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Effective Exercises For Peroneal Dysfunction

The peroneal nerve is a branch of the sciatic nerve that travels down the legs and feet and controls their movement and sensation. Common peroneal nerve dysfunction occurs when there is damage to the peroneal nerve. It can even lead to reduced sensation and movement in the legs and the feet.1

Some of the common causes of peroneal dysfunction include2

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Injuries – fracture of the fibula, knee injury,

Pressure on the knee – prolonged lying down, tight plaster, awkward sleeping postures

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Sitting crossed-legged can cause pressure on the peroneal nerve

People with certain medical conditions like autoimmune disorders, diabetes, or alcohol overuse can increase the risk of peroneal dysfunction.

Treatment of peroneal dysfunction aims at improving stability, and flexibility, and strengthening the leg and foot region. If there is any underlying condition causing peroneal dysfunction that too must be treated. Being aware of the sitting and sleeping posture can help.

Effective Exercises For Peroneal Dysfunction

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A 2022 report states that compression of the peroneal nerve is one of the common causes of falls. As the nerve runs superficially, it is at great risk of pressure and trauma during common activities, so even crossing of legs can cause an injury to it.3

Special care must be taken to protect this condition as peroneal nerve dysfunction can cause recurrent falls and increase the risk of other injuries. Exercises for peroneal dysfunction can help in every way by strengthening the surrounding tissues, and muscles and protecting the foot from trauma.

Some of the best exercises for peroneal dysfunction include the following:

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Calf Stretch – Sit with your legs outstretched in the front. Bring your toes towards you to stretch the calf. Hold this position for 10 seconds and then release. Repeat this 10 times for both legs.

Standing Calf Stretch – This exercise for peroneal dysfunction gives more stretch on the calf than the exercise done in the sitting position. Stand straight facing the wall. Extend one foot in the front with your toes pointing upwards. You can rest your foot on a slope of the base of a chair or a wall. Press on the extended foot to feel the stretch in the calf. Hold this position for 10 seconds and then release. Repeat this 10 times for both legs.

Ankle Rotations – Sit with your legs stretched out in the front. Move your ankles up, down, right, and left, and then rotate them in the clockwise and anticlockwise direction. Perform these movements 10 times with both legs.

Ankle Movements – Sit on a chair and place the foot of one leg on the knee of the other to make a figure 4 in the sitting position. Hold the foot of the bent and gently move the ankle upwards and downwards. Once the movement is free and there is no pain, you can hold the position for 10 seconds to feel the stretch in the leg and then release. This helps to improve ankle flexibility and relieve the tense tissues of the legs and feet.

Towel Stretch – Sit with your legs stretched out in the front. Place a towel around the ball of your foot with one hand and hold the other end with the other hand to form a towel loop. You can also use a resistance band for the same. Flex your toes and gently pull the towel or band towards you to stretch the toes. Hold this position for 10 seconds and then release. Repeat this 10 times.

Balance Exercises For Peroneal Dysfunction:

Here are some of the balance exercises for peroneal dysfunction:

Stand on the floor with both feet placed close together. Slowly raise one leg behind by bending the knee and maintain your balance on one leg on the floor. Hold this for 10 seconds and repeat with the other leg.

Stand on the floor with feet close to each other. Place your hands on your hips. Lift one leg and touch the floor in the front without lifting the other leg. Then move the leg in the front to the extreme right side and touch the floor. Then take it behind to touch the floor and bring it back to its original position. Repeat this 5 times and then do the same with the other leg.

Further, balance training can be done by standing on a balance board or an unstable surface with feet apart.

Some strengthening exercises for peroneal dysfunction also include those for the feet

Toe Squeeze – Place your finger between each of the toes one after the other. When you place a finger, try to squeeze it with the toes as tightly as possible. Hold the squeeze for 10 seconds and then repeat the same with the other toes.

Towel Curl – Sit on a chair and place your feet on one end of a slightly thick small towel or a napkin on the floor. Keep curling your toes to bring the towel closer to you until the other end of the towel is curled by your toes. Repeat this with both legs 10 times.

Marble Pick-Up – Place 10 marbles on the floor and a small bucket next to it. Stand straight and with the help of your toes try to pick up a marble, and put it in the bucket one by one until all the marbles are over. Repeat this with both legs.

Experts believe that peroneal dysfunction or injury to the peroneal tendon may be linked with an ankle sprain and people with cavus foot may be more prone to peroneal damage. However, exercises for peroneal dysfunction that include neuromuscular training and balance exercises can help protect the tissues and prevent ankle injuries.

References:

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