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Ankle Exercises

Achilles Tendonitis Exercises

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Posted 11 months ago

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Last updated: 03/12/2022

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by James McCormack

Achilles Tendonitis Exercise Protocols

Achilles Tendonitis (Achilles Tendinopathy) strengthening exercises are the most effective way to cure Achilles Tendon Pain. Tendons connect muscle to bone and they have less blood supply than a muscle. As a result, it takes them longer for a tendon to heel when injured compared to a muscle. A strengthening program to cure Achilles Tendonitis normally takes 8-12 weeks. It is rarely a linear line of progression and consistency is important.

Currently, there are two evidence-based Achilles Tendonitis Exercise programmes that are effective; The Alfredson Protocol and the HSR Protocol. In this article, we are going to explain how to do the Alfredson Protocol. It has a very high volume of repetitions but it can be done without equipment. Borth the Alfredson and the HSR protocols have been shown to be equally effective forms of treatment to heal Achilles Tendonitis.

Alfredson Protocol

This program is often referred to as an Eccentric Achilles Tendon protocol. The protocol needs to be carried out every day for 3 months and can be quite tedious but it is effective. Try these exercises on two feet initially and then progress to a single leg as it becomes easier. Aim to be consistent with the time of day that you do the exercises to allow approximately 24 hours of rest between sessions.

How often to carry out the Alfredson Protocol

  • 3 sets of 15 repetitions of Heel Raises and Soleus Raises
  • Repeat Twice Daily
  • Carry out for 12 weeks

Achilles Tendonitis: Heel Raises

  • Stand on the edge of a step
  • You can hold onto something stable for your balance
  • Let your heels drop down over the edge of the step
  • Lift both heels up, as high as possible
  • Slowly lower your heels down to your starting position
  • This is one repetition

Eccentric heel Raises

If you can comfortably do 3 sets of 15 heel raises, progress onto the eccentric heel raises.

Achilles Tendonitis: Eccentric Heel Raises

  • Stand on the edge of a step
  • You can hold onto something stable for your balance
  • Let your heels drop down over the edge of the step
  • Lift both heels up, as high as possible
  • Bring your weight over to the affected side and lift the foot of the unaffected side off the step
  • Slowly lower the heel of the affected side down to your starting position
  • This is one repetition

Achilles Tendonitis: Soleus Raises

  • Stand on the edge of a step, with your knees bent
  • You can hold onto something stable for your balance
  • Let your heels drop down over the edge of the step, keeping your knees in the same position
  • Lift both heels up, as high as possible
  • Slowly lower your heels down to your starting position
  • This is one repetition

Soleus Progressions

If you can comfortably do 3 sets of 15 soleus raises, progress onto the eccentric soleus raises.

Achilles Tendonitis: Eccentric Soleus Raises

  • Stand on the edge of a step, with your knees bent
  • You can hold onto something stable for your balance
  • Let your heels drop down over the edge of the step, keeping your knees in the same position
  • Lift both heels up, as high as possible
  • Bring your weight over to the affected side and lift the foot of the unaffected side off the step
  • Slowly lower the heel of the affected side down to your starting position
  • Slowly lower your heels down to your starting position
  • This is one repetition

Physiotherapy with James McCormack

This is not medical advice. We recommend a consultation with a medical professional such as James McCormack. He offers Online Physiotherapy Appointments for £45.

Related Article: Achilles Tendonitis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

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