Rehab for an achilles tendon is much different than your typical ‘muscle strain’. From full ruptures, to nagging tendinopathy it can be a long road to heal. It’s good to remember the basics on how the tendon functions. It needs:
💪Muscle Strength (Gastrocs/Soleus)
⚙️Elastic Energy Storage
💥Elastic Energy Release
If the tendon is extremely painful, or just off surgery you might just start off with isometric exercises (aka resist the foot, but no actual movement). After healing begins, the video above shows my usual progressions:
1️⃣Seated Calf Raises
2️⃣Standing Bilateral Calf Raises
3️⃣Assisted Unilateral Calf Raises
4️⃣Unassisted Unilateral Calf Raises
5️⃣End-Range Plantarflexion Raises
6️⃣Eccentric Heel Drops (not shown)
📣There’s been endless debate and study on what gives you the greatest healing response: concentric, eccentric, isometric exercises for achilles. The argument is going to go on forever.
Personally, we've found a progression of slow reps, building into faster and more elastic reps does the job. Any type of controlled tissue gliding should reduce some pain and up their resilience.
Milner Chiropractic and Sports Injury Clinic