Achilles Tendon: Exercises

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Introduction

Here are some examples of exercises for you to try. The exercises may be suggested for a condition or for rehabilitation. Start each exercise slowly. Ease off the exercises if you start to have pain.

You will be told when to start these exercises and which ones will work best for you.

How to do the exercises

Passive toe stretch

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slide 1 of 5, Passive toe stretch,
  1. Sit on the floor, with the heel of your affected foot on the floor. Use one hand to hold your foot steady.
  2. Using the thumb and index (pointing) finger of your other hand, slowly bend your toe forward and then backward. Hold each position for about 15 seconds.
  3. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Calf stretch (seated, knee straight)

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slide 2 of 5, Calf stretch (seated, knee straight),
  1. Sit on the floor with your affected leg straight and resting on the floor.
  2. Place a towel around your affected foot.
  3. Hold one end of the towel in each hand.
  4. Pull back gently with the towel so that you feel a stretch in your calf.
  5. Hold the position for 15 to 30 seconds.
  6. Repeat 2 to 4 times.
  7. It's a good idea to repeat these steps with your other leg.

Calf stretch (back knee straight)

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slide 3 of 5, Calf stretch (back knee straight),
  1. Stand facing a wall with your hands on the wall. You can also do this with your hands on the back of a chair, a counter, or a tree.
  2. Put one leg about a step behind your other leg, with your toes pointing forward.
  3. Keeping your back leg straight and your back heel on the floor, bend your front knee and gently bring your hip and chest toward the wall until you feel a stretch in the calf of your back leg.
  4. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat 2 to 4 times for each leg.

Calf stretch on a step

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slide 4 of 5, Calf stretch on a step,
  1. Stand on the bottom step of a staircase, facing up toward the stairs. Put the balls of your feet on the step. Hold on to the handrail or wall.
  2. Slowly let your heels down over the edge of the step as you relax your calf muscles. You should feel a gentle stretch up the back of your leg to your knee.
  3. Hold the stretch about 15 to 30 seconds, and then tighten your calf muscle a little to bring your heel back up to the level of the step.
  4. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Heel raise on a step

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slide 5 of 5, Heel raise on a step,
  1. Stand on the bottom step of a staircase, facing up toward the stairs. Put the balls of your feet on the step. If you are not steady on your feet, hold on to the handrail or wall.
  2. Keeping both knees straight, slowly lift your heels above the step so that you are standing on your toes. Then slowly lower your heels below the step and toward the floor.
  3. Return to the starting position, with your feet even with the step.
  4. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

Enter M689 in the search box to learn more about "Achilles Tendon: Exercises".

The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.