I rested and rested. That didn't get me all that far. Next, I researched and debated stretching here on our board.
Finally, after hearing positive stretching testimonials, and having two orthopedic sports medicine doc's say, I had to stretch to get better, I dipped my toe in the stretching arena.
It hurt at first. But my PT (the only way I was brave enough to embark on stretching was with PT) said to go gently but keep doing it.
Now, three weeks later, I am AMAZED at how well I am stretching. I have gone from barely being able to do 5 stretches of each particular stretch and not holding it for any period of time to doing 8 or 9 stretches (depending on the stretch) and holding it to the count of seven! And it is not hurting much... a pull at times ... sometimes an ache, but not the pain I felt when I first began.
I'm also doing strengthening: towel curls, ankle circles, and picking up marbles, and seated toe raises. I can't do as many of them. I do about 5 each of these. But when I first began, I could barely do even one each.
I still only do the stretches 1x a day.
Here is my current routine (given to me by the PT)
flexing back the foot
flexing with a belt or towel - one set bent knees, one set straight knees
flexing foot sideways
seated toe raising stretch (Sit in chair and raise up on toes. This was hard at first. I still can only do 4 or 5 of these and I don't hold them for more than a few seconds.)
picking up marbles (Just started this. I just pick up a few.)
I still can't handle any weight bearing stretch. I am thinking about ordering the PFT since I have had progress with the towel stretch.
This doesn't sound like much to bigtime stretchers. But for me, this is major progress.
I can't see any difference yet in my pain level when walking around. But I keep telling myself to be patient.