Simply put, calf stretching fails due to non-compliance: we just don’t do it! Why?
- Explainaing the purpose of daily calf stretching is unenthusiastic and cursory. The message from your source whether it be the internet, your doctor, or other goes something like “Give it a try and see if it works”. I wouldn’t go home and do it either.
- There is no definitive protocol given or recommended. Lack of definitive direction or clear cut guidance leads to non-compliance. The message is to go stretch occasionally and for a little bit of time, instead of stretch for exactly this amount of time, this many times per day, EVERYDAY.
- Method recommended is unclear: lean up against the wall, hang off step, etc. Which way is recommended? Too many choices leads to confusion and lack of defined direction.
- Even if one is inclined to stretch ones calves, current available methods and devices are often cumbersome making things difficult. These other devices can be expensive and/or are difficult to use.
The good old leaning up against the wall is burdensome and will breed non-compliance.
The ProStretch® has all of the problems of the step stretch and the slant board, but is even more difficult to use. The rocking aspect of the device causes one to feel unstable while stretching, and ultimately leads to an ineffective calf stretch.
The slant board requires a certain coordination and concentration to actually maintain the stretch.
Steps are boring, after all one is looking at stairs. The intensity of the stretch is difficult to control. The ability to relax and get an adequate stretch is limited as one is being forced to balance hanging off the step. Forefoot pressures can be excessive causing pain and even damage.
Band stretching is, well, band stretching.
- Other methods struggle to get the proper stretch intensity, so even if one puts in the time, it fails because the method is ineffective. The One Stretch places the proper stretch right where you need it, the upper calf, or the gastrocnemius. Every single time!
- Patients are told to go to physical therapy, which is 2-3 times per week for a few weeks and calf stretching is only a small part of the treatment regimen. Diluted out, calf stretching will not even get a chance to work.
- For some crazy reason, when given multiple non-operative options, including calf stretching as one of the options, the end result is to leave out calf stretching, when it is in fact the calf stretching alone that will solve the problem. Why? Because the problem is actually not where the pain is felt, in the foot. The underlying problem is in the calf, where there are usually no symptoms or pain.
- Calf stretching requires effort whereas other “solutions” ( orthotics, new shoes, medications, injections, PT, etc.) are easy and require little personal effort. The path of least resistance rules almost every time, yet the best things in life don’t come easy.
- Calf stretching takes time and we want relief now, so we move on to something that works faster and easier (see above) and therefore we forgo the calf stretching.
- Calf stretching is often slow to begin working or see progress, so you get no positive feedback. The perception after a period of time is that it is not working, and therefore, will not work and you quit.
Here’s the thing: if you don’t do the calf stretching, it can’t work!
On the other hand, if you do stretch and persist, the chance that it will work is very high. It is that simple.