Ankle & Foot Pain

Achilles Tendon Rupture Stretches & Exercises

With an Achilles Tendon Rupture, you might end up needing surgery. These stretches and exercises can help you before and afterwards. The stronger and more flexible you can be before a surgery, the better your recovery will be after.

The first stretch will be a calf stretch. Start off with your legs out in front of you. You can bend up the leg you aren’t using towards you in a comfortable position. Keep the leg you want to stretch out in front of you. Take a stretch strap, dog leash, belt, or towel and wrap it around the ball of your foot. Relax your foot, and pull the strap towards you stretching your calf muscle. You should feel the stretch under your leg. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and do three of them.

Next you will do a standing calf stretch. You want to lean against a wall or something sturdy. Place the foot you want to stretch behind you. Make sure to keep your heel down and your toes forward pointing towards the wall. With the other foot in front of you, like you are in a lunge position, bend your knee towards the wall until you feel a stretch through your back leg. Try to keep your back leg as straight as possible. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and do it three times. In the same position, now bend your back knee with the stretch. This will stretch the soleus muscle, which is directly under the calf muscles. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and do it three times.

Now you will do some exercises. The first exercise is a heel raise off the ground. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart, come up on your toes as high as you can. Try not to lean forward, but bring your body straight up and slowly come back down. Push off as much as you can so your heel leaves the ground. Start off with ten and work your way up to 20-25.

The last exercise will be a balance series. Stand on one foot, but hold onto something sturdy. Try to balance for 30 seconds to a minute. When that becomes easy, just use one finger one each side. Then just one finger for balance, and finally try balancing without holding on at all.

Related Videos:

Achilles Tendon Stretches

Calf Exercises for Strengthening

How to Wrap a Sprained Ankle

A sprained ankle is no fun. Today I'll will show you the correct way to wrap an ankle sprain and also how to wrap your foot for general swelling only.

Most ankle sprains are on the lateral side or the outside of the ankle. When wrapping the ankle with a lateral sprain, you want to keep your foot in a neutral position and your foot turned out slightly (this would be 0 degrees of dorsiflexion and a slight eversion of the ankle). This helps take the pressure off the injured ligaments and tendons.

Start off with wrap rolling open from the top, this will make it easier to roll out. You also want to pull to the outside or lateral side each time to help support the ankle in the eversion direction. Wrap around the top of the ankle just below the belly of the calf muscle. This is your anchor. It should not be very tight higher up, and you want to have it slightly tighter towards the toes to help push the swelling back up the leg, but you don’t want to cut off the circulation either.

Once you have the anchor in place, start wrapping down towards the ankle. Now you are going to do a figure 8 pattern at the ankle by crossing down under the foot, and then back up around the ankle. Do this several times, slowly moving down the foot. Then wrap a few times down at the ball of the foot for another anchor, and then work your way back up with the same figure 8 pattern at the ankle. Make sure there is good circulation at the toes.

If you are wrapping your foot to help with swelling only, you will start at the toes, and put an anchor at the balls of your foot. This end will be slightly tighter, but not too tight to cut off the circulation. You will loosen it slightly as you go to help move the swelling out of the foot. With each wrap, cover the previous wrap by about half, and work your way up the ankle to just below the belly of the calf. Then come back down making an overlap like a figure 8.

Sprained Ankle Treatment with Ankle/Foot AROM

Our feet and ankles can get stiff and have decreased range of motion for many different reasons including ankle sprains, ankle strains, ankle osteoarthritis, plantar fasciitis, surgeries, and overuse injuries. These active range of motion (AROM) exercises will help loosen up your feet and ankles!

The first exercise is going to be the ankle alphabet. Try to only move at your ankle, keeping the rest of your leg in one spot.  You can do uppercase, lower case, and even spell out words.

The next exercise is an ankle pump.  You are going to pull your toes up at your ankle, and then push down like you are pushing on a pedal. This is dorsiflexion and plantarflexion.  You can prop your ankle up on something if you want, but keep your heel free to move around.

The last one is an in and out movement, almost like a windshield wiper. Again, try to just move at your ankle and not your whole leg. This is inversion and eversion at the ankle.

Stop Toe Cramps & Foot Cramps

Many times people have cramping in their foot or even in their toes, and they have a hard time stopping the foot and toe cramps. You can stretch and strengthen them with a towel, and rubber bands or marbles if you have some! Place the rubber bands or marbles on the floor. Pick them up one at a time with your toes, and move them to another pile.

Put a towel on the floor, and try to crumple the towel with your toes. Then you can stretch your toes and foot by placing your foot on the towel. Leave your heel on the floor holding the towel in place, and pull the towel up and over your toes until you feel a stretch. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and do it three times.

 

Achilles Tendon Stretches & Exercises

The Achilles tendon can get very tight when it is irritated or injured, and it is important to keep it stretched out. Here are three simple stretches to keep the Achilles tendon loose.

The first stretch is called a runner's stretch. You want to lean against a wall or something sturdy.  Place the foot you want to stretch behind you. Make sure to keep your heel down and your toes forward pointing towards the wall. With the other foot in front of you, like you are in a lunge position, bend your knee towards the wall until you feel a stretch through your back leg. Try to keep your back leg as straight as possible. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and do it three times. 

Next, put your toes against the wall with your heel on the ground. The closer you can get your heel to the wall, the stronger the stretch. Keeping your heel down, lean into the wall. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and do it three times.

The last stretch you can do standing on a step or curb. Place the ball of your foot on the edge of the step and relax your heel downwards. Hold for 30 seconds and do it 3 times.

 

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