Foot & Ankle Surgery located in Fort Worth and Weatherford, TX

Stretches That Go a Long Way In Protecting Your Achilles Tendon

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Stretches That Go a Long Way In Protecting Your Achilles Tendon

Your feet are vital for anything you do on your feet, but are sadly also prone to getting hurt or damaged. Injuries affecting your Achilles tendon are very common, but there are ways to reduce your risk using stretches.

Your feet take you everywhere, and healthy feet do a lot of traveling. Between walking up and down stairs, through shopping malls, through grocery stores and around the house, you are walking miles per day, and because we use them so often they can get damaged and hurt over time. So whether it's due to injuries, overworking joints, ill-fitting footwear, or obesity, there are a lot of things that can lead to foot pain.

There are also areas of the foot that tend to get injured more than others, including your Achilles tendon. This important tendon in your foot can be damaged in a lot of ways, but fortunately there are ways to avoid these problems with stretches and exercises. Let’s examine this further by looking at what your Achilles tendon does, what injuries are common for it, and the stretches you can do to keep them healthy.

If you live in the Fort Worth or Weatherford, Texas, area and you’re suffering from pain in your Achilles tendon or other foot problems, Drs. Gary Driver, Glen Beede, Gregory Jaryga, and their skilled medical team at Trinity Foot & Ankle Specialists can help you find relief.

The function of your Achilles tendon

Also referred to as the calcaneal tendon or the heel cord, this is a band of musculoskeletal tissue that connects the calf muscles in your lower leg to the heel bone in your foot. Averaging around 15 centimeters but can be as big as 26 centimeters in length, this is both the biggest and strongest tendons in your body, and you have one on each foot.

It’s made up of strong collagen fibers and each layer of fibers is covered in a layer of paratenon cells which provides lubrication and blood flow to it. This tendon is responsible for helping you lift your heel when you do several things with your feet, such as standing on your tiptoes, walking, running, jumping, or climbing stairs.

Common injuries that affect it

There are several injuries common to this tendon, including:


Overusing or otherwise damaging this tendon can lead to different forms of inflammation, such as Achilles paratenonitis, tendinosis, non insertional tendonitis, and insertional tendonitis.


Bursa is the small sacs of fluid that help keep joints moving smoothly, and when it becomes inflamed it can lead to either anterior, or posterior Achilles bursitis.


Awkward movements from quickly changing speed or direction, jumping, or walking uphill can cause tears in this tendon that leads to ruptures and potentially a partial or complete break from the bone.

Repetitive motions can often lead to these problems, but other factors that increase the risk include increasing intensity in a sport, changing sports, bone spurs, physical activity on uneven surfaces, and wearing ill-fitting or improper shoes for exercise.

Exercises and stretches to keep it fit

Here’s what you can do to prevent dealing with these issues:

  • Seated Towel stretch: uses mechanical stress on your toes to stretch the Achilles tendon and calf muscle
  • Sitting heel raises: sitting in a chair with your feet flat to the floor, raise your heels as high as possible without hurting yourself
  • Standing toe raises: this exercise uses gravity to stretch the tendon slowly, using either the stairs or a board at least three inches high off the ground
  • Standing Achilles stretch: one of the most common stretches, this one isolates the soleus muscle and your Achilles tendon through leaning and lunging

These are just some things you can do to keep your tendons in shape to maintain proper foot health. But if you think you’re experiencing problems with your joints, tendons, ligaments or muscles in your feet, make an appointment with Drs. Driver, Beede, Jaryga, and Trinity Foot & Ankle Specialists today to get help.