Peroneal Tendonitis

Hi Everyone!

I was recently diagnosed with peroneal tendonitis on my right foot. I went from consistent mid volume for a couple years to high volume SSBI in July. By mid August I was having some discomfort. Of course I was stubborn and pressed on, but by the first week of September it was very clear that something was wrong.

I’m not looking for medical advice (I finally went to a doctor and am following his instruction; PT will follow), but I was wondering if any users have encountered this issue and what steps were taken to fix the root cause. I’m kinda at a loss.

I took 7 weeks completely off the bike and it definitely helped, but the discomfort came back within my first two rides. I had a bike fit a couple years ago and haven’t changed anything in my equipment or fit between mid and high volume training.

I’m really concerned that this will become a chronic issue and/or will require even more time off the bike (I lost 40+ watts in my 7 weeks off). I tried rowing but had the same issue. Bodyweight exercises seem OK, but anything dynamic (e.g. plyometrics) causes issues. Does anybody have any thoughts on how to keep what fitness I do have? Is one-legged cycling an option?

Sorry for the rambling post. I’m a little frustrated. I’ve really enjoyed my TR experience and don’t want to lose it.

Generally speaking, tendinitis- more accurately tendinopathy- responds to the correct type and amount of loading. Pure rest will stop the symptoms but do little to address the cause.

You need to rebuild capacity in the tendon, and energy storage (so, plyometrics) is the last stage.

There’s lots to say on this topic but I’m a little short of time. Eccentric exercise is your biggest friend here. See a good physio who understands that and follow their prescription. Good luck!

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As for the root cause, you’re looking at excessive compression or excessive loading, or a combination of the two. I am not a physio but pronation seems an obvious mechanism which could cause these things.

I would suggest a good bike fit with a focus on footwear and cleats - I suspect you will be a good candidate for insoles and possibly a shim.

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Thanks for the replies! Yeah, a really weird thing happened in the weeks before my pain began. I started feeling like I was pronating to an almost extreme degree when I would walk around in shoes. Almost like my feet were falling to the inside. I initially thought something was wrong with the shoes, but I switched and got the same results. The pain followed soon thereafter. Since I’ve paused my riding that pronating feeling has all but gone away. I’m searching for a good PT in my area (I wasn’t very impressed with my podiatrist so I’m not sure I want to take a recommendation from him).

If you’re in the south of the UK I know a couple of good physios. Otherwise, send emails. Ask specifically about eccentric exercise protocols for tendinopathy. Discount anyone who says or implies that the problem can be fixed only with massage or rest or any kind of passive treatment modality. Once tendinopathy is established, removing the root cause is not always enough to solve the problem - you need to build capacity back in the tendon.

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Being a runner for a couple of years I had my share of mostly minor overuse injuries. But tendons are stubborn. What I have learned is what you say - rest is not helping with the cause just easing the pain if there is any.

I don’t want to hijack the thread but I would be curious how to solve my problems which all seem to be connected and one of them are peroneus tendonitis flare ups. Nothing to stop me from running or riding but appreciate any tips.

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