June is National Safety Month, a time to consider how to keep you and your family safe while enjoying your favorite activities. Part of staying safe is dealing with issues like Achilles pain when they arise. Your Achilles tendon is a crucial mover for your foot—it’s what allows you to push off the ground to take a stride. Strengthening it not only helps manage pain, but also prevent it.
As you might imagine, an aching Achilles means every step you take is uncomfortable. Usually this kind of discomfort results from your tendon not being strong enough to handle activities, and ending up overworked. Strength and heel exercises work your tendon carefully so it builds up power without becoming painfully overused.
Here are some of the best exercises for Achilles pain:
Straight eccentric heel drop – Stand on your toes on the edge of a step, keeping your heel as high as possible and the other foot off the ground. Keeping your supporting knee straight, slowly lower your heel until it is level with the step. Set your other foot down and use its muscle power to rise back up on your toes and repeat the action ten times. This works the larger muscle in your calf.
Bent eccentric heel drop – This is almost the exact same motion, but this time, keep your supporting knee bent as you lower your heel to be parallel to the ground. Once again, use the other foot’s power to help you return to the starting position. This works the smaller calf muscle.
Regular stretches – Normal straight-kneed and bent-kneed wall stretches help loosen a tightened Achilles that’s causing trouble. Hold each position for roughly 30 seconds.
Always be very careful as you exercise an already uncomfortable Achilles. Pushing yourself too hard will only make your condition worse. Still, don’t let Achilles pain keep you from doing what you love when you have the opportunity to take care of your lower limbs. Let our team at Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC help you with the best calf and heel exercises. Call (504)-708-4810 to make an appointment at our Metairie, LA, office right away.