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Slant Boards for Calf Stretching

Posted by Elyse B on 4/28/04 at 12:17 (149711)

I am really, really very lazy about stretching and I know that is bad. Someone from another forum highly recommended a slant board where you stand on it and it stretches your calf muscles. Anyone have any info on it and whether it is a good thing to buy? Thanks

Re: Slant Boards for Calf Stretching

Steve G on 4/28/04 at 14:08 (149713)

You can make one with a board and a brick, book, etc. This is discussed in the heel pain book.

Re: Slant Boards for Calf Stretching

Pauline on 4/28/04 at 14:20 (149714)

Elyse,
I have both a slant board and an item called a Step Stretch (Pro Stretch)
similar item. The one I have allows you to place both feet on at the same time instead of one at at time.

Personally I like the Step Stretch better than the slant board because as you rock back I seem to get more stretch. When I first began I could hardly rock back at all without feeling the stretch, but have increased my stretch over time as my muscles adjusted and lengthened.

The double one is still available, but you may have to purchase it on line. I got mine through Road Runner Sports, but I've only seen the single one in their Mag. lately. I think the double is much better because both legs work together and if you bend toward the wall with one knee you can also give the other leg a better work out. I think you have more flexibility with the double one as far as use goes.

I do use my slant board too, but I think the double Step Stretch is a better investment if you can purchase only one item.

Just my opinion, others may feel differently. If you purchase the double one make sure you use it near a wall to balance yourself and give you support . You don't want to rock farther back than your muscles are able to take. No tearing allowed,slow and easy, stretching a little more as your muscles adjust to the stretching.

Here is a website for the type I purchased and like very much. As I said I purchased mine years ago through Road Runner Sports Mag. Check around for your best price.

http://www.bongoboard.net/ps200.html

Re: Slant Boards for Calf Stretching

Elyse B on 4/28/04 at 14:37 (149717)

Pauline, I bought the prostretch, the double one. It is a little unwieldy when you use it and thought the slant board might be more comfortable. I guess I will try and use the prostep more often. I am just so lazy with stretching and am looking for an 'easy' way out. Thanks. I am trying everything.

Re: Slant Boards for Calf Stretching

Pauline on 4/28/04 at 21:48 (149744)

Elyse,
I found if you use it close to a wall, your rocking back motion can be controled by simply putting your hands against the wall.

Stretching will be easier if you keep it in a location where you spend most of your time. Seeing it reminds you to use it.

Additionally keep a tennis ball and a golf ball near your favorite chair.
When you sit down roll them under the sore areas of your feet. Do it everytime you sit down and ice afterwards.

I also keep a bottle of lotion near my favorite place to watch TV. When I sit down I use the lotion to give my feet a gentle massage and do Julies Yoga stretches. They are very gentle and after a while it becomes second nature that when you sit you exercise and massage your feet.

Keep at it regardless if you see any results. They come slowly and it will never hurt you. Besides you can't gain any weight by massaging your feet while watching TV. It's better than eating during that movie:*

Re: Slant Boards for Calf Stretching

Elyse B on 4/29/04 at 07:33 (149751)

Thanks Pauline. I went for a bike ride last night and lo and behold my feet are hurting this morning. Well more specifically, my calf muscles are really tight. I really need to make a commitment to stretching otherwise this is going to take forever. I actually have a golf ball in my bag at work and will use it. I am getting my orthotics tonight and am leery about them because they really hurt me the first time around, they are very built up in the arch. I am thinking of trying to tape so at least I can bike.

I will keep the prostretch in sight from now on!!!

Elyse

Re: Slant Boards for Calf Stretching

Angela A. on 4/29/04 at 09:14 (149755)

I'm currently doing physical therapy for PF and I use a slant board there to stretch. At home, I just use our phone book, which is very thick and use that like a slant board. It's not quite the same, but works just as well.

Re: Slant Boards for Calf Stretching

Pauline on 4/29/04 at 09:18 (149756)

Elyse,
If your really sore, a tennis ball may feel better to your feet than the golf ball. Because it's smaller and harder it might be tooo much right now especially if you put too much pressure on it. The tennis ball gives but again when your in the inflammation stage of P.F. you ned gentle stretches, and massages.

Simply bending your toes back with one hand on your arch and using the other to gently bend your toes will eventually help.

I've never been able to wear orthotics and I had several pairs custom made. In my case any continous pressure pushing against my arch caused big time pain.

Work with the person that made your orthotics to get them as comfortable as possible. Give them a good try, but don't feel they are necessary for everyone. Some people have good success with them, others never do.

You might want to pick up a book about stretching at your local library. Look for the easy ones that don't put too much strain on your muscles and begin stretching daily. Not just your feet, everywhere.

I think most books and physican therapist suggest holding stretches for about 20 seconds. Personally I think this is too long. I've shortened mine to about 2-3 seconds and found it works better for me.

WE are all individuals so you're going to have to see what feels comfortable for you.

I can tell you if you're sitting down at work that tennis ball will begin to feel nice. I even travel with one.

Re: Slant Boards for Calf Stretching

Elyse B on 4/29/04 at 09:25 (149758)

Thanks again Pauline. I have a tennis ball at home and I definitely pull my toes back. I am not sure a phone book would work for me as the previous poster suggested.

As for the orthotics, you will be darn sure I am going to pester the podiatrist as they cost me $400. I have had orthotics before and I compared the two and the old ones are not nearly as built up in the arch. That is where it bothered me, I will try them and if they still hurt, back they go.

I know tons of stretches but it is actually doing them that is hard for me because I am lazy, which is not really an excuse. I actually bought Arch+Aids and I like them, they are like ace bandages and compress the arches. I also bought the Strassbourg sox and am awaiting delivery, I might as well try everything since the podiatrist is not prescribing much.

Re: Slant Boards for Calf Stretching

john h on 4/29/04 at 11:18 (149765)

Pauline: I noticed you used the word 'rock' when you were discussing stretching with the board. I do not think you rock in any form do you? Everything I have ever read or heard when it comes to stretching talks about holding the stretch and 'do not rock'. I think I am reading something in your post that is probably not there.

Re: Slant Boards for Calf Stretching

john h on 4/29/04 at 11:21 (149766)

Most gyms and athletic clubs have a small slanted board that you can stretch one foot at a time on. I bought one off the internet and they work very well for stretching the calf and placing tension on the achilles and ultimately the plantar tendon. I think the cost was under $20. Not much bigger than a bread box and the slant looks like about 45 degrees but you control the amount of stretch with your body. good product.

Re: Slant Boards for Calf Stretching

Elyse B on 4/29/04 at 11:55 (149770)

I was thinking of getting one I found on the internet, the cheapest I found was $39.95.

Re: Slant Boards for Calf Stretching

Pauline on 4/29/04 at 12:01 (149771)

John,
I used the word 'rock' with the 'Double Pro Stretch'. As you stand on it with both feet you can rock slowly back on your heels to achieve additional stretch. When you see a picture of it you will understand how it works.

You do not rock on a slant board you simply increase the degree of slant by moving the board up or down in the slots made for it.

Two different animals. One has a rocking motion, the other doesn't.

Re: Slant Boards for Calf Stretching

Buck T. on 4/29/04 at 19:22 (149801)

Hi Elyse: To give different perspective, I was on with pf who could not use the pro-stretch or a board. I have reverted to non-weight bearing stretches.

Also, this is not something to be lazy about. Take care,

Buck

Re: Slant Boards for Calf Stretching

john h on 4/30/04 at 11:57 (149835)

Pauline I guess it would be appropriate for me to say 'Pauline Rocks!'