Achilles tendonitis or calf pain?
Typically, achilles tendonitis and calf pain can be attributed to overuse and poor mechanics of the foot and ankle.
Once the pain has come on, it can be hard to manage. We always tell our clients, there is two ways an injury can go. It will either heal on it's own, or it won't. Most the time we suggest taking a proactive approach and doing some sort of exercises in order speed recovery.
In most cases you don't need to go through a full physical therapy program, although it would be wise to get checked by your physical therapist to figure out why the pain started in the first place.
If you are interested in helping yourself, try this series to help strengthen and lengthen the achilles and calf muscle.
✅ 2 up 1 down calf raise 3 x 15: This means you elevated your heals off the ground, shift all the weight toward the painful side and slowly lower down for about a 3-4 second count. This eccentric loading has been shown to improve muscle strength and tendon healing.
✅ Dynamic ankle dorsiflexion mobilization 3 x 15 : With the injured side forward and foot planted flat, slowly move your knee forward and back. This will cause the ankle to flex as you go forward, and point and you shift back. This will mobilize your ankle joint.
✅ Straight knee calf stretch 3 x 1 min: Make sure to keep knee straight on the leg being stretched, this targets a very specific muscle.
✅ Bent knee calf stretch 3 x 1 min: Make sure to keep the knee bent on the leg being stretched, this targets a very specific muscle.
Hope this helps!
-Dr. W. Zach Smith, PT, DPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy