How To Reverse the Tight Muscles that Cause Achilles Tendonitis
Achilles tendonitis is the bane of a runner’s existence! It can take you off the road and out of the race!
And if not treated properly it can even tear the muscle or the tendon from the bone.
Through the years, I’ve seen people stretching in effort to release the tension on the Achilles tendon, but that can cause potential harm if muscle knots aren’t released first. Muscle knots are caused by repetitive use and most likely if you’re a runner you have them in your calf muscles.
My intention in this post is to show you how to find, release and safely stretch your calf muscles which takes the strain off your Achilles tendon. This will help you avoid Achilles Tendonitis and keep you running for as long as you desire!
Your gastrocnemius and soleus muscles both merge into your Achilles tendon, which then attaches to your heel bone (calcaneus). As the muscles contract they pull up on the tendon causing your heel to lift.
I’ve got a short 3-minute video that explains the muscle involvement with more detail.
The big problem is that people try to stretch when they still have muscle knots.
For example, take a 12″ long rope; tie enough knots in it so it becomes 11″ long and then try to stretch it back to 12″ without untying the knots. As you stretch the rope the knots actually get tighter and the fibers outside of the knot overstretch. This is what happens to your muscles. Plus when it comes to muscles there will be pressure on the insertion points on the bones at each end of the muscle. Ouch!
Doing a typical heel drop stretch without first releasing the spasms causes the fibers outside of the knot to overstretch. That’s why it feels good for a while and also why it again shortens (those muscles were overstretched).
Fortunately, releasing muscles knots is easy and can even be done while you are out for your run.
Here’s How To Safely Stretch Calf Muscles!
Sit on a bench. Place your calf into your opposite knee. Use your hands to help press the muscle deeper.
This picture is showing how to release your calf on the inside; to reach the entire muscle just rotate your leg around so you get the outside and the belly of the two calf muscles.
You can also release both calf muscles from the back of your knee to the sides of your Achilles tendon by lying on the ground and placing your calf onto your bent knee as pictured here.
Press your calf muscles into your knee, release and move all the way down your lower leg. Be sure not to slide. Press the muscle and then lift to move to another point on the muscle.
You don’t need to lean on a tree for this next familiar stretch for the gastrocnemius as most runners do!
To safely stretch without straining your Achilles tendon take a high lunge as pictured here. Bend your forward leg so that knee is over ankle. Back leg stays straight with heel on floor.
This next stretch is frequently missed and it is the most important! Stretching your soleus muscle. You’ll feel the difference in the stretch because it will be felt much closer to your Achilles tendon area.
From your high lunge position above you can easily pivot into the position pictured here. This time bend your back knee and keep your front leg straight.
Now you’ve just safely stretched your gastrocnemius and soleus. Your body will thank you for it!
The Julstro self-treatments shown above are easy to do and extremely effective at stopping calf pain and Achilles tendonitis.
The stretches can be done while you’re on the road when you feel tension in your calf. Plus they are safer for your Achilles tendon than doing a weighted heel drop. Achilles tendonitis no more!
If you want to learn more self-treatments and stretches that eliminate muscle knots in your entire body, I suggest you add the Flexibility Training program to your library!
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