Achilles tendinopathy is a common condition experienced by many individuals. Those who participate in recreational or competitive sports may be susceptible to developing this condition.1 Evidence indicates clinicians should utilize mechanical loading to decrease pain and improve overall function.1 Exercises may include loading of the structures such implementing eccentric calf raises.1
Also, evidence supports individuals may use stretching of the plantar flexors with the knee flexed and extended to reduce pain and improve symptoms.1 Patients may respond to stretching as a stimulus to enhance recovery. Here are a couple of options individuals can utilize as a part of an exercise or rehabilitation program:
CanDo® Dynamic Stretch Strap:
This versatile Stretch Strap is unique in that its two different materials allow a variety of stretches and contractions. The blue webbing side of the strap offers more resistance and less stretch, which is what’s needed for static stretching. The black elastic side of the strap provides users with less resistance and plenty of stretch, ideal for dynamic stretching workouts. These elastic pockets along the length of the strap help to gradually stretch your muscles. It’s this unique combination of materials that allows for additional benefits. When the user elongates an elastic loop by stretching muscles, then pulling the webbing strap, they can achieve an isometric contraction. The strap is designed for facilitated stretching that uses isometric contractions to achieve greater flexibility than from static stretching alone. At 66″ long, this strap has plenty of space for users to exercise, improve their range-of-motion, gain flexibility and track progress of their work. Change the pocket being gripped and you change resistance, making the same exercise you just did easier or more difficult. With the included manual, users are guided in the proper technique to stretch their thighs, calves, hips, back, hamstrings, shoulders, arms and even toes. The strap is also ideal for yoga. The strap features elastic hand, foot and finger pockets at various lengths that allow users to ease into a stretch as well as change difficulty by simply sliding up or down to the next pocket. Portable, lightweight, and easily foldable for storage or travel, the strap allows you to workout anywhere and everywhere. Indoors or out, home, or away, everywhere is a good spot for a stretch. Designed with safety and comfort in mind, the Stretch Straps are latex-free, powder-free, and scent-free. They are machine washable, soft to the touch, won’t chafe the skin or get caught on hair or clothing.
CanDo® Leg Stretcher:
The CanDo® Leg Stretcher is an excellent assistive device to help stretch legs, feet, and ankles. Flexibility and range-of-motion in the legs and ankles can be improved with continued use. Also, usage before and after exercising can prevent potential injuries. Inflexible leg muscles and tendons can pose danger to athletes and fitness enthusiasts. When the leg muscles aren’t stretched, they can tighten and constrict the movement of the ankle. This can even lead to future injuries and even ruptures in the Achilles tendon. With the CanDo® Leg Stretcher, flexibility can be maintained in the legs, feet, and ankles.
Exercise and rehabilitation programs should be individualized to address an individual’s impairments and functional limitations. Finding the right exercise for the right patient will help to yield positive clinical outcomes.
Article Written By Eric Trauber, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS, FAAOMPT
- Martin RL, Chimenti R, Cuddeford T, Houck J, Matheson JW, McDonough CM, Paulseth S, Wukich DK, and Carcia CR. Achilles pain, stiffness, and muscle power deficits: midportion achilles tendinopathy revision 2018. Clinical practice guidelines linked to the international classification of functioning, disability, and health from the orthopedic section of the American Physical Therapy Association. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, 2018; 48(5): A1-A38.