Ankle Tendonitis Treatment: Non-Surgical Procedure Options

Ankle tendonitis is characterized by inflammation in the ankle’s tendons. The most commonly affected tendons include 

  • Peroneal tendons on the outside of the ankle,
  • The Achilles tendon on the back of the ankle
  • The posterior tibial tendon on the inside. 

Usually, the condition can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness. In extreme cases, it can lead to chronic ankle instability if left untreated.

That’s why it is important to seek treatment for ankle tendonitis as soon as possible to prevent further damage and promote healing. This article will discuss the non-surgical treatment options for ankle tendonitis. So, without further ado, let’s dive in and understand more about ankle tendonitis.

Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Ankle Tendonitis

While surgery is sometimes necessary to treat severe cases of ankle tendonitis, non-surgical treatment options can help alleviate symptoms and reduce pain and inflammation.

Non-surgical options are often effective for mild to moderate cases of ankle tendonitis and can help patients avoid the risks and recovery time associated with surgery. There are many non-surgical treatments for ankle tendonitis. Let’s look at them below:

  • Rest and Ice Therapy

It’s essential to rest the affected ankle and apply ice to the area to help reduce swelling and pain. Applying ice for 15-20 minutes at a time for the first few days after injury is essential.

  • Physical Therapy

This effective therapy is a common ankle tendonitis treatment option that can help reduce pain and inflammation, improving range of motion and strength. The therapist may use ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and stretching exercises to help alleviate pain and promote healthy well-being.

  • Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

Many medications, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, can reduce pain and inflammation. It’s essential to take these medications as prescribed and under the healthcare professional’s supervision is essential.

  • Orthotic Devices

Several orthotic devices, which include braces and shoe inserts, can help support and reduce stress on the affected tendons. These devices may also help improve alignment and reduce the risk of further injury.

Now, let’s discuss the above non-surgical procedures in detail below.

Rest and Ice Therapy

Rest and ice therapy are common treatments for ankle tendonitis. Both therapy components help reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and promote holistic healing.

The first component (rest) involves avoiding activities stressing the ankle, such as running or jumping and resting the ankle for recovery. It may also involve crutches or other supportive devices to alleviate the pressure on the ankle.

The second component (ice) involves applying a cold compress to the affected area for about 20 minutes daily. The cold compress helps reduce inflammation and pain by constricting blood vessels and slowing down the flow of fluids to the area.

Follow the steps below to perform rest and ice therapy for ankle tendonitis:

  1. Rest the ankle by avoiding stressful activities.
  2. Apply an ice pack to the affected area for a considerable time.
  3. Elevate the ankle to reduce inflammation.

Benefits of rest and ice therapy for ankle tendonitis include:

  • Reducing inflammation and swelling in the ankle
  • Relieving pain
  • Promoting healing by reducing stress on the tendon and allowing it to rest and recover.

Physical Therapy

This therapy involves exercises and other techniques to improve mobility, reduce pain, and restore function to injured or weakened body areas.

For ankle tendonitis, physical therapy may involve exercises that help stretch and strengthen the muscles in the ankle’s tendons to improve the range of motion and balance. Some exercises that are recommended for ankle tendonitis include:

  • Calf stretches,
  • Ankle circles,
  • Resistance band exercises,
  • Toe raises,
  • Balance exercises

Benefits of physical therapy for ankle tendonitis include:

  • Improved range of motion and flexibility in the ankle
  • Reduced pain and inflammation
  • Strengthened muscles and tendons in the ankle can help to prevent future injuries.
  • Improved balance and coordination can help reduce the risk of falls and other accidents.

Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs commonly help reduce pain and inflammation by blocking the production of prostaglandins (chemicals that cause inflammation). These medications treat various conditions apart from ankle tendonitis, including arthritis, menstrual cramps, and tendonitis.

Some commonly prescribed NSAIDs for ankle tendonitis include ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin. Your doctor may also suggest a specific NSAID based on your medical history, the severity of your symptoms, and other factors.

The benefits of NSAIDs for ankle tendonitis include reducing pain and inflammation, which can help improve mobility and reduce the risk of further injury. However, you must be cautious while using NSAIDs as they come with certain side effects, such as upset stomach, gastrointestinal bleeding, and kidney damage. 

It is suggested to follow the doctor’s prescriptions when taking NSAIDs and let them know if you experience any side effects.

Orthotic Devices

Orthotic devices are specialized braces that support and protect the feet and ankles. They are commonly used for patients suffering from ankle tendonitis. These devices can help reduce pain, improve mobility, and prevent further injury by providing additional support to the affected area.

Types of orthotic devices recommended for ankle tendonitis include

  • Ankle braces,
  • Arch supports,
  • Custom orthotics. 

Ankle braces can help support the ankle joint and prevent excessive movement that can increase pain and inflammation. Arch supports and custom orthotics can help distribute weight evenly across the foot and provide additional cushioning to reduce pressure on the affected area.

The benefits of orthotic devices for ankle tendonitis include 

  • Reducing pain and inflammation,
  • Improving mobility and stability,
  • Preventing further injury. 

Additionally, orthotic devices can help improve foot and ankle alignment, which can help reduce the risk of developing other foot and ankle conditions in the future.


To summarise, non-surgical treatment options for ankle tendonitis include rest, ice, compression, elevation, physical therapy, orthotics, and ESWT.

Early diagnosis and treatment of ankle tendonitis can prevent the condition from worsening and may reduce the need for more invasive treatments such as surgery.

If you are experiencing symptoms of ankle tendonitis, it is important to seek medical advice from a qualified healthcare professional. They can diagnose your condition accurately and recommend the most appropriate treatment options.

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