Rehabilitation Exercises

Calf Muscle Stretches for Achilles Tendonitis

Basic Stretch

To stretch the big gastrocnemius muscle the back leg must be kept straight. Stand with the leg to be stretched at the back and hands on a wall at shoulder height. Bend the front knee and lean forwards, keeping the back knee straight and pushing the heel down into the floor.

 

When you can feel a stretch, hold for 20 seconds. If the stretch eases, lean further forwards until you can feel it again. But do not push too far in the early stages. Perform 3 repetitions and repeat this 3-5 times a day.

Gastrocnemius Stretch

Soleus Muscle Stretch

To stretch the deeper soleus muscle the knee of the leg to be stretched needs to be bent. This is because the soleus muscle attaches below the knee and bending the knee allows the gastrocnemius muscle to relax leaving the soleus on stretch.

 

Lean against a wall with the leg to be stretched at the back. Bend the knee keeping the heel in contact with the ground until a stretch is felt. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds and repeat three times. If a stretch is not felt then another method is to place the ball of foot against the wall and bend the front knee until a stretch is felt.

As flexibility increases or if you have particularly flexible calf muscles it may be better to stretch using a step. Lower the heel off the step dropping down until a stretch is felt.

 

Hold for 15 to 20 seconds for 3 repetitions and repeat 3 to 5 times a day. The soleus muscle can be stretched similarly but with the knee of the leg to be stretched kept bent.

Stretching on a Step

© 2019 by Dr Ameer Ibrahim