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Conditioning Your Achilles Heel

Everyone’s body has its limits. Nobody is indestructible or immune to injuries. Still, you can do a lot to minimize your personal “Achilles’ heel” and avoid painful problems—literally! Your Achilles tendon is a powerful connector that gets subjected to a lot of stress daily from simply standing and walking. If you’re an athlete, your tendon puts up with even more. Conditioning your Achilles can help you keep your foot strong and able to support the strain of your activities.

Your Achilles tendon is responsible for your ability to push off the ground. It connects your calf muscles and pulls on the back of your heel bone. When it’s injured, you lose power in your push-off and your ability to run, jump, and even walk can be limited. Conditioning the tendon to handle stress is an important part of keeping it healthy.

Fortunately, conditioning your Achilles is fairly easy. Here are a few exercises you can do on your own:

  1. Basic heel drops – Stand with your heels hanging off a step to they are parallel with the ground. Slowly lower your heels as far as they can go, then raise them back to neutral.

  2. Raised heel drops – Stand on a step with your heels hanging off, then rise up on your toes as high as you can. This is your starting position. Lower your heels until they are parallel to the ground, then rise back up to your starting position.

  3. Exercise band toe presses – Loop an exercise band (or a towel in a pinch) around the ball of your foot and hold the ends. Starting with your foot flexed, slowly point your foot, pushing against the exercise band, and then slowly flex again.

  4. Calf stretches – Make sure you stretch your calves regularly to prevent them from getting too tight while you condition them.

Conditioning your Achilles daily can help you keep it strong and prepared to handle any challenge. You don’t have to wait until you start having trouble to strengthen it. Be proactive and take care of your tendon today. Let our team at Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC help you keep your lower limbs at their very best and avoid pesky problems with an Achilles heel. Call (504) 708-4810 or use our online contact form to reach our Metairie, LA, office.

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