How Do Foot Training Exercises Help End Achilles Tendonitis?
There are 2 flexor muscles that attach to your achilles tendon. Therefore, if you strengthen the weak extensor muscles and then concentrically contract them, you will automatically relax your tight flexor muscles which will reduce the tension (pain) on your achilles tendon.
Foot Trainer exercises are effective because they focus on relaxing your tight posterior lower leg muscles/tendons and strengthening your weak anterior lower leg muscles.
Foot Trainer Exercises for achilles tendonitis consist of a progression through 3 levels (isometric, isokinetic and concentric) and 7 exercises. They allow you to start with simple exercise and gradually build up to more complex exercises at your own pace.
How to strengthen anterior lower leg muscles and automatically relax your posterior muscles:
If you perform ineffective exercises you may face a progression of expensive, painful and invasive treatments and a long recovery!
Many of the traditional foot and leg exercises are incorrect, incomplete, inappropriate and therefore ineffective.
The following are some of the traditional rehabilitation exercises that we do not recommend and the reasons why we believe they are incorrect.
All weight bearing achilles tendonitis exercises are incorrect!
The Traditional Standing Wall Calf Stretch
Muscles (especially injured muscles) should always be relaxed prior to performing any exercise/stretch. The traditional standing wall calf stretch is physiologically incorrect because your weight bearing calf muscles will be automatically contracted (tense) prior to the stretch, which may place excessive tension on your achilles tendon. This exercise ignores strengthening the anterior (front) calf muscles and may be inappropriate for your stage of injury. It is not possible to perform this exercise before your first weight bearing step of the day, therefore it will not help stop the repetitive and cumulative damage caused by loading cold calf muscles.
Heel Drops off a Step Exercise
A potentially dangerous weight bearing exercise is dropping your heels off a step. This can promote chronic tearing and damage to the knee, the gastronemius, the flexor digitorum brevis and the flexor halcius brevis muscles and inflammation to the achilles tendon and the plantar fascia. Even in healthy people this can cause problems. Anyone who has a foot or leg injury and performs this exercise will likely make their problem worse.
The Towel or Rope Stretch
In a sitting position you loop a towel or rope around your toes and pull on the towel. This is incorrect because again, it promotes shortening and tightening your short/tight toe flexor muscles. This exercise is the opposite of what you should be doing!
Where you stand in a weight bearing position and then rock back on your heels so that your toes come off the ground.
Where you stand and place one foot against a wall and then move your foot up so your toes are off the ground.
Where you stand on both feet behind a chair and then rise up on your toes so that your heels come off the ground.
The Toe Towel Curl Exercise
If you are symptomatic, the traditional toe towel curl exercise is incorrect because it promotes repetitively shortening and tightening flexor muscles that are already short and tight. This exercise will place excessive traction on the inflamed tendons that attach to your heel bones. Repetitive concentric exercises should only be performed when your muscles are healthy.
This exercise is also incomplete because it does not stretch the flexor muscles or strengthen your opposing intrinsic and extrinsic extensor toe muscles.
Stretching Terminology Errors
It is incorrect terminology if you perform an exercise designed to stretch your achilles tendon or plantar fascia. Nobody can safely stretch a tendon. Tendons are composed of very inelastic collagen fibers that cannot elongate more than 3% without rupturing. The only natural way to reduce the tension on a tendon is to improve the strength and flexibility of it's related and opposing muscles.
Achilles Tendonitis require that the patient be active in their rehabilitation. Performing this routine for 3-4 weeks has shown excellent results with our customers.
Perform Foot Trainer Exercises in the morning.
Self massage lower legs for 5 minutes, concentrating on tender areas.
Ice your tender areas for 5 minutes. Do not apply ice directly on your skin. Use a damp cloth or a gel pack.
Rest after icing for 5-10 minutes.
Repeat again sometime during the day before bed.