The Best Achilles Tendon Stretches From a Physio

The Best Achilles Tendon Stretches From a Physio

Your Achilles tendons play a crucial role in most movement you do with your feet. When issues arise, it can affect your functionality and well-being considerably.

That is why knowing how to look after your Achilles Tendon is so important. This can involve steps that target strength, flexibility, and mobility, as well as injury prevention. If you have injured your Achilles tendon, undertaking the correct treatment can also be beneficial to recovery and rehabilitation. 

Your physios can help you carry out the best Achilles tendon stretches to suit your needs and goals. Learn more about Achilles tendon stretches and exercises and find out how our physios can help you!


Why Stretch Your Achilles Tendon? 

Your Achilles tendon runs down the back of your leg, connecting your calf muscle with your heel bone. It helps you to lift your heel off the ground, which is vital in movements like walking, jumping, and keeping your balance. 

Because it is often involved in high-impact actions, which may also involve falls and trauma, there is a risk of injury to the tendon. This may include ruptures and tears, which can involve sharp pain, inflammation, and severe discomfort when standing and walking. This injury typically requires medical treatment. Another issue can be Achilles tendinitis, in which injury or overuse can cause swelling or irritation. This may be associated with pain and stiffness, especially in the morning or after an extended period of rest. 

Keeping your Achilles tendon pliable and strong can go a long way in terms of injury prevention and recovery. Subsequently, stretches can be highly advantageous to add to your fitness routine to maintain the health of this important tendon. 

Five Stretches For Your Achilles Tendon 

Many moves may benefit your Achilles tendons. Some of these can feel uncomfortable at first while you get used to them, so be cautious and take your time. If they hurt, you should not proceed without assistance. 

Our physios can create a personalised program for you that aligns with your body, injury risk, and functionality after a thorough assessment. They can help you learn how to perform the stretch and provide progress variations as you improve the mobility and strength of your tendons. 

1. Calf Stretch 

Stretching out your calf can help to loosen inflamed and tight Achilles tendons. This stretch is also known as a runner’s stretch. 

You need some form of firm support, such as a wall. To perform this stretch, follow these steps: 

  1. Place your hands on the wall at eye level.
  2. Put one leg behind you.
  3. Keep both heels on the floor with your toes pointing forward.
  4. Bend your front knee and keep your back leg straight.
  5. Lean your body towards the wall, keeping your back straight.
  6. When you feel a gentle stretch in your calf, hold it for about 30 seconds.
  7. Do this move three times for each leg. 

2. Tiptoeing 

To perform this stretch, follow these steps: 

  1. Stand normally with your legs straight and both feet flat on the ground.
  2. Rise up so you are standing on your tiptoes.
  3. Lower gently back down to the floor.
  4. Work up to doing 3 sets of 15 reps.

To make these harder, you can bend your knees or do one leg at a time. 

3. Bilateral And Single Heel Drops 

This move requires an item like a bottom step or a raised platform. To perform this stretch, follow these steps: 

  1. Carefully stand at the edge of the step or raised platform.
  2. Move both your feet slowly so that only the front half of each remains on the step.
  3. Rise onto the tiptoes of both feet.
  4. Slowly lower your heels as far below the step as you can without pain.
  5. Repeat about twenty times.

Once you can perform the bilateral heel drop safely and comfortably,

do the same action but just raise and lower one foot at a time. This puts more of a stretch into each leg.


4. Toe Stretch 

To perform this stretch, follow these steps when sitting on a chair: 

  1. Extend your leg out in front of you, keeping your heel on the floor.
  2. Gently pull your big toe up and back with your hand.
  3. Hold this for about 15 to 30 seconds, two to four times. You can work towards performing these sets up to 5 times a day.

5. Toe-to-Wall Stretch 

This stretch works similarly to the calf stretch but does not put strain on your upper body. 

To perform this stretch, follow these steps: 

  1. Face a wall and place the toes of one foot against the wall, with your heel on the ground.
  2. Keep your other leg flat on the ground with your toes facing forward.
  3. Lean towards the wall, keeping your back straight.
  4. Hold for about 30 seconds.
  5. Do this three times for each leg.
  6. For a deeper stretch, move your toes higher up the wall while keeping your heel on the floor.


Receive a Personalised Stretching Program at Excel 

Stretching your Achilles tendon may have a significant impact on your mobility and injury risk. If your Achilles tendon is injured, your physio may need to advise you of adjustments to make to these exercises to minimise further damage and help with pain. 

To take good care of your Achilles tendon, please make an appointment with our friendly and experienced team today! 


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