These exercises are often recommended for Achilles injuries. They are called the Alfredson ‘180 repetition’ calf raise program. The regime is named after the researcher Hakan Alfredson, who stumbled upon this treatment while he was trying to rupture his own degenerative Achilles tendon with repeated bouts of high volume exercising through pain. Instead of rupturing, his Achilles improved.
Stand on the bottom step of a staircase, facing inwards, hands lightly supporting at either side. The forefoot of the affected leg is placed on the edge of the step.
Lower your body down by dropping the heel of the affected leg over the edge, with control; then place the foot of the non-affected leg on the step to raise the body back up to the starting point.
If this proves too difficult, or if both Achilles are affected, it is possible to raise back up on two legs (thereby sharing the concentric load) and coming down on a single leg (this is the “2 up, 1 down” concept).
Perform 3 x 15 eccentric heel drops with the knee straight and 3 x 15 repetitions with the knee bent, repeated twice daily.
Ankle sprains can easily get reinjured – which is especially common during the first year – and this can result in chronic pain or disability. My article offers a home–based proprioceptive training program shown to significantly reduce the risk of recurrent ankle sprain.
California Chiropractic Journal article and photos: