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bad stretching...............

Posted by JudyS on 7/26/00 at 09:52 (023985)

Just thought I'd share with you guys my 'bad stretch' of the week. I've been doing well with my 'sitting on floor, feet against the wall' stretch so I decided to add an Achilles stretch. Bad decision. For 2-3 days, about 2x a day I'd stand facing a wall and bend my knees to touch them to the wall. That stretch really isolates the Achilles but.......I overdid. This morning my left heel, ALL of it, feels like it's on fire. So, never never never do as I do!

Re: bad stretching...............

Beverly on 7/26/00 at 12:05 (024002)

Judy,

I can RELATE. That is a very bad stretch... at least for me. I did it by accident when trying out that flexibility survey from a few weeks ago. My left arch and ankle did not like it at all... really bad. So far, weight bearing stretches are not good for me. I don't think I'm ready for them yet.
Beverly


Re: bad stretching...............

alan k on 7/26/00 at 12:36 (024008)

another reason that is bad is that you have no control over your weight except with feet which are currently being stretched. You can stretch the achilles region and soleus with a standard wall stretch, especially with back knee bent and sinking down. The other foot in normal unstretched position controls the show, thus not leaving you helpless.

The stretch I describe could still lead to trouble in some cases, and someone currently injured from an incorrect stretch might want to wait before trying the correct stretch.


alan k


Re: bad stretching...............

JudyS on 7/26/00 at 12:51 (024010)

and why didn't I think of that? A point well-made, Alan - Thank you!

Re: bad stretching...............

Rock on 7/26/00 at 13:09 (024012)

Yes, Alan is right. Weight bearing calf stretches do not allow one to isolate the stretch to what you want streched. Many such calf stretches put an incredible strain on the plantar fascia and cause further injury or overload the achilles tendon. I am experimenting with non-Weight bearing calf stretches done with an orthotic taped to my PF foot, that prevents the plantar fascia from stretching. Not yet sure about whether it is effective or not.

Rock.


Re: Achilles stretch question

Beverly on 7/26/00 at 15:12 (024019)

I am such a novice to stretching. This may sound like a dumb question to the rest of you. When I do the towel stretch (or in my case I use a wide belt), it feels like I'm getting a stretch in the achilles tendon.
My PT has me doing a set with my knees straight and another set with my knees bent(I put two pillow underneath my knees to get the bent knee effect). Both of these stretches are fairly comfortable for me. So, are either of these stretches also stretching the achilles tendon?

Also, my therapist had me doing that 'hang off the edge of a book' stretch. It didn't agree with me... too much for me at this point. Had to quit doing it. If I modify it so that I elevate a big book or board slightly and stand on the board at a slant, what does that stretch? It seems less extreme.

My PT has me using a rule of thumb that if a stretch or strengthening exercise leaves my feet feeling increased soreness for more than two hours, then I need to either modify, reduce, or eliminate that stretch.
That is why I got rid of the toe squeezes. Oddly enough, I can do a few towel scrunches. It seems like the same motion with the toes, but the towel scrunch does not bother me as much.

Thanks,
Beverly


Re: Achilles stretch question

Nancy S. on 7/26/00 at 15:25 (024022)

Beverly,
The straight-leg towel/belt stretch, as I understand it, is mostly a calf stretch. When you bend your knee for the stretch, it is mostly stretching the achilles tendon. This is what my therapist says, and it's how I experience it.
--Nancy

Re: bad stretching...............

Barbara on 7/26/00 at 19:53 (024047)

So should one stretch the calf only and try to leave the achilles alone? I currently do standard wall stretches trying to only affect my calf muscle. Bu I still start to ache in my achilles after a few hours. I'm really confused.

Re: Correction

alan k on 7/27/00 at 08:15 (024076)

Please note that I was not saying one shouldn't do weight-bearing stretches, but was in fact recommending a wall stretch where the forward, non-stretching foot takes much of the weight.

alan k


Re: bad stretching...............

alan k on 7/27/00 at 08:18 (024077)

Your achilles is invloved in any wall stretch. If stretching bothers you, you might work on strengthening the region through resistance to a towel. Consult a therapist about your achilles aches and how to approach stretching in your case.

alan k



Re: bad stretching...............

Mike W on 7/27/00 at 12:28 (024098)

Hello Judy,

It is not correct terminology to 'stretch the achilles tendon' because tendons are a very inelastic tissue. What you really want to stretch and strengthen is all of the muscles that attach to it.

I realize that everyone has ther own opinion about stretching methods but I would like to explain mine. Ask your health care provider if a muscle should be relaxed prior to a stretch? Most will say yes. Any standing weight bearing stretch will not allow your lower leg muscles to be relaxed prior to the stretch. Therefore when you attempt to stretch you will place excessive force on the achilles tendon which is exactly what you do not want to do.

The stair lowering exercise is the most dangerous exercise you can perform and many Doctors believe it actually can cause PF.

Regards,

Mike W
Principal, Personal Foot Trainers


Re: bad stretching...............

Beverly on 7/26/00 at 12:05 (024002)

Judy,

I can RELATE. That is a very bad stretch... at least for me. I did it by accident when trying out that flexibility survey from a few weeks ago. My left arch and ankle did not like it at all... really bad. So far, weight bearing stretches are not good for me. I don't think I'm ready for them yet.
Beverly


Re: bad stretching...............

alan k on 7/26/00 at 12:36 (024008)

another reason that is bad is that you have no control over your weight except with feet which are currently being stretched. You can stretch the achilles region and soleus with a standard wall stretch, especially with back knee bent and sinking down. The other foot in normal unstretched position controls the show, thus not leaving you helpless.

The stretch I describe could still lead to trouble in some cases, and someone currently injured from an incorrect stretch might want to wait before trying the correct stretch.


alan k


Re: bad stretching...............

JudyS on 7/26/00 at 12:51 (024010)

and why didn't I think of that? A point well-made, Alan - Thank you!

Re: bad stretching...............

Rock on 7/26/00 at 13:09 (024012)

Yes, Alan is right. Weight bearing calf stretches do not allow one to isolate the stretch to what you want streched. Many such calf stretches put an incredible strain on the plantar fascia and cause further injury or overload the achilles tendon. I am experimenting with non-Weight bearing calf stretches done with an orthotic taped to my PF foot, that prevents the plantar fascia from stretching. Not yet sure about whether it is effective or not.

Rock.


Re: Achilles stretch question

Beverly on 7/26/00 at 15:12 (024019)

I am such a novice to stretching. This may sound like a dumb question to the rest of you. When I do the towel stretch (or in my case I use a wide belt), it feels like I'm getting a stretch in the achilles tendon.
My PT has me doing a set with my knees straight and another set with my knees bent(I put two pillow underneath my knees to get the bent knee effect). Both of these stretches are fairly comfortable for me. So, are either of these stretches also stretching the achilles tendon?

Also, my therapist had me doing that 'hang off the edge of a book' stretch. It didn't agree with me... too much for me at this point. Had to quit doing it. If I modify it so that I elevate a big book or board slightly and stand on the board at a slant, what does that stretch? It seems less extreme.

My PT has me using a rule of thumb that if a stretch or strengthening exercise leaves my feet feeling increased soreness for more than two hours, then I need to either modify, reduce, or eliminate that stretch.
That is why I got rid of the toe squeezes. Oddly enough, I can do a few towel scrunches. It seems like the same motion with the toes, but the towel scrunch does not bother me as much.

Thanks,
Beverly


Re: Achilles stretch question

Nancy S. on 7/26/00 at 15:25 (024022)

Beverly,
The straight-leg towel/belt stretch, as I understand it, is mostly a calf stretch. When you bend your knee for the stretch, it is mostly stretching the achilles tendon. This is what my therapist says, and it's how I experience it.
--Nancy

Re: bad stretching...............

Barbara on 7/26/00 at 19:53 (024047)

So should one stretch the calf only and try to leave the achilles alone? I currently do standard wall stretches trying to only affect my calf muscle. Bu I still start to ache in my achilles after a few hours. I'm really confused.

Re: Correction

alan k on 7/27/00 at 08:15 (024076)

Please note that I was not saying one shouldn't do weight-bearing stretches, but was in fact recommending a wall stretch where the forward, non-stretching foot takes much of the weight.

alan k


Re: bad stretching...............

alan k on 7/27/00 at 08:18 (024077)

Your achilles is invloved in any wall stretch. If stretching bothers you, you might work on strengthening the region through resistance to a towel. Consult a therapist about your achilles aches and how to approach stretching in your case.

alan k



Re: bad stretching...............

Mike W on 7/27/00 at 12:28 (024098)

Hello Judy,

It is not correct terminology to 'stretch the achilles tendon' because tendons are a very inelastic tissue. What you really want to stretch and strengthen is all of the muscles that attach to it.

I realize that everyone has ther own opinion about stretching methods but I would like to explain mine. Ask your health care provider if a muscle should be relaxed prior to a stretch? Most will say yes. Any standing weight bearing stretch will not allow your lower leg muscles to be relaxed prior to the stretch. Therefore when you attempt to stretch you will place excessive force on the achilles tendon which is exactly what you do not want to do.

The stair lowering exercise is the most dangerous exercise you can perform and many Doctors believe it actually can cause PF.

Regards,

Mike W
Principal, Personal Foot Trainers