Ambulatory Stretching: Heel Cord and Feet Stretches
In Duchenne, tightness can develop in the ankles due to the shortening of the calf muscle, which pulls on the Achilles tendon, also called “heel cord.” Regularly stretching the Achilles tendon may help to prevent cramping/pain, keep the feet and ankles in proper alignment, and may help to preserve walking. This video demonstrates how to stretch the heel cord, which is an important routine in conjunction with wearing ankle foot orthoses (AFOs) at night.
Disclaimer: This is a video of stretching exercises for mobility in someone with Duchenne. Stretching should not be painful. DO NOT continue to do the stretch if it causes pain, you notice difficulty breathing, or discomfort. Each stretch/position should be held for 30 seconds and can be repeated up to 3 times.
Benefits of these exercises vary: they may help to keep the joint mobile within its available range, may increase your tolerance to stretch, may improve circulation to the muscle, may decrease discomfort, and may give a feeling of well-being.
Consult your Physical Therapist to ask if these are appropriate for you.