Achilles tendinitis is a major pain for runners and athletes everywhere. That goes double for those who’ve reached middle age (since tendons tend to lose strength and elasticity with age), and triple if you’re trying to tackle Cincinnati’s famously hilly topography.
Although surgery is rarely necessary to fix a stiff, painful Achilles tendon, the standard treatment protocol does call for a period of rest and physical therapy, where you’ll have to cut back or even discontinue your athletic endeavors. In order to accelerate the healing processes, here are just a few of the exercises we may recommend that you perform to strengthen that injured tendon:
- Simple toe and calf stretches—something as easy as sitting down and manually pulling your toes backward, holding for about 20-30 seconds, applies a gentle stretch to the Achilles that can relieve tension.
- Towel-assisted calf stretch—sit on the floor with your legs extended straight ahead. Loop a towel around your forefoot, then gently pull on the ends of the towel.
- Heel drop stretches—stand with your toes on the edge of a step and your heels raised. Slowly lower the heel to parallel, hold the stretch, then push back to the starting position. Most people can start with 2 sets of 15 per day, increasing as it becomes easier. Alternatively, you could start at parallel and lower the affected heel instead (keeping the healthy one stationary).
Although no athlete or runner likes to rest, the truth is that Achilles tendinitis requires prompt, careful attention for successful treatment and a return to pain-free activity. If you feel pain or stiffness in the back of your leg, call Family Foot and Ankle Center right away and set up an appointment at one of our 6 Greater Cincinnati locations in Ohio or Kentucky. Our team of experts will tailor a treatment plan to your condition and goals, including a suite of at-home exercises and physical therapy you can use to help you make a full recovery as quickly as possible. Give us a call today toll free at 888-689-3317.