Achilles tendon is the longest tendon in the body, which connects the calf muscles to the heel. It has an important role to play, when a person is walking, jogging or running. Achilles tendonitis is the irritation, swelling and inflammation of the Achilles tendon. Achilles tendonitis exercises help in curing and preventing Achilles tendon pain. As a matter of fact, exercises for the Achilles tendinitis is an important part of the treatment. I would like to bring to your notice, that one of the cause of this condition in most athletes is not having a stretching program in their workout schedule. Doing these exercises will help in warming up the muscles, which in turn will help in alleviating the condition.
Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis
- Warm Tendon
- Pain in heel while running or while walking
- The skin around the Achilles tendon is painful to touch
- Mild stiffness experienced in the morning
- Weakness or sluggishness in the lower leg
- Cracking sound, when the Achilles tendon is moved or the leg is rotated
Achilles Tendonitis Workouts
This can be done by anyone whether you are suffering from tendonitis or not. As the name suggests you will need a towel for this exercise. Sit on a hard floor and spread one of your leg outside, but keep your other leg folded. Now loop the towel around the toes and ball of the spread leg. Then pull the towel towards you, but be careful that you do not bend your knee. You can hold this position for 20-25 seconds. Repeat this exercise 3-4 times.
This exercise will help you release the strain on the tendon. Face a wall and place your hands on the wall at eye level. Take a deep lunge with the back leg heel touching the ground. Place the back leg as though it were slightly pigeon toed. Now slowly push your weight on the wall and feel the stretch on the back leg. Hold this stretch for 20 seconds. Change the legs and repeat the same for the other leg as well. Repeat 3-4 times on each of the legs.
This is also called 'Side-lying leg lift'. Lie on your uninjured side. Keep your body in straight line. Place both the legs on top of one another. Now tighten the quadriceps muscle of the leg on top, then lift the leg off ground to make 45-60 degree angle with the leg below. Again do not bend either of the legs in the knee. Hold the leg in the same position till you count 20 and slowly bring it down. Repeat this exercise 3 times.
Take support of a wall or a chair and raise your body and balance all the weight on your toes. Count for 5 counts and slowly come down. Repeat for 5 times. When the pain reduces, you can try bringing only one leg down at a time and balance all the weight on one leg.
Hold a wall or a chair. Stand on the uninjured leg. Hold the foot of the injured leg and slowly pull the heel of the injured leg towards the buttocks. Stay in this position for 15-20 seconds. The stretch is felt in the quadriceps and on the Achilles tendons. Repeat the quadriceps stretch 8-10 times.
This exercise is similar to heel raises, yet different from it. Stand with your injured leg with the knee bent on a stair. Now lower the other leg and let the heel touch the floor and then straighten the injured leg. Once the knee is straightened lift the uninjured leg off the floor. Repeat this stretch thrice. This stretch should be as many times possible through the day minimum 8-10 times.
Along with the exercises, people suffering from Achilles tendonitis, may want to use of orthopedic devices available in the market for extra support for the heels. It will help in reducing the stress and pressure off the Achilles tendon. The devices also prove to be of help in case of over-pronation, which may also cause the condition. These devices give the ligament a chance to heal and help in preventing ligament rupture. We do exert a lot of pressure on the Achilles tendon even when we walk. Therefore it is recommended that everyone should do these exercises immaterial whether you are a sportsperson, an athlete or a regular at the gym or not.