Achilles Tendonitis Massage
Achilles tendonitis massage is one of the best ways to break up the scar tissue built up in the Achilles tendon.
In this complete guide to treating Achilles tendonitis at home, you will learn how to:
- Self-massage the Achilles tendon
- Stretch out the Achilles tendon and calf muscles
- Strengthen the Achilles tendon and arch of the foot
The aim of this self help guide is to encourage the healing process of your Achilles tendon. So without further adieu, let’s get started.
Best Achilles Tendonitis Massage:
Deep Friction Massage For Achilles Tendonitis
The deep friction massage for achilles tendonitis is the method of applying friction perpendicularly to the tendon fibers. The aim of this massage is to stimulate the natural healing process in the affected area by gentle disruption to the scar tissue formed on the tendon.
To perform this massage, sit in a comfortable chair and cross your affected leg over your thigh. You want your Achilles tendon to be within reach of your hand. Then, using your thumb and index finger feel up and down the Achilles tendon in order to look for areas that are tender to the touch.
You want to use a pinching action to find these tender areas along the tendon, while keeping your ankle relaxed. Make sure not to apply too much pressure to the tendon when feeling for tender spots.
Once you find a painful spot on your tendon, keep the tendon between your thumb and index finger and massage the tendon using a back and forth motion. This back and forth motion must be in a direction perpendicular (at a right angle) to the tendon.
Make sure to stretch the tendon out when performing this massage. You can do this by lifting your foot toward your shin bone.
You will want to continue this massage for no more and no less than fifteen minutes. Start off the massage gently, slowly increasing the pressure every 3 minutes. You might feel the tendon becoming a little less sensitive to the action. This is the signal for you to massage a little deeper and a little harder.
In order to trigger the healing response and disrupt the scar tissue on the tendon, you will have to apply firm pressure over time. This might feel uncomfortable but at the same time, but the discomfort should be bearable.
Make sure NOT TO FORCE the tendon through any pain. Continue this massage once everyday for the next two weeks.
Calf Massage For Achilles Tendonitis
For this exercise, you will need a foam roller. These padded foam cylinders are a great piece of kit for everyone as they act like your personal masseuse.
To perform this calf massage, sit on the floor and place your affected leg over the foam roller. You want to place your Achilles tendon on the foam roller and then move your leg back and forth, massaging from your calf to the end of your Achilles tendon.
In order to do this, you will have to lift your weight off the floor and roll your leg back and forth over the foam roller. If using one leg is too painful, you can place both legs on the foam roller to help distribute your weight better and thus reduce pressure on the calf and tendon.
If you would like to add more pressure than just rolling on one leg, you can place the non affected leg over the affected leg for added pressure. You can also tilt the leg outward as well as inward in order to massage the entire width of the calf. You want to roll from your Achilles tendon to your calf for one minute in all three positions – neutral position, outer calf position and the inner calf position.
While massaging, you will find some knots or tender spots along the length of your calf and Achilles tendon. Whenever you find such a spot, place the foam roller under the tender spot and oscillate your leg from side to side. You will start to notice that the spot becomes less tight over time.
Continue rolling and searching for these tender spots as you go. You can also place the foam roller under the tender spot and instead of oscillating your leg from side-to-side, lift and point your toes up and then away from your body.
Shin Muscle Massage For Achilles Tendonitis
The shin muscle is the muscle on the outer portion of the shin bone (aka the Tibia). But in the case of this massage we are going to try to iron out the kinks on both sides of the shin bone.
To do this, sit on a chair and lift the knee of your affected leg to your chest. You then want to cup your hands and massage the shin muscle. Search for any tender spots along the muscle and iron out the kinks. Do the same on the muscle on the inner side of the shin bone.
Achilles Tendonitis Exercises
Heel Drops For Achilles Tendonitis
This single exercise for Achilles tendinitis has been shown to have the best effect on active recovery. This 12 week protocol was developed my professor Hakan Alfredson. In order to perform this exercise, stand with the balls of your feet on an elevated surface.
You can use a step ladder or the stairs. Keeping both feet side by side, lift your body up with your non injured leg and slowly come back down with your injured leg (eccentric movement).
Perform this exercise for 3 sets of 15 repetitions for a total of 12 weeks. You will notice the pain in your Achilles tendon slowly reduce over the 12 week duration. Do not over stretch the Achilles tendon and work your way down to just below the level of the elevated surface you are standing on.
Achilles Tendontits Stretches
The two calf stretches mentioned below are your simple run of the mill calf stretches. They work wonders for achilles tendonitis rehabilitation and must be performed everyday.
Back Leg Calf Stretch
In order to perform this simple calf stretch, face a wall and place both hands on it. Then place the ball of your affected foot one step behind.
Then (keeping the knee straight) lower the heel of that foot down. You will feel a gentle stretch through your calf muscle.
Hold this stretch for 15 to 20 seconds before moving onto the other foot. Perform this stretch for 3 sets on each leg. This can be preformed twice a day, just make sure not to over stretch the muscle. For a deeper stretch, move the foot you want to stretch further back.
Front Leg Calf Stretch
In order to perform this stretch, face a wall and place the ball of your affected foot on the wall in front of you. Make sure your heel is on the floor (forming a triangle with your toes and the wall as the apex and the floor as the base).
Slowly straighten out your knee and move your hips toward the wall. This will stretch out the calf muscle further. Hold this stretch for 15 to 20 seconds and perform it on each leg for 3 sets.
Apart from the regular RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and elevation) treatment, the Achilles tendonitis massage, stretches and exercises will put you on the path to a quicker recovery.