Achilles Tendon Rehab Exercises

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Achilles Tendon Rehab Exercises

4. Plyometrics and Sports Specific ExercisesThis last part of the rehabilitation process will aim to return your Achilles to a pre-injury state. By the end of this process your Achilles should be as strong, if not stronger, than it was before you injured it.This is the time to incorporate some dynamic or explosive exercises to really strengthen up your Achilles tendon and improve your proprioception. Start by working through all the exercises you did above, but with more intensity.For example, if you were using light isometric exercises to help strengthen your Achilles and calf muscles, start to apply more force, or start to use some weighted exercises.From here, gradually incorporate some more intense exercises. Exercises that relate specifically to your chosen sport are a good place to start. Things like skill drills and training exercises are a great way to gauge your fitness level and the strength of your Achilles and lower leg.To put the finishing touches on your Achilles recovery, I always like to do a few plyometric drills. Plyometric exercises are explosive exercises that both lengthen and contract a muscle at the same time. These are called eccentric muscle contractions and involve activities like jumping, hoping, skipping and bounding.These activities are quite intense, so remember to always start off easy and gradually apply more and more force. Don’t get too excited and over-do-it, you’ve come too far to do something silly and re-injure your Achilles.
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Achilles Tendon Rehab Exercises

Rehabilitation (rehab) and/or physical therapy are the usual treatment for an Achilles tendon injury. For Achilles tendinopathy, physical therapy can decrease your pain. It can allow you to gradually return to your normal activities. For an Achilles tendon rupture, you can try a rehab program after surgery to repair the rupture. Rehab can strengthen the tendon and help the tendon heal. A rehab program typically includes physical therapy.
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Achilles Tendon Rehab Exercises

Warning!Never, never, never do any activity that hurts your Achilles. Of course you may feel some discomfort, but never push yourself to the point where you’re feeling pain. Be very careful with any activity you do. Pain is the warning sign; don’t ignore it. One of the worst things you can do is start this phase of your rehabilitation too early. If you have any doubts about performing the exercises in this article, please refer to part 1 or part 2 of this article below.In part 1, we looked at what Achilles Tendinitis is. We had a look at the muscles and tendons that make up the Achilles; what happens when Achilles Tendinitis occurs; and the major causes and risk factors that contribute to Achilles Tendinitis.In part 2, we outlined a detailed strategy for the initial treatment of Achilles tendinitis. Firstly, we reviewed the importance of the immediate treatment (the first 48 to 72 hours), and then we outline the ongoing treatment necessary for a full recovery.Please note: The order of the exercises listed below is very important. The exercises start with gentle easy movements and progress to intense dynamic exercises. Please start with the range of motion exercises listed below and only move onto the next set of exercises when these can be performed pain free.
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Achilles Tendon Rehab Exercises

In a recent study of 69 military cadets participating in a six-week basic training program (which included distance running), 10 of the 69 trainees suffered an Achilles tendon overuse injury. The prevalence of this injury is easy to understand when you consider the tremendous strain runners place on this tendon (e.g., during the push-off phase of running, the Achilles is exposed to a force of seven times body weight). This is close to the maximum strain the tendon can tolerate without rupturing. Also, when you couple the high strain forces with the fact that the Achilles tendon significantly weakens as we get older, it is easy to see why this tendon is injured so frequently.
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Achilles Tendon Rehab Exercises

The tendon that runs down the back of your lower leg to your heel is your Achilles tendon. You use your Achilles tendon every time your walk, run, play sports or otherwise move your legs and feet. Overuse or pushing your tight calf muscles too hard can cause injury to the tendon, bringing with it pain and swelling. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends physical therapy soon after Achilles tendon injuries to promote healing.
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Achilles Tendon Rehab Exercises

The standard Doctor’s direction for most Achilles Tendon injuries is to rest the injury and let it heal over time. Doctors usually recommend patients try to stay off their ankle as much as possible. To ease discomfort doctors often suggest taking something for the pain. With this course of treatment, in most cases, the Achilles Tendon will heal itself within 1 to 3 months. If you want superior treatment though, anyone can choose the same treatment used for Professional Athletes. With more severe or persistent Achilles Tendon injuries, or due to time constraints such as in the case of professional athletes, time is critical and a proactive treatment plan is required. For the most important patients, a regular routine of BFST (Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy) is typically undertaken to significantly accelerate healing. Where rapid recovery and complete healing of the Achilles Tendon are required, BFST is also required.
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Achilles Tendon Rehab Exercises

Rehabilitation for an Achilles tendon rupture helps you regain strength and flexibility in the tendon and leg. You can do it at home or in a gym. Your doctor or physical therapist will design a program for you. He or she will consider your normal level of activity, your physical fitness, and the extent of injury to the Achilles tendon. You will likely need rehab after an Achilles tendon injury whether or not you have surgery.
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Achilles Tendon Rehab Exercises

If you are a midfoot or a forefoot striker and you’ve been troubled with chronic Achilles pain, consider switching to a rearfoot strike since this reduces strain in the Achilles tendon during initial contact. Because they increase strain in the Achilles by effectively lengthening the foot, runners should avoid wearing heavy motion control running shoes. In my experience, runners with Achilles injuries prefer flexible running shoes with duo-density midsoles and high toe springs. If you’ve been plagued with recurrent Achilles injuries, you should consider performing the strengthening exercises described in this article at least three months out of the year. These exercises may be tedious, but they can produce long-term changes in tendon strength and resiliency.
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Part 3 In this issue we’re going to cover 4 crucial steps for completely rehabilitating the Achilles tendon and entire lower leg complex. We’ll look at the rehabilitation and conditioning exercises needed to get your Achilles back to 100% and better.If you’ve followed the advice from the previous two issues, you’ve come over 80% of the way. You may even feel that your Achilles is fully recovered. Your treatment so far may have stopped the swelling and bleeding, and it may have reduced the amount of scar tissue in the Achilles and calf muscles.However, fixing your Achilles tendinitis is as much about treating the condition as it is about preventing it from re-occurring. If you’ve ever suffered from any sporting injury in the past, you’ll know how annoying it is to think you’re recovered, and then out-of-the-blue, you’re injured again and back to where you started. It can be one of the most frustrating and heart-breaking cycles an athlete, or anyone else for that matter, can go through.If you do suffer from Achilles tendinitis or are seeking to prevent its occurrence it is important to follow the information in this article. In addition, adding a few simple stretches to your fitness program will also help. To get started on a safe and effective stretching routine that’s just right for you, check out the Ultimate Guide to Stretching & Flexibility.
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3. Balance and Proprioception ExercisesThis phase of the rehabilitation process is often overlooked and is one of the main reasons why old injuries keep re-occurring. Once you feel some strength returning to your Achilles it’s time to incorporate some balancing drills and exercises.When muscles and tendons are torn, nerves are also damaged. These nerves send vital information to the brain about the specific position and location of the Achilles tendon and ankle joint in relation to the rest of your body.Without this information the muscles, tendons and ligaments are constantly second-guessing the position of the Achilles and ankle joint. This lack of awareness about the position of the lower leg can lead to a re-occurrence of the same injury long after you thought it had completely healed.Balancing exercises are important to help re-train the damaged nerves around your lower leg and ankle joint. Start with simple balancing exercises like walking along a straight line, or balancing on a beam. Progress to one-leg exercises like balancing on one foot, and then try the same exercises with your eyes closed.When you’re comfortable with the above activities, try some of the more advanced exercises like wobble or rocker boards, Swiss balls, stability cushions and foam rollers.

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