Click here for a PDF handout on the Eccentric Stretching Programme
You can do the towel stretch right away. When the towel stretch is too easy, try the standing calf stretch, soleus stretch, and plantar fascia stretch. When you no longer have sharp pain in your calf or tendon, start exercises 5, 6, and 7.
1. Towel stretch:
Sit on a hard surface with your injured leg stretched out in front of you. Loop a towel around the ball of your foot and pull the towel toward your body, keeping your knee straight. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.
2. Standing calf stretch:
Facing a wall, put your hands against the wall at about eye level. Keep the injured leg back, the uninjured leg forward, and the heel of your injured leg on the floor. Turn your injured foot slightly inward (as if you were pigeon-toed) as you slowly lean into the wall until you feel a stretch in the back of your calf. Hold for 30 seconds. Do this several times a day.
3. Standing soleus stretch:
Stand facing a wall with your hands at about chest level. With both knees slightly bent and the injured foot back, gently lean into the wall until you feel a stretch in your lower calf. Once again, slightly toe in with the injured foot and keep your heel down on the floor. Hold this for 30 seconds. Return to the starting position. Repeat 3 times.
4. Plantar fascia stretch:
Standing with the ball of your injured foot on a stair and slightly toed out, reach for the bottom of the step with your heel until you feel a stretch in the arch of your foot. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Relax and then repeat 3 times.
5. Toe raises:
Stand in a normal weight-bearing position. Rock back on your heels so that your toes come off the ground. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times. Do 3 sets of 10.
6. Heel raises:
Standing, balance yourself on both feet behind a chair. Rise up on your toes, hold for 5 seconds and then lower yourself down. Repeat 10 times. Do 3 sets of 10.
7. Single leg balance:
Stand without any support and attempt to balance on your injured leg. Begin with your eyes open and then try to perform the exercise with your eyes closed. Hold the single-leg position for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.