Rubber bands, bungee cords, and springs are pretty hard to stretch when they’re too tight. For them to work properly, they have to have a degree of flexibility. It’s the same for your connective tissues, particularly big and important tendons like your Achilles. When this tendon is too tight, you become more susceptible to painful lower limb problems. Fortunately, you can relax and loosen an over-tight Achilles with careful stretching.
A tight Achilles tendon can cause a number of issues. It’s more prone to injuries like tendonitis or even ruptures. The tension from the tendon pulling on the back of your foot can contribute to heel pain and conditions like bursitis, too, so it’s important to keep the connector stretched out.
Most Achilles stretches are fairly easy to add to your daily routine. You can simply take a few minutes to stretch whenever you think of it during the day, like first thing in the morning, on your lunch break, or before you go to bed.
Here are a few stretches for you to try:
Straight wall stretch – Place your palms against a wall and set one foot several inches behind the other. Keeping this back knee straight and both heels planted firmly on the ground, lunge forward on the front leg until you feel a stretch in your Achilles. Hold this for a few seconds, then relax and repeat.
Bent knee wall stretch – In the same position as the straight wall stretch, bend both knees and repeat the lunge. This affects a slightly different area of your calf muscle and Achilles.
Heel drop – Stand on a step with your heels hanging off the edge. Slowly lower your heels as far as you can. Hold for a few seconds, then raise your heels back to a neutral position.
Wall brace – Prop your toes against a wall in a way that your heel can still touch the floor. Slowly lean forward, bracing your foot against the wall so you feel a stretch in your Achilles.
Over time, these stretches should help loosen up your tightened connector. If you continue having trouble with an over-tight Achilles, there might be other issues. Let our team at Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC in Metairie, LA, help you take care of your lower limbs now before an injury interrupts your life. You can make an appointment with us by calling (504) 708-4810 or using our online request forms.