Achilles Tendon Rupture Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

Achilles Tendon Rupture Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

Hey everybody, it’s Doctor Jo, and today I’m
gonna show you some stretches and exercises for achilles tendon rupture. Let’s get started. With an achilles tendon rupture, sometimes you’re gonna need surgery anyways, depending
on how sever it is, but you can do the exercises before and after to help you with your recovery.
The stronger you can be before your surgery, if you’re gonna have to have it, the better
your recovery is gonna be afterwards. So the first stretch is gonna be a calf stretch.
You can stretch the calf in a whole bunch of different ways, today I’m gonna show you
one with a strap. You can use a strap, you can use a belt, you can use a dog leash, those
are really nice cause they have loops in them. Or you can use a big towel. It’s really called
a towel stretch, so that’s usually the thing people use the most. What you want to do is
wrap it around the ball of your foot. You don’t want it to be too low, and you don’t
want it to be on your toes cause it might slip off and hit you. So just wrapping it
around the ball of your foot there, relax your ankle, try not to move it actively. You’re
just gonna move it with the strap. So relax it, and then pull towards you until you feel
that stretch underneath there. Now remember, if you have a rupture, or if you have a strain
in that achilles tendon, it’s gonna be pretty sore. You don’t want to push through the pain,
you just want to pull it until you kind of feel that a little bit of pain and you’re
like ‘if I went more, it would hurt a lot.’ And just hold it there for about 30 seconds,
and relax it. And do that 3 times. So a nice big pull. Try and keep your knee straight,
try not to bend it, keep it nice and straight. And again you’re gonna feel it underneath
there. You’re gonna feel it in that achilles tendon area, holding it for 30 seconds. Alright,
the next ones are gonna be standing up. So the next ones are gonna be something where
you want something sturdy like a chair or a counter top so you have something to balance
on. It’s gonna be another calf stretch. This time you’re gonna put your foot back behind
you. Keep your foot straight, don’t turn it out. Keep it straight. And keep your back
heel down. The back leg is gonna stay straight for the calf stretch, and you can bend your
front one forward like this. Until again you feel a stretch back through there. So coming
forward. Hold that stretch for about 30 seconds. Come back up. And do that 3 times. Just coming
forward as far as you comfortably can. Not pushing through pain, just getting a good
comfortable stretch. The next stretch is gonna be a soleus stretch. And that is the muscle
that’s underneath the calf muscle there. So this time you’re gonna bend the knee. Still
keeping that foot straight, still keeping the back heel down, but this time bend your
knee. So it feels a little awkward with this one. You can bend both knees and then come
forward. And a lot of times you’ll feel the stretch there, sometimes people fell a little
bit in the front cause you’re bending at your ankle a little bit more, but keeping that
knee bent, keeping that heel down, holding it for about 30 seconds, and then coming back
up. Do 3 of those. Bending that knee coming forward. Now we’re gonna do some exercises
to get it moving a little bit. So this one is just gonna be a simple heel raise. Put
your feet about shoulder width apart. Hold on to something sturdy if you need it. And
then just bring those heels up off the ground. Now the important part of this one is slowly
come back down. Use that control cause that’s really gonna work that achilles area, that
calf area, not just letting gravity bring you back down but coming up and really controlling
it coming back down, nice and slow. Start off with just about 10 of these, even if you’re
not feeling sore at the time. Let you’re body kind of recover and then the next day if it
feels fine, then you can start working up from there. And then the last one is just
a balance series. So this time, just standing on one foot. If you need to hold on a little
bit, you can. Start off with both hands. Start with maybe 15 – 20 seconds of balancing. If
you can do that, then just hold on with a finger or two. And then if you can do that,
maybe just one finger. And then once you build up to it, then just try balancing without
holding on. Start off with 10 – 15 seconds, and work your way up to 30 seconds to a minute.
And there you have it. Those are your stretches and exercises for Achilles tendon rupture.
If you have any questions, leave them in the comments section. If you’d like to check out
some other videos, go to Don’t forget to like us. And remember, be safe,
have fun, and I hope you feel better soon.

78 Replies to “Achilles Tendon Rupture Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo”

  1. I only get a true stretch when I do this when bending my knee.  I have to go so much farther keeping my leg straight to even feel anything.  Have had surgery almost 2 years ago and still have 0 strength improvement and tight everyday without fail.  Feels like I'm still on the show 'House'.  I have been to multiple places and still nobody can give me exercises/stretches that give me true improvement.

  2. I cant do thoes last 2 because my tendon is to tight and I jusy got out of my cast last Tuesday. I really need your help cause I want to start rehabing my self and my tendon is tight. Whay should I do?

  3. how long you can back normal walk or run??i had operation on december2015 my doctor say i had flat leg and will observation 3month. if not repair/heal will be operation. and my doctor said to stop physiotherapy. but until right now.. my injury leg cramp so much.i really want to back normal and not operation again 🙁 please answer my question. thank you

  4. your great…really like you😊
    keep up the great work…by the way should we be excersing like long walks and squats with the pain?

  5. I spoke to my surgeon about stretching before surgery and he recommended against doing this as it could make the injury worse. how does stretching a torn tendon help it?

  6. HI Doctor Jo, I had an op to reattach my achilles about 7 weeks ago. This was my second rupture and as the tendon pulled off from the heel bone it had to be anchored into the calcaneous and allowed to grow back onto the bone. So far I have not been given any exercises and as the surgery wound has not quite healed up I am nervous about starting to do things. However, I am using a boot with no heel raises and I have been trying to get toe curls and pointing started. Can you advise on some suitable please? Rob

  7. My achilles ruptured 6 years ago playing basketball (I am 42 now), I went thru surgery and rehab, stood on and off physical activity for the last 5 years. For the last month and a half I've been running (I manage to run now 6 miles in an hour), and I REALLY want to go back to play basketball. What can I do so this doesn't happen again? THANKS!!

  8. This is excellent! I will do these to strengthen the heel that needs surgery before I have surgery to repair the one that's been fixed and ruptured again. The recovery was brutal since I've been so inactive due to the pain and swelling for more than two years. Also gotta practice my one leg squats so I can get up from the toilet LOL. I do wish someone had warned me how difficult that would be!

  9. Many thanks for the info… going to start the exercises from tmrw onwards ..had achillies ruptured because of misbalance … hope this will help me to recover asap to go back to football field ….

  10. Hi Doc, when I did these stretching exercises, I had ankle pain from the outside of the foot when walking and especially when going down the stairs. what should I do now?

  11. hey ive ruptured my Achilles a while ago nearly 6 months ago and I'm not having a good recovery no surgery still swollen been walking about 2 months still becomes very sore and swollen also having circulation trouble and it is very cold the whole leg from the knee down is very cold to only standing for about 2o minutes no pain but can only do that once a day as the day goes on gets more swollen inflamed or cold and I have to elevate what you think I should do I have a specialist and a physio its nt working it seems to me

  12. This is great. I am 6 weeks out post-surgery and just had my cast removed 3 days ago. Are the calf raises recommended at this time in progression?

  13. hello. i got surgery on Dec for my left achillies. Is getting stronger. but now for some weird reason I been feeling my right achillies. it doesn't hurt, just feels 'tingly' sensation or sometimes I feel a pinch or two, specially when I stretch my right calf. is this normal? I was thinking is could be mentally too. should I be concerned? thank you

  14. Will these stretches help despite having a heel spur that on x-ray looks to be right under the Achilles' tendon. I had a doctor tell me I needed to stretch it out after it had become inflamed twice from jogging and after a boxing class. I'm afraid to do anything now in fear it will get inflamed a third time. Takes me off my feet for a few days till cortisone kicks in. A real pain! Also sometimes when I'm barefoot and I tiptoe over my baby gates and I swear I hear a crackling popping noise in that back heel. No pain but my mind tells me it's my Achilles popping / tearing. Your thoughts!

  15. Thank you for your video, it is clear and simple! I started my rehab following your instructions this week. I injured my left leg playing badminton in mid May. A doctor said I had torn my tendon, so I went to hospital for x-ray and ultrasound checkup. The result is ankle sprain with rupture but no broken bones nor ligament, no surgery needed. It took a month for the swell and bruises on the foot and lower leg to diminish. Now it's the fifth Sunday since I injured, I can walk without pain but my left leg is very weak, I cannot semi point with weight on the ball, thus cannot walk and go down stairs properly. Also, it is obvious that my injured leg is slimmer than the other one. I wonder:
    1) slimmer injured leg is normal? Can it be trained back to normal size?
    2) cannot stand on the ball is normal for achilles rupture?
    3) shall I focus on the training of the injured leg or better do the same exercises on both leg?

  16. @AskDoctorJo Wanted to ask you if being flat footed and not having proper footwear can lead to an Achilles' tendon rupture. Currently my Achilles is really tight and my feet are swollen and too sore to walk. Thank you for the stretches, I may give it a shot.

  17. I had pain in my right heel doctor said it was swelling he gave me injection but after injection now pain started in achilles tendon where syringe injected will these stretches help me I am 20 and it is 6 month old but injection was given to me on17 june 2017 help me…

  18. I frayed my Achilles tendon 23 years ago. I didn't need surgery but the specialist told me never to go on my toes – ever. So, I followed his advice. As a result, if I ever do go on my toes, my calf muscle tightens up terribly. I've torn them a couple of times too. Would doing your exercises – particularly the ankle raise with very slowly lowering yourself – help me after all these years? Or did I wait too long to strengthen my muscle?

  19. Thank you I don't know if I rupture my Achilles or not but I did get injured and hopefully these exercises will tell me more only time will tell

  20. this is realy good for me because i acturly play netball and my meucail came out and the stretches are realy helping

  21. Hi.Doctor jo.10th May 2017 my Achilles tendon ruptured now I can not move it upward as before it.plz tell me what I do.I taken surgery old is 22

  22. Will this prevent me from having to wear a heel lift for a long period of time? I had to have surgery, and I'm almost certain I'll have to wear a heel lift after I come out the cam boot.

  23. Are these really safe for a ruptured tendon? I feel like these would be better rehab exercises during recovery phase. I currently have a ruptured Achilles tendon and I feel that if i tried doing these it would make it worse by tearing any fibers that might be left or cause the muscle to retract and roll up.

  24. I went through the surgery… I have this dizziness sometimes while exercising or post exercise … any Suggestions on how I could control it. Thanks.

  25. Is this okay to do for basketball players?. Is it okay to do this if u don't have Achilles injury (prevention purposes)

  26. Hey Doc, what is the progression, to return to running for a person who is able to power walk without pain? Also, what is your opinion on doing eccentric straight leg and bent leg heel drops together?

  27. With a non-surgical Rupture. My injury snapped away from the calf muscle. How long would you think that I’m free from rerupure and don’t have worry, to do sports?

  28. Thank you for that, Im nearly 53 and have fibromyalgia, dr recommend walking and after a month of walks have developed pain in ankle tendons. I can feel some relief already from your exercises.

  29. Hi. Very good video indeed. What I could use from this in my case? I'm 2 weeks post surgery ( complete tendon rupture). My foot is in boot with 3 of 5 heel lifts. When I took off boot my foot is not going to much – moving range of my foot is very small. What would you recommend? I would like to mobilize it somehow. I have physio around 16th of April

  30. I had Achilles tendon repair ..2 years I am having a pain from upper joints of foot… please reply..why is this happening

  31. Hi, i have lower calf pain due to high heels. But before that i guess i overstretched my calves. Pls tell me wat to do? How to get it diagnosed??

  32. AskDoctorJo Hello. From yesterday I'm in normal shoes (without wedges) still limping a lot. I have a question this morning I noticed that my ankle is very swollen. Is that normal? I dont have a pain , but I was walking quite a lot yesterday. I'm equally 6 weeks post operation

  33. What about standing on a high step and letting hang the heels all the way down ( with the toes serving as support) till one feels the pull?

  34. Hello. Maybe I will ask you more relevant question to your knowledge. Can you advice me how to improve tension of my affected tendon. My calf muscle is totally deflated and there is no power to raise up with one leg. I'm doing both legs calf raises excercises but it doesn't help a lot. With one leg it is not possible to stand. I'm 2 months post operation. Before injury my calf muscles have been really strong, big and well exposed. Thanks. Tomasz

  35. Are these 3 plus, also good for interior rupture of Achilles….. seem like they are more for exterior? Thank you in advance Dr Jo…..

  36. I had an accident and broke my ankle tendon. After i had a surjery and now i have little bit of problem by walking. I have started doing those excercise which is in the video from today. I hope that this excercise would be helpful for me in my recovery. Thank you

  37. Doc is it ok to do that exercise because im already at 12 weeks post operation of achilles tendon?Is it also ok to walk inside our house (for the tendon to stretch) without the aircast boot? Prior to this im also having my therapy every other day..

  38. Hello Doctor, I had an achille tendon break on my right foot while playing basketball. It's been a month. when I move with the crutches i put my tiptoe injured on ground while paying attention .. Because crutches are old, i am too heavy for moving without putting that foot on the ground and the plaster is damaged because of that, i removed it. So :
    1) I would like to know if it will have consequences that i walk putting on the ground tiptoe achille tendon repaired ..?
    2) I also would like to know if i will be able to walk correctly as before because I can not bend my foot at 90 degree at this moment..?
    Thank you Doctor.. !!!

  39. Thank you very much, I have a question about my surgery. After my 2nd and 3 rd extensor digitorum brevis tendons rupture operation. Can I kick sandbag or any kickboxing competition, I am wondering can I kick with the fixed tendons area anymore.

  40. Great explanation, especially with the first calf stretch as I wasn't sure how to do this correctly. Many thanks!

  41. hallo Doctor, i had a surgery on my achilles, is it better to stretch first for a couple of weeks and then do the strenghtning as shown on your video ? or that doesnt matter at all ?

    thank you.

  42. Hey Dr jo, I had my surgery 2 weeks ago & yesterday my doctor took my splint off and put me in a boot and told me to do weight bearing on it. Is it possible to massage my achilles and calve?

  43. Thanks for this. I dont really know if there is a rupture or anything. Just whenever I've been plying basketball lately (usually 1 1/2 – 2 hours) my Achilles tendons get really sore nearly to the point of hurting afterwards. Usually goes away within a couple days. Just wanted to find something that might help me better prepare for playing so I dont have to be so sore and hurting afterwards. I'm 30 btw.

  44. dr Jo, can the peroneal rehab be used for Achilles also or is this totally different ? I notice for Achilles there are fewer rehab exercises. thx, eddie

  45. I hurt the Achilles 9 months ago, swelling is 90% gone now and just started doing rehab one month ago. Is this a very unusual timeframe or common. ?

  46. Hi Dr. Jo I believe I tore my achilles. Went in to have it checked and x-ray.. no rupture and doctor said that it was only a sprain?…I was given a walking boot and have been using that since. It's been about 6 weeks since injury. I already know that some of the exercises in the video I may not be able to do. Would you recommend me doing some of these excercises or wait longer to start?

  47. Thanks for making this video. I am ten weeks post Achilles rupture which was managed conservatively without surgery. Wish me luck. I really need to get back out on the golf course.

  48. Great video. I had surgery for fully ruptured Achilles. I just got out of the splint and into the boot a few days ago. I’ll start doing the stretching but should I be doing the balancing exercises right away too or more massage and stretching ?

  49. dear dr. I got achilles tendor rupture two weak ago from calcaneus total tear I m 51 years old ortho suggest surgery should I go for this ?

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