Eccentric Exercises for Achilles Tendinitis/Tendinosis

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Applying Research to Rehab

by: Myles Cheatham

Achilles tendinitis/tendosis is defined as a mild swelling, soreness, stiffness, or tenderness in the back of the heel. This injury can be caused by a number of different factors including poor footwear, muscle tightness or weakness, age and even running surfaces. Studies have shown and proven that eccentric exercises with a focus on slow and controlled movement is an extremely effective nonsurgical method to treating tendonitis/tendonosis. Below are some helpful exercises for anyone dealing with symptoms or has been diagnosed with this very common injury. Each exercise should be performed for 3 sets of 15 repetitions. Remember: the focus of these exercises are SLOW AND CONTROLLED.


Eccentric Calf Stretch

  • Wrap a resistance band around the bottom of your forefoot and hold both ends so that the band is even on either side
  • Begin with the foot in plantar flexion ( foot pointed forward) and pull both ends of the band so that the ankle goes into dorsiflexion (flex the foot toward the body)
  • Slowly (over 3 seconds) plantar flex against the resistance of the band

Eccentric Heel Drop on Step

  • Begin this exercise with both feet in a neutral position with only the forefoot on the step
  • Perform a toe raise with both feet
  • Remove the unaffected leg from the step and slowly lower the affected back to neutral

Progression: Loaded Eccentric Heel Drop on Step

  • The same cues apply to this progression of the Heel Drop, only now we are incorporating the weight(load) of the dumbbells.

Eccentric Heel Drop on Seated Calf Machine

  • Adjust the weight and settings of the machine so that you can comfortably perform the movement
  • Set feet to the edge of platform so that only the forefeet are in contact
  • Lift the weight by performing a heel raise with both feet and slowly lower the weight using the affected leg

    Eccentric Heel Drop on Leg Press Machine

  • Adjust the weight and settings of the machine so that you can comfortably perform the movement
  • Position your feet on the platform so that your heels are off the edge
  • Press the weight by performing a heel raise and slowly lower the heel back to neutral using the affected leg

    Eccentric Heel Drop on Smith Machine

  • Adjust the weight and settings of the machine so that you can comfortably perform the movement and place a weighted plate (or some sort of platform) directly under your feet
  • Heels should be hanging off the edge of the platform
  • Perform a heel raise with both feet and slowly lower the weight using the affected leg

    For more information about how to rehabilitate your achilles tendontitis tendonosis, schedule an appointment with us: CALL: 410-213-0395 or E-Mail us at: Dave@IMPACT-Fellowship.com.