The Canadian Football League raises interest each year but Achilles tendonitis seem to be a common injury specifically to slightly older football athletes who only play during weekends. Achilles tendonitis is also common to regular joggers, dancers and other individuals who have active lifestyle.
With regular active routines, the muscles in your heel become stronger, yet, if not stretched properly prior to an activity, these muscles become tight and prone to injuries such as Achilles tendonitis. Do the following easy stretches to help protect your Achilles tendons from pain.
Achilles tendonitis stretches
Although Achilles tendonitis is not a fatal condition, it is bothersome as it is accompanied with stiffness at the back of the lower heel; making running and even walking painful. The pain could worsen during activities. Heat around the affected area and cracking sound as you move your ankles are also symptoms of Achilles tendonitis. Achilles tendonitis treatment begins with the right stretches and heel strengthening routines.
Active Achilles Stretch
Active stretches help speed up rehabilitation for injuries as well as improve flexibility for tight muscles. To do an active Achilles stretch, sit on a surface with legs straight in front of you. Pull toes toward you until you feel a stretch in your tendon and the bottom of your calf. Hold for 5 seconds and gently release, relaxing the toes forward.
The Achilles door stretch targets tendons to a greater degree than other stretches because it begins with your toes already pulled back toward your shins. To do this stretch, place the ball of your left foot against the bottom of a door with your heel on the ground. Step your right foot back. Straighten both legs and place your hands against the door. Shift your hips and torso forward until you feel a stretch in your left Achilles. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds, then switch sides.
Simple stand stretch
Stand about an arm’s length away from a wall and lean forward, placing both hands on the wall. Arms positioned apart at shoulder length to give you a complete, easy balance. Stretch one foot behind you, bending the knee and heel pointing to the ground. Keep the other foot closer to the wall. Keep the stretched foot’s knee bent down until a stretch is felt at the lower back of the leg. Slowly sink down your hips to increase the stretch’s intensity. Hold for about a minute then switch side.
Strengthening your Achilles heels
Achilles tendonitis can be prevented by improving your lower legs’ strength, flexibility and balance. WebMD recommends the following strength exercise for Achilles tendonitis.
- Stand on a step with your heel off the edge of the step.
- Push up on your toes, and then slowly count to 10 as you lower yourself back down until your heel is below the step. If it hurts to push up on your toes, try putting most of your weight on your other foot as you push up, or try using your arms to help you. If you can’t do this exercise without causing pain, stop the exercise and talk to your doctor.
- Repeat the exercise 8 to 12 times
It all begins with stress
Anything that stresses your heels’ tendons may cause Achilles tendonitis. It could be your running speed, the surface your walk on or the length of your exercise that may lead to injury. To reduce risk from Achilles tendonitis, start by investing in a good footwear with added cushioning in its heels that will redistribute the force to your feet instead. If necessary, reduce your exercise’s intensity, duration and frequency. Alternate between high impact and low impact sport and prep up your lower legs with the stretches recommended above.
Physical rehabilitation to treat Achilles tendonitis
Achilles tendonitis can be long-lasting if not treated properly. The right physical rehabilitation program helps eliminate its pain and future re-occurrences.
The affected foot and ankle will be thoroughly examined by a qualified clinician. Your range in motion, your running/walking mechanics and general condition are also actively monitored to carefully assess mobility. Then the physio will customize a specific rehabilitation program according to your condition and lifestyle.
Begin your way out from Achilles pain with a no obligation appointment at Body Restoration. Book your appointment with a qualified physio and get sound advice to find the right treatment for your Achilles tendonitis.