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Achilles Tendinopathy

Achilles tendinopathy can occur when the Achilles tendon is unable to take the strain that is placed directly on it. 1 There can be pain that may feel like a mild ache in the back of the leg or above the heel. It can be a result of overuse of the tendon due to sudden increases in intensity or duration of physical activity, particularly running. 1 It can cause limited ability to walk, run, climb stairs, and participate in recreational and sport activities. Physical therapy can help alleviate the pain that can be caused by inflammation. The 3 exercises listed below can be performed once a day to treat Achilles tendinopathy.

  1. Calf stretch

Stand on a step, with both feet half on the step and half of the step. Slowly lower one heel towards the ground, and hold onto a railing, chair, or base of stable support if needed. You should feel a stretch in the back of your calf. Hold this position for 20 seconds and then slowly bring your heel back to the starting position. This stretch can be performed 5 times, and done on either leg.

  1. Heel raises

Standing on a stable surface, come up on the balls of both feet, and hold there for 5 seconds, and then slowly lower back onto your heels. This exercise can be performed in 3 sets of 8 reps, with breaks taken in between each set as needed.

  1. Step-ups

Stand at the bottom of a flight of stairs. Go up onto the step with your right foot, and then with your left foot. Step down with your right foot first, and then your left foot. Repeat this exercise 15 times, 2 sets.

If you are having heel or Achillies tendon pain during or after activity try these exercises or schedule a consultation with one of skilled therapists!

References

  1. Physical therapist’s guide to Achilles Tendinopathy. Move Forward PT. 2019. https://www.moveforwardpt.com/SymptomsConditionsDetail.aspx?cid=0d1d353d-ea2c-4133-b39f-cfd856036d69.

  2. Pictures obtained from https://www.hep2go.com/

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