Total Pageviews



Saturday, January 9, 2021

Avoid Negative Heel Stretching

Achilles StretchIng: One Stretch to Avoid (when you have achilles tendinitits or plantar fasciitis)




     A vital part of the treatment of achilles tendinitis and plantar fasciitis is stretching these structures. The photo above shows a very powerful achilles and plantar fascial stretch. The position is normally used in an eccentric achilles strengthening program. It normally feels great as you lower one or both heels off the edge of a stair or curb. But this stretch, called Negative Heel Stretching, or Negative Heel Position, can be damaging to your tendon and/or plantar fascia. I do not recommend it at all, but I mainly emphasize it with my achilles and plantar fasciitis patients to avoid with a passion. With the heel in a vulnerable, non-protected, position, the heel is lowered into a position it is just not used to being. If you think about heel position in life activities (functional activities), our heels are either at the same height as the front of the foot, or elevated above the front of the foot as in a normal heeled shoe. Negative Heel Stretching places our heels in a position that life has not accustomed them to being. Almost our full body weight goes into the achilles attachment in the back of the heel and into the attachment of the plantar fascia into the bottom of the heel. Golden Rule of FootAvoid Negative Heel Stretching. Do not take a chance that this stretch is overloading the weakened areas leading to greater damage of the tissues. There are too many other ways to stretch these areas. Whereas you should not do with achilles or plantar fascial pain, you have to be very cautious even when you have no prior pain history in these areas. Eccentric achilles training can go from you heel off the ground as much as possible to a stable level ground position (it is still eccentric). 

The following is an excerpt from my book “Secrets to Keep Moving”. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you very much for leaving a comment. Due to my time restraints, some comments may not be answered.I will answer questions that I feel will help the community as a whole.. I can only answer medical questions in a general form. No specific answers can be given. Please consult a podiatrist, therapist, orthopedist, or sports medicine physician in your area for specific questions.