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Ankle Exercises

Haglund’s Deformity Exercises

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Posted 9 months ago


Last updated: 02/01/2023


by James McCormack

Halund’s Deformity is a bony growth that develops on the back of the heel bone where the Achilles Tendon wraps around the calcaneus. The insertion of the Achilles Tendon plays a significant role in the levels of pain experienced for those with a Haglund’s deformity as this bony growth can rub off the underside of the Achilles’ tendon and this can be extremely painful with certain movements and exercises. For this reason, rehabilitation can be tricky and choosing the right exercises is important.

This article will provide a group of exercises that we find most effective with our patients who have a Haglund’s deformity. It is not a one-size-fits-all but hopefully, they can provide you with some much-needed pain relief.

Best Exercises for Haglund’s Deformity

The best exercises for Haglund’s Deformity should stretch and condition the tendon to absorb load without irritating the patient’s symptoms. When going into dorsiflexion (lifting the foot upwards) past neutral, a Haglund’s Deformity can rub off the underside of the Achilles Tendon, so where possible we try to avoid this position with repetitive exercises. However, short periods of time in a dorsiflexed position for stretches are generally beneficial.

We use isometric exercises to condition the Achilles Tendon as we can get a large amount of force through the tendon without irritating it.

Stretching Exercise For Haglund’s Deformity

Standing Gastrocnemius Stretch

  • Stand upright with the affected leg behind you
  • Keep the knee straight on the leg behind with a slight bend on the knee in front
  • Move forward on the front leg while keeping both heels on the floor
  • Stop moving forward once you feel a stretch on the back leg
  • Hold for 45 seconds
  • Repeat 3-4 times daily.

Strengthening Exercise for Haglund’s Deformity

Isometric Heel Raise for Insertional Achilles Tendinopathy

  • Stand on the floor with or without support
  • Keep your knees straight
  • Slowly raise your heels off approximately 2cm
  • Hold for 45 seconds
  • Return to start position
  • Repeat 4 times

Balance Exercise for Haglund’s Deformity

Single-Leg Balance: Wobble Cushion

  • Stand on one leg with your foot on a wobble cushion on the floor
  • Hold your opposite leg out in front
  • Focus on a point in front of you to help with stability
  • Hold for 60 seconds
  • Repeat 3-4 times daily.

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: Haglund’s Deformity: Symptoms and Causes

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