How To Do A Heel Cord Stretch At Home In 3 Easy Tests

The road to recovery after a positive Achilles tendon rupture test can be a long one. Honestly, any injury related to the Achilles tendon will require a lot of rest, physical therapy and perhaps even an Achilles tendon massage.

Once you have the “go” signal from your doctor to perform some strengthening exercises, on top of your list should be the heel cord stretch.

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Benefits Of The Heel Cord Stretch

There are different variations of the stretch but each of them targets the heel cord which is the large tendon connecting the heel bone to the calf muscles of the leg. These stretches help maintain mobility by stretching the calf muscles and other muscles connected to the ankle.

They also ease discomfort and may help alleviate pain.

Another benefit is that they don’t require any equipment and can be done in the comfort of your own home. Some of the stretches can be done alone while others may require a partner.

Before you go ahead and try these exercises, keep these tips in mind:

  • Do a short warm-up (5-10 minutes) before and after the stretches to warm up your muscles and prevent injury. For example, you could do a light walk on the stationary bike.
  • ​If you experience any pain during the stretches, stop and consult a physician

Top 5 Heel Cord Stretches

#1: Traditional Heel Cord Stretch

You will need:

  • A wall or some other sturdy surface to push against ​

Things to do:

  • Facing the wall, stand with the affected leg forward and slightly bent at the knee
  • ​Keep the other leg straight behind you with both heels flat on the ground
  • ​Gently press your hips towards the wall
  • ​Make sure your heels remain on the ground throughout the exercise and your back remains straight
  • ​Hold for 30 seconds
  • ​Relax for 30 seconds and repeat
  • ​Repeat daily
  • Once you have mastered this stretch, you can make it more challenging by bending both knees slightly as you press your hips towards the wall.

#2: Single Leg Heel Raise

You will need:

  • ​A chair or wall for support

Things to do:

  • ​Hold the back of a chair or the wall to help you balance
  • ​Place all your weight on the affected foot by lifting your working foot off the ground without bending the knee
  • ​Slowly raise the heel of your affected foot as high as possible
  • ​Gently lower keeping your working foot in the air at all times
  • ​Repeat 10 times

#3: Bilateral Heel Drop

You will need:

  • ​A step or stable raised platform

Things to do:

  • ​Stand with half of your foot on the edge of the stair so that your heel can move up and down freely
  • ​Make sure you are balanced by using handrails for support if necessary
  • ​Lift your heels off the ground in a slow controlled fashion
  • ​Slowly lower them to the lowest degree possible
  • ​Repeat this 20 times
  • ​Once you master this exercise, you can move forward to the single heel drop by putting all your weight on the affected foot

#4: Towel Stretch

You will need:

  • ​A towel folded in half length-wise or belt

Things to do:

  • ​Sit on the ground placing the center of the towel around the ball of your affected foot
  • ​Hold each end of the towel with both your hands
  • ​Lower yourself on your back and raise your leg while pulling on the towel ends
  • ​Continue to pull until you feel the back of your legs stretch

#5: Heel Cord Stretch With A Partner

You will need:

  • ​A partner to do the stretch
  • ​A towel (if you are not wearing socks)
  • ​A bed or other elevated fat surface to lie down

Things to do:

  • ​Lie down face up with your foot just over the edge of the bed
  • ​Have your partner hold your foot firmly with one hand
  • ​With the other hand, have him grab your Achilles tendon by the heel of your foot between his thumb and forefinger
  • ​Make sure the rest of the arm that is grabbing his tendon is positioned under your foot
  • ​Slowly, let him press against your foot gently so that your foot moves toward your leg

Conclusion

Whether you have insertional Achilles tendonitis or a ruptured tendon, these heel cord stretches can help you regain the strength and mobility you had previously. While you are doing the stretches, make sure you wear the best shoes for Achilles tendonitis in order to prevent further injury.

How did you like these stretches? Do you have other heel cord stretch suggestions we have left out? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Also, remember to share these 5 stretches with friends.