderate, sensible activity is good for recovery. I hear what you say, it is depressing when you get the `Running Bug` and you feel all your hard work is slipping by as each day passes. Another thing I was ignorant to, was the fact that I had`nt replaced my running shoes, they look brand new (never been outside with them) but if you work the Maths out and add up the distance I have covered, they should have been replaced by now and perhaps they could be a factor in the injury occurring? Just a thought? 

    I`m sure over time, your problem will resolve itself, happy running!

  • Hi guys,

    Sorry to read about all the injuries and the ensuing frustration caused by forced rest.  I ran a marathon last weekend on some very challenging terrain and believe that I am now suffering from peroneal tendonitis.  I have not run since and have been taking Ibuprofen and the affected foot has also been strapped up.  Does anybody now how long it might be until I can start running again?  I know it is very difficult to know and that there seems to be such variation in the above posts.

    It really is very frustrating.  

  • Hi everyone. I've just moved over from the 'plantar fasciitis - whst now?' thread as I have finally, after nearly months, been diagnosed with PTT. I started with an ache under my right arch but then raced a half marathon on it, fully intending to pull out if it hurt, which it didn't. Unfortunately once I stopped I could hardly walk, despite doing a pb. 6 weeks it went to might left foot. Over the last 2 months it has also felt very uncomfortable under the inside of both ankle bones. I never had heel pain and was convinced all along that it wasn't PF.

    As I mentioned my feelings were confirmed last week when I finally got to see the Podiartist. He told me to get back to cycling (which I had been advised to stop) and not wear flat shoes but slight heels - yippee! I guess the symptoms of the two conditions are similar anyway and I've been doing lots of stretching, rolling etc.

    It's now been ten weeks since I even attempted a run and I'm a bit better than I was, but not hugely! I was interested to hear of others running whilst suffering from tendonitus. I'm waiting for an ultra sound scan to check that there isn't any tearing but then I'm considering trying a gentle jog on a field. Emma, are you recovered now? Did you try to run whilst still feeling discomfort or did you wait for the pain to go completely?
  • 5 months that is! Sorry - typing in on an iPhone!

  • I have been suffering from foot pain since May -  I have tried resting it and it still felt the same,  I have joined the gym and tried cycling, swimming and cross trainers.  Sometimes it hurts worse sometimes the same but it is not getting better.  I have had it diagnosed as PF but I feel it is PTT.  It is so frustrating after 8 years to not be running.   If I could see a light at the end of the tunnel it would help.   The pain under my foot is a soreness, not a stabbing pain.  My foot doesnt feel worse first thing in the morning but wearing trainers is so uncomfortable.  If anyone has any advice It would be great.  I have read some of the above so I am tempted to visit a Podiatrist?

  • Hi Louise. Sorry for the late reply. U would definitely recommend seeing a podiatrist, if nothing else just to confirm the diagnosis, although your symptoms sound very like mine. I'm still not running after nearly 6 months and am considering starting back extremely slowly and tentatively. I've just about run out of patience (excuse the pun!) and tbh resting doesn't seem to be helping; there just doesn't seem to be any pattern to my pain. One day it's fine, the next it really hurts. I've fad a scan which has confirmed there is no testing so I may as well; I just need to stop if it becomes worse. Have you tried running at all? Beth
  • Hi Emma. How is your foot now. I am having a similar issue. A couple of weeks ago, after running 13k my foot was in bad shape and hurting exactly where the peroneal tendon is supposed to be located. The pain went away in about 24 hours, so I thought it was okay. But this weekend during my long run, my foot started hurting again and I had to stop after 7k. This time the pain was worse than last time (i couldn't walk without limping that day and next) and now my foot is aching a bit but the acute pain is gone. I am running a 10k race at the end of November and was really keen to train properly for it to run it in a decent time. I should probably forget about my hopes for a PB, but do you think if I give it two weeks, I can get back to training again? What can I do in the meanwhile to make sure the injury does go away? 

    Any insights will be appreciated! 

  • I just posted a new thread because i didnt find anything on tendonitis. But if got tibialis posterior tendonitis. I found that putting my leg in a cold bath (water that i left outside) seemed to help, but i also felt that doing it every day was probably bad for my health. Ive had 10 months off with no luck. Not sure what else has been useful. About to go back and talk to my physiotherapist again and see what he says. And try get some through the NHS as well because its free. 

    I heard somebody say acupuncture almost solved the problem after 4 sessions in 2 weeks. Thanks for the idea about deep massage therapy might start really massaging my leg

  • I just found a site "Athletes Treating Athletes" which has some really good advice and information on self-massage for this and other injuries. Started using their info yesterday and i think it's already helped.

  • Hi! I am a beginner, started regular running this year after 7 years of inactiviy (10k is what I did at that time). After 2 months of running regularly started having problems on my inner rear side of the foot and a bit in the peroneal. Had fisiotherapy and rest for some 3 weeks, just when i was preparing for my 1st half It was very frustrating. The pain did not go completely, and i got tired of resting and slowly resumed training and managed to run the half marathon image

    After it I rested for 2 weeks and the pain was really gone. Resumed training, now focusing on changin running technique, since I had up to then run stepping with my heels instead of the front part of the feet. Not long after, I got pain in the same foot, now in the peroneal area, after a 10k training. After a few days of rest tried again and didnt manage for the pain was intense. Now I feel it even for walking, and I was intending to attend another 21k race in 3 weeks image

    Do you think is due to the transition of technique or is the same previous pain now reflecting on the other side of the foot? Has anyone experienced this?
  • I have/am still suffering, it's been 9 months now and I'm running about 15 miles a week Recently. When I first did it, it hurt a lot at first and then got worse, after 4 days I couldn't walk, and had to check myself into the local minor injury walk in centre. Left on a set of crutches with my chances of doing the Edinburgh marathon in tatters, I gave it three months doing nothing.. And I mean nothing, and then I started with 2 mins walk, 2 mins run with some complete beginners at my local club. Since then I've built up but it's still there, I've kind of accepted that its something that I will have to manage and live with, as I can't imagine it not being there now. I found compression calf socks helped, and loads of post run stretches and ice etc keep it from flaring up. It's bad news though and really hits your confidence as you worry it'll go again whenever you step up a level or run in unfavourable conditions. 

  • I'm in training for a ten miler this coming weekend, I did 8 miles 2 days ago as a final run, the next day I am in total agony with a shooting pain up the outside of my foot, halfway between the heel and the toe. Its reaching my ankle today and I can barely walk on it, ice seems to help and the physio is booked in for 2 days time,  I'm worried it's tendonitis, it doesn't hurt unless I'm weight bearing on it. I guess the run is off..image

    Has anyone else experienced this?  What did you do about it?

  • Hi Claire, first, sympathies. IF it's the tendon, then RICE, ibuprofen (or diclofenac i..e Voltarol if you've got it and it works for you) and try self-massage of the peroneal muscle on the outside of the leg. HOWEVER, a major differential is a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone (the one that footballers get - runners more often get stress fracturs of the 2nd or 3rd metatarsal, but fifth is not unknown), so be careful. Good luck.

  • Hi Debra, thanks for your reply and advice, I rested, iced, voltarol'd and swore for 2 days and went to the physio this morning, she was very helpful and thinks I've overdone the road running in preparation for the race, for which I have pulled out of.  The good news is, a stress fracture and tendonitis have been ruled out, so I will choose another race and train a bit more conservatively this time!  Thank you!


  • Hi Claire,

    I seem to have pain in the same place you did, outside of left foot and below the ankle towards the little toe.

    It really hurts when running and get worse until i stop then is sore for several days.  I have booked to see a podiatrist on Friday but just wandering how you got on and what did they actually diagnose your injury as?

  • Hi all,

    Am listening to your stories and can only imagine how frustrating it is to not be able to use your bodies the way you want. 

    I think it's important to note that pain is the bodies way of telling us that something is not right. Muscles don't get tight for no reason. Usually it's because they have to work extra hard to compensate for other muscles which aren't doing their jobs properly. So you can massage and stretch that muscle but unless you address the root cause that muscle will get tight again.

    Tendonitis is a real condition but again there has to be a root cause of the problem. Our bodies are built to run and jump and climb and withstand constant impacts on a daily basis without breaking down.


    The root cause very often is that there is some misalignment in your posture, and kinetic chain, so that you are not using your hips, knees, ankes and feet the way they were designed too. Basically, they are out of position so that when you run or walk or cycle certain tissues are becoming overworked, chronically strained and 'give out'.

    Stand in front of the mirror and see if your feet and also your knee caps point straight ahead or do they face in or outwards at an angle. 

    They should point straight ahead. Them being at an angle means the legs will not operate as they were designed to.

    Also, stand up and close your eyes. Do you feel the weight evenly balanced on both feet and evenly on each foot? Or is one side more dominant and is the weight more on the inside or outside of the foot? Again, if it's not evenly balanced it's a sign of dysfunction.

    Muscles determine the position of the bones so it might indicate that there is an imbalance in your hip muscles which ultimately position the knee and the rest of the leg.

    The body is designed to take a lot of impact and cope with it. But if it is not being used correctly, over the years we lose this ability and finally the body says no more and gives you pain as a sign.

    Putting on straps, or changing sports, or altering your running pattern might help temporarily, but often, the pain returns even with your reduced activity either in the same location or somewhere else, as you haven't addressed the root cause.

    Go see someone who can address your posture to give you a permanent solution. Either an Alexander Technique practitioner, a switched on Pilates Instructor or a Postural Alignment Specialist.

    Take care and feel free to ask me any questions.

    Ameet Bhakta

    Postural Alignment Specialist


  • Ive have been using bfst by king brand healthcare for roughly 2 months now and I am seeing great pain relief and less flair ups. I found this site and this post in particular extremely helpful, and just had to pass along my findings to other runners




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