Stretches for Achilles Tendon Problems

Stretches for Achilles Tendon Problems

To do effective stretching exercises, hold each stretch for
at least 15 to 30 seconds. Don't bounce while you stretch. Just relax and
breathe freely.

It's a good idea to do these stretches on both
legs, even if you only have problems with one of your Achilles tendons. Stretch
one leg first, and then the other.

Toe stretch

Toe stretch
slide 1 of 4
    
slide 1 of 4, Toe stretch,
  1. Sit in a chair and extend your affected leg so
    that your heel is on the floor.
  2. With your hand, reach down and pull
    your big toe up and back (toward your ankle and away from the
    floor).
  3. Hold the position for at least 15 to 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat 2 to 4 times a session, up to 5 sessions a day.

The next three exercises are often done in a progression
(meaning you do the most gentle exercise for a few days, then move on to the
more vigorous exercises). Start with the calf-plantar fascia stretch and then
move on to the calf chair stretch and the stair stretch. Talk to your health
professional about how long you should do each one before moving on to the next
one.

Calf-plantar fascia stretch

Calf-plantar fascia stretch
slide 2 of 4
    
slide 2 of 4, Calf-plantar fascia stretch,
  1. Sit with your legs extended and your knees
    straight.
  2. Loop a towel around the leg to be
    stretched. Position the towel so that it goes around your foot just
    under the toes.
  3. Hold each end of the towel in each hand,
    with your hands positioned above your knees.
  4. Pull back with the towel so that your
    foot stretches toward you.
  5. Hold the position for at least 15 to 30
    seconds.
  6. Repeat 2 to 4 times a session, up to 5 sessions a day.

Calf stretch

Calf stretch
slide 3 of 4
    
slide 3 of 4, Calf stretch,
  1. Place your hands on a wall for balance. You can also do this with your hands on the back of a chair, a countertop, or a tree.
  2. Step back with your left leg. Keep the leg straight, and press your left heel into the floor.
  3. Press your hips forward, bending your right leg slightly. You will feel the stretch in your left calf.
  4. Hold for at least 15 to 30
    seconds.
  5. Repeat 2 to 4 times for each leg.

Stair stretch

Stair stretch
slide 4 of 4
    
slide 4 of 4, Stair stretch,
  1. Stand with the balls of both feet on the edge
    of a stair or curb (or even a medium phone book), with at least one hand holding on to something solid, such as a banister or handrail, to help you keep your balance.
  2. Keeping your affected leg straight, slowly let that
    heel hang down off of the stair or curb until you feel a stretch in the back of
    your calf and/or Achilles area. Some of your weight should still be on the
    other leg.
  3. Hold this position for at least 15 to 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat 2 to 4 times a session, up to 5 times a day or whenever
    your Achilles tendon starts to feel tight.

This stretch can also be done with your knee slightly
bent.

ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical Reviewer Joan Rigg, PT, OCS - Physical Therapy

Current as ofNovember 29, 2017

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