A person can suffer from Achilles tendon injuries due to improper footwear, overuse, or medication. The best way to prevent these injuries is to keep this tendon in good shape by warm-ups and stretches. Keep reading to know more about Achilles tendon stretches.
In the calf portion of the leg there are two major muscles – the gastrocnemius and soleus. These two muscles produce the power to push the foot or help to move the toes up. These two muscles are connected by the large Achilles tendon. Overuse of the tendon causes inflammation which is called Achilles tendonitis and in extreme conditions, stress on the tendon causes rupture. To prevent such injuries, regular stretches are necessary.
Stretching Using Wall
This is the best stretching exercise for Achilles tendon, which also helps to stretch the calves.
- To perform this exercise stand straight facing a wall.
- Place your right foot on the wall and keep your toes up.
- Keep your right ankle flexed and move your body forward.
- You will feel a stretching sensation in your Achilles tendon area.
- Maintain this position for a slow count of 10 and return to normal position.
- Keep breathing slowly when counting till 10.
- Repeat the steps for the left foot.
This is an easy to perform exercise among Achilles tendon stretches and also greatly helps to stretch calf muscles.
- Sit on a chair and keep your knees bent and both feet flat on the ground.
- Move your right leg forward and place the right heel on the ground.
- Keep your right ankle relaxed.
- Move your body from the hips forward while maintaining your back straight.
- You will feel the stretch in your lower right leg.
- Hold the posture for a count of 20 seconds and return to the normal position.
- Repeat the above steps for your left leg.
Controlled Stretching Using Towel
This stretching exercise is among the many effective Achilles tendonitis exercises, as one can control the amount of the stretch by using a towel in this workout.
- Place a mat on the floor and sit on it, with your left leg outstretched in front of you.
- Wrap the middle of the towel on the left leg and hold the ends in your hands.
- Pull the towel towards you and keep your left leg straight.
- You will feel a gentle stretching sensation. Maintain this posture for 20 seconds and release.
- Repeat the above steps for the other leg.
- Avoid excessive physical activities which put stress on your Achilles tendon like running up a hill or jumping.
- If you experience any pain sensation while exercising you should rest.
- If one form of exercise causes pain or stress, then switch to another one.
- Maintaining proper weight according to your height will help.
- Wear proper fitting shoes which have cushioning for the heels, as they are essential to avoid injury.
- Calf muscle exercises greatly help in preventing Achilles tendon damage.
For treatment of injuries applying ice and taking anti-inflammatory drugs is recommended. A person is also given physical therapy and advised rest when suffering from Achilles tendon injury. However, to prevent the occurrence or recurrence of the Achilles tendon injury one needs to follow the above stretches and the prevention tips.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.