Physical Therapy for Ankle Pain in Washington, D.C.

At Release Physical Therapy, our seasoned therapists conduct in-depth assessments to pinpoint the root causes of your Achilles tendonitis. Based on this evaluation, we develop customized treatment plans aimed at promoting healing and addressing your specific needs.

Physical Therapy for Achilles Tendonitis in Washington D.C.

At Release Physical Therapy, our seasoned therapists conduct in-depth assessments to pinpoint the root causes of your Achilles tendonitis. Based on this evaluation, we develop customized treatment plans aimed at promoting healing and addressing your specific needs.

We'll help you get back to work, back in the game, and back to doing the activities you love.

Washington DC Achilles Tendonitis Treatment

What is Achilles tendonitis?

Achilles tendonitis, also known as Achilles tendinitis, is characterized by inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which is the band of tissue connecting the calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to the heel bone. It occurs due to overuse or repetitive strain on the tendon, leading to pain and stiffness in the back of the ankle or heel. Symptoms may worsen with physical activity and can range from mild discomfort to severe pain and swelling. If left untreated, Achilles tendonitis can increase the risk of tendon rupture. Treatment usually involves rest, ice, stretching exercises, physical therapy, and in some cases, medication or orthotic devices.


Does physical therapy help Achilles tendonitis?

Physical therapy for Achilles tendonitis can be very effective. The goals of physical therapy for Achilles tendonitis include reducing pain and inflammation, improving tendon strength and flexibility, preventing further injury, and restoring normal function. Here are some ways physical therapy may help:

  • Pain Reduction: Using ice, compression, and laser to decrease pain and swelling.
  • Stretching: Enhancing calf and Achilles flexibility to reduce tendon stress.
  • Strengthening: Building calf muscle strength to support the Achilles and prevent injuries.
  • Manual Therapy: Mobilizing surrounding tissues to improve flexibility and circulation. 
  • Education: Advising on activity modifications and proper footwear to avoid aggravating the tendon.
  • Eccentric Training: Promoting tendon healing through specific strengthening exercises.
  • Gait Analysis: Correcting walking or running patterns to minimize tendon strain.

At Release Physical Therapy we will customize your treatment plan to optimize your speed of recovery!


How long is physical therapy after Achilles tendon surgery?

The duration of physical therapy after Achilles tendon surgery varies depending on the extent of the surgery, your health status, the specific protocol recommended by the surgeon, and your progress during rehabilitation. Your therapist at Release Physical Therapy will work with you and your surgeon to make sure your protocol is followed. This general timeline provides an idea of what to expect:

  • Initial Recovery (0-6 Weeks)
    Focus on protecting the repair, managing pain, and inflammation. Activities include non-weight-bearing and gentle range-of-motion exercises within cast or boot limits.
  • Early Rehabilitation (6-12 Weeks)
    Gradual weight-bearing introduction and progression to gentle strengthening, flexibility, and balance exercises.
  • Intermediate Rehabilitation (3-6 Months)
    Increase in activity level with more intensive strengthening, flexibility work, and functional activities.
  • Advanced Rehabilitation (6-12 Months)
    Focus on full strength, endurance, flexibility restoration, and return to activities or sports.

At Release Physical Therapy, we may use Blood Flow Restriction during your rehabilitation. Studies have shown a significant increase in calf strength in patients who received BFR during post-Achilles tendon rupture repair compared to those who did not.

Key Factors:

  • Surgery Type and Injury Severity: Complex repairs may extend rehab.
  • Patient Compliance and Healing: Adherence to protocols and individual healing rates impact duration.
  • Activity Goals: Higher physical demands may lengthen the rehabilitation process.

Overall, Achilles tendonitis treatment physical therapy duration ranges from several months up to a year,  at Release Physical Therapy each treatment and plan of care will be tailored to each person’s individual needs.

What is the best physical therapy for Achilles tendonitis?

The best physical therapy for Achilles tendonitis typically includes:

  • Eccentric Strengthening: Eccentric heel drops to promote tendon healing.
  • Stretching: Calf stretches to relieve tendon tension.
  • Pain Management: Ice, compression, elevation, and Laser Therapy
  • Muscle Strengthening: Calf strengthening to support the Achilles and prevent future injuries. Which may include Blood Flow Restriction
  • Load Management Education: Guidance on activity modification to prevent overuse.
  • Footwear Advice: Recommendations for supportive shoes or inserts.
  • Orthotics: Custom orthotics or heel lifts for biomechanical issues.


When does physical therapy start after Achilles tendon surgery?

Physical therapy after Achilles tendon surgery generally begins within the first one to two weeks post-operation, focusing on gentle range-of-motion exercises to maintain flexibility and stimulate blood flow, while adhering to non-weight-bearing protocols. At Release Physical Therapy we will also use Laser Treatment during this early phase to encourage more blood flow and accelerate healing. The exact start time and activities vary based on the type of surgery, injury severity, and your surgeon’s recommendations. Therapy progresses from protective measures to include weight-bearing, strengthening, and flexibility exercises, tailored to the healing progress.


What is the fastest way to heal Achilles tendonitis?

To expedite the healing of Achilles tendonitis, we advise you to come into Release as soon as you start feeling pain. The sooner we see you the faster we can get you better!  At Release we will use state-of-the-art equipment, regenerative treatments such as Shockwave Therapy, manual therapy, and therapeutic exercises focusing on eccentric calf exercises and stretching, to improve tendon health. Supportive shoes or orthotics can reduce tendon strain. If advisable, anti-inflammatory medications can help manage symptoms. Gradually reintroduce activities to prevent re-injury.

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Is walking good exercise for Achilles tendonitis?

Walking can be beneficial for those with Achilles tendonitis but should be approached with caution. For those in the early stages of recovery or experiencing acute symptoms, walking might exacerbate the condition due to the repetitive strain it places on the Achilles tendon. As symptoms improve, walking can be gradually reintroduced as a low-impact activity that promotes circulation, flexibility, and strength in the affected area. Start with short, gentle walks, paying attention to proper footwear that provides adequate support and cushioning for the heel and arch. Ensure that walking aids rather than hinder the healing process by consulting your Release PT therapist.


Does Achilles tendonitis ever go away?

Achilles tendonitis can go away with appropriate management and treatment. The key to recovery lies in addressing the inflammation and strain on the Achilles tendon through a combination of physical therapy, rest, exercises, proper footwear, and, in some cases, orthotic support. Early and effective physical therapy treatment prevents the condition from becoming chronic or leading to more serious injuries like tendon tears. In most cases, with physical therapy and modifications to activities that stress the tendon, you can fully recover from Achilles tendonitis and return to activities without persistent pain.


What worsens Achilles tendonitis?

Several factors can worsen Achilles tendonitis, leading to increased pain and a prolonged healing process.

Factors that can worsen Achilles tendonitis include overuse, improper footwear, tight calf muscles, sudden increases in activity, poor biomechanics, and inadequate rest or recovery. These elements increase strain on the Achilles tendon, leading to heightened pain and delayed healing.


What is the best position to sleep in with Achilles tendonitis?

The best sleeping position for Achilles tendonitis is on your back with the affected leg slightly elevated. This position reduces swelling and strain on the Achilles tendon by promoting venous return and decreasing inflammation. You can use pillows or a folded blanket under the calf or foot of the injured leg to maintain elevation. This setup aids in managing pain and discomfort and supports the healing process by minimizing additional stress on the tendon. Ensuring that the foot and ankle are in a neutral position, rather than pointed or flexed helps prevent stiffness. Adjusting your sleeping environment to accommodate these needs makes a  difference in recovery.


How many weeks of physical therapy for Achilles tendonitis?

Physical therapy for Achilles tendonitis at Release PT typically spans from 6 to 12 weeks, depending on the condition’s severity, your progress, and your goals. Physical therapy phases include managing pain and inflammation, enhancing flexibility, strengthening the tendon and muscles, and functional training. The exact timeline varies based on each person, emphasizing the importance of following your therapy plan and allowing for adjustments based on progress assessments.

To schedule an appointment at Release Physical Therapy access our online appointment scheduling – you can even choose your preferred time, date, location, and physical therapist. Book an appointment online instantly! You can also call our office at (202) 974-6621.

We'll help you get back to work, back in the game, and back to doing the activities you love.

Release Physical Therapy


At Release Physical Therapy Washington, D.C. we offer a full range of manual therapies, as well as both traditional and non-traditional treatment techniques. We work one-on-one with our patients to develop an individualized treatment plan that meets their unique needs, conditions, wellness goals and fitness levels.

Active Release Technique ® (ART)

Massage and movement-based technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves.

K-Laser ® Therapy

The use of specific wavelengths of light to improve healing time, pain reduction, increase circulation and decrease swelling.

Trigger Point Dry Needling

Needle treatment that decreases pain, increases range of motion and improves strength by inactivating myofascial trigger points.

ASTYM ® Therapy

Regenerates healthy soft tissues (muscles, tendons, etc.), and eliminates or reduces unwanted scar tissue that may be causing pain or movement restrictions.

Kineseo ® Taping Method

Taping technique that reduces muscular pain and inflammation, relaxes overused muscles, improves posture and movement awareness and enhances performance.

Running Assessment

Individualized biomechanical analysis designed to identify strength, gait, and alignment imbalances to decrease risk of injury and improve your current training program.

Functional Training

Exercise regimens that integrate multiple muscle groups, joints and the brain to prepare the body for everyday movement, athletics and other specialized physical activities.

Graston Technique ®

Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization used to address soft tissue lesions and fascial restrictions resulting in improved patient outcomes.

Blood Flow Restriction (BFR)

Rehabilitation therapy and performance training technique using a Personalized Tourniquet System® designed for BFR, to reduce atrophy and increase strength.

Shockwave Therapy

A non-invasive, office based treatment that utilizes acoustic waves to alleviate pain, promote tissue regeneration, and accelerate the healing process.

Massage Therapy

Manual manipulation of the soft tissues including muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints to relieve pain, improve circulation, and address specific musculoskeletal conditions.

Meet Washington DC's best

Physical Therapists

Our experienced and highly trained physical therapists specialize in treating the outpatient orthopedic population, including sports therapy, orthopedic/spinal therapy, chronic pain management, pre/post-surgical therapy, as well as wellness and prevention. All of our physical therapist are accepting new patients.

Monday - Thursday

6:00 am - 8:00 pm

Mon - Thur

6:00 am - 8:00 pm


6:00 am - 5:00 pm


By appointment


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What Patients Are Saying

What Patients Say

"Dr. Simon's knowledge, expertise and patience have given me my life back. She spent more time discussing my injuries and recovery than both my doctor and an orthopedist." - L.J.

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Health & Safety


At Release Physical Therapy, there is nothing more important to us than the health and safety of our patients and staff during this unprecedented time. The Department of Homeland Security and state governments have deemed physical therapy an essential component of healthcare during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic; therefore, our office will remain open to serve those in need. We are taking extensive preventative measures to protect our patients and employees who enter our clinic. Learn more

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Location & Hours

Hours of Operation

Monday-Thursday: 6am - 8pm
Friday: 6am - 5pm
Saturday: By appointment
Sunday: Office closed

Office Address

Release Physical Therapy
2134 L St NW, Washington, DC 20037

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Our Physical Therapists

Our experienced and highly trained physical therapists specialize in treating the outpatient orthopedic population, including sports therapy, orthopedic/spinal therapy, chronic pain management, pre/post-surgical therapy, as well as wellness and prevention. All of our physical therapists are accepting new patients.