When rehabilitating Achilles tendonitis, it is best to use a combination of scraping, stretching, and strengthening exercises. Muscle scraping promotes fresh blood flow in the area, providing nutrients to encourage the healing of the damaged tendon. Scraping and stretching will reduce stiffness in the calf muscles and tendon itself, improving extensibility, shock absorption, and reducing the risk of injury. Strength exercises rebuild the degenerated tissues, and allow these tissues to tolerate more load to prevent overuse injuries in the future.
Week 1 of Achilles tendonitis recovery consists of stretches and strength exercises that do not require much weight-bearing. Reducing stiffness and maintaining range of motion is essential during the early weeks of rehabilitation. Banded dorsiflexion will reintroduce activation of the calf muscles and stress on the Achilles tendon without weight-bearing.
During week 2, we will progress to weight-bearing exercises to build strength of the calf muscles and stress the Achilles tendon.
The final week of Achilles tendonitis rehabilitation will consist exclusively of challenging strength exercises. Single-leg and explosive exercises will challenge the stability of the tissues and their ability to withstand impact and powerful movements.