If you’re suffering from ankle tendonitis, you may be able to avoid ankle surgery by gently stretching the affected tendon. You can start range-of-motion exercises right away, but you should not do ankle stretching exercises until you are able to do them without pain.
Range-of-Motion Exercises for the Ankle
For the first exercise, sit in a sturdy chair and place your injured foot flat on the floor. Move your knee back and forth for two to three minutes without moving your foot from the floor.
For the next exercise, use your big toe to trace the alphabet on the floor. This exercise moves your foot in every direction. Repeat the entire alphabet up to three times.
To stretch the Achilles tendon, sit on the floor and extend your injured leg straight out in front of you. Roll up a bath towel so you end up with a long roll and place the towel so it goes behind the ball of your foot. Use the towel to gently pull your foot toward you. Hold for a couple seconds at a time, then release the stretch.
To stretch the calf, face the wall and place your hands on the wall. Place your feet so that the injured foot is further back with the foot pointing straight forward. Bend your arms and front knee and lean into the wall to stretch the Achilles tendon. This stretch works different muscles depending on whether you bend your back knee or keep it straight.
When to Do Stretches to Prevent Ankle Surgery
These exercises should be repeated daily. It is especially important to do stretching exercises before engaging in physical activity. This will reduce the chances of reinjuring the tendon. You should continue to do exercises to strengthen your ankle several times per week even after the tendon has healed.