Blog 39 - What Causes Pain In Back Of Heel? Tendon Injury Symptoms

Blog 39 – What Causes Pain In Back Of Heel?

Have you ever felt like someone was stabbing you in the back of the heel? This pain happens more often than you might think, and it’s not always because you worked out too hard or wore shoes that didn’t fit right.

Achilles tendonitis, Haglund’s deformity, heel spurs, or bursitis are some of the conditions that could be to blame. Each has its own unique set of symptoms and needs a different approach to treatment.

Today’s blog is for people who are having heel pain or know someone who is. You’ll have a better idea of what might be hurting your heel and how to treat it if we look into these conditions in more detail.

Understanding How the Heel Works

To really understand why they have pain in the back of their heel, you need to know a lot about how the heel works. The largest tarsal bone is the calcaneus, which is the bone in your heel. Your body weight has to be supported by this strong structure, which also has to let you walk, run, and jump.

The calcaneal tuberosity, a rough spot where the Achilles tendon attaches, is one of the most important parts. You might feel pain in the back of your heel when this tendon is inflamed or breaking down.

We’re sorry for the technical language up front; we’ll try to use less of it after this, but take a look at the diagram to get a better sense of what we’re talking about. 

The heel bone, calcaneus, has three articular surfaces that let it move with another bone, the talus. This interaction lets you move your feet in ways like plantarflexion. If your heel or the bottom of your heel hurts, it might have something to do with these structures.

There’s more to your heel than just bones. The gastrocnemius, soleus, and plantaris muscles are all part of its complex structure. These muscles are very important for moving your foot in different ways. Heel pain could be caused by anything that stops them from doing their job and the list of potential culprits is long.


As you can see, the human foot is an incredibly complex structure. Even your heel is far more than just a heel bone. There are many ways things can go wrong and cause you heel pain. We can help.

If someone has heel pain, they should know that it is a very complicated part of the body and that there are many possible reasons for the pain. The first and most important thing a podiatrist will do is figure out exactly why your heel hurts.

Reasons Why People Have Heel Pain - Achilles Tendonitis, Bursitis & Heel Spurs

Achilles tendonitis and Haglund’s deformity are probably conditions that you know about. They can cause pain behind the heel. But did you know that heel spurs and bursitis are two more that can cause this kind of pain?

Let’s look at these common health problems, find out what symptoms they have, and see how they can affect your daily life.

Have you ever thought about why your heel hurts after a long run or a sudden boost in activity? Achilles tendonitis is a common tendon injury condition that makes the Achilles tendon swell and hurt. The Achilles tendon is the strong band of tissue that connects your calf muscles to your heel bone.

It usually happens because of too much use, bad shoes, or a sudden rise in physical activity. Back pain, stiffness, and swelling behind your heel are all signs, especially after working out.

If you’re having these problems, you need to do something right away. Rest, ice, stretching, strengthening exercises, and sometimes physical therapy are all common ways to treat injuries.

If you don’t get treatment, you could end up with chronic pain, trouble walking, and even tendon degeneration.

Achilles Tendonitis is one of the most common reasons for back of the heel pain. The good news is the problem is readily treatable by an experienced Podiatrist.

If you have heel pain and a bump that you can see, you may have Haglund’s deformity, a common condition that causes the bones at the back of the heel to get bigger.

This condition, which is sometimes called a “pump bump,” is usually brought on by shoes rubbing against your heel bone.

People who have Haglund’s deformity will have pain, swelling, and redness where the bump is. In some cases, it can even cause Achilles tendonitis.

If you have this issue, don’t worry—you’re not the only one. There are ways to treat it, from wearing shoes with extra cushioning or heel pads to having surgery to remove the bony protrusion in the worst cases.

Haglund's deformity occurs when a bone callus forms on your heel causing pain and inflammation.

Your heel pain could be caused by Haglund’s deformity, but it could also be caused by heel spurs or bursitis, both of which can be very painful. Heel spurs are bony growths on the heel bone. Bursitis is swelling of the bursa, which is a fluid-filled sac that cushions your heel. These conditions can be brought on by things like running, jumping, or even wearing shoes that don’t fit right.

Tenderness, swelling, and a sharp, stabbing pain right behind your heel are all signs.

To ease the bursitis pain and speed up the healing process, you may need to rest, apply ice, do stretching exercises, and make sure you wear the right shoes. If the pain in your heel doesn’t go away, you should see a podiatrist to get the right treatment.

Symptoms Associated With Heel Pain

As you look into what causes pain behind your sore heel, it’s important to know what symptoms go along with it. Seeing signs like pain, redness, swelling, or tenderness can help you figure out what’s wrong.

  • Recognising Heel Pain Symptoms

    When you have pain behind your heel, you need to know what the signs are so you can get medical help right away. In the affected area, you may feel pain, swelling, or warmth. The pain can be sharp or dull, and it usually gets worse when you move or put pressure on it. Sometimes people have a limited range of motion, which makes it hard to do things like walk or run. You should never ignore heel pain that won't go away or is very bad. Instead, it's very important that you see a podiatrist.

  • Link Between Symptoms and Conditions

    If the area behind your heel hurts, swells, or hurts, you may have Achilles tendinitis or Haglund's deformity. You might be having trouble with these conditions if you feel pain when you walk or stand on your toes. Haglund's deformity may also be indicated by a bump that you can see on the back of your sore heel. If your pain gets worse when you move but gets better when you rest, it could mean that your Achilles tendon isn't working right. Knowing these connections between symptoms and conditions can help you deal with heel pain and get the right care.

  • When to Seek Podiatrist Help

    The time to see a podiatrist if you're having long-lasting symptoms like sharp pain, swelling, or trouble walking behind the heel. If you feel sudden, severe pain, especially after being hurt, don't ignore it. You should also see a foot specialist if you have strange feelings like redness, warmth, or numbness. Things like walking, running, or standing up shouldn't make your pain worse. If so, you probably need to have a professional look at it.

Answering Your Preventive Measures and Care Questions

In addressing pain behind the heel, your focus shouldn’t only be on treatment, but also on prevention and care. The importance of exercise and stretching techniques, as well as the selection of proper footwear, can’t be overstated.

Also, understanding the need for adequate rest and recovery will go a long way in managing heel pain.

You can ward off pain behind the heel through regular exercise and stretching techniques that focus on enhancing flexibility, improving foot mechanics, and strengthening the supporting muscles. It’s crucial to remember that prevention is always better than cure.

Here’s a triad of techniques you can incorporate in your routine:

  • Calf stretches: These improve flexibility and reduce strain on your Achilles tendon, lowering the risk of pain.
  • Plantar fascia stretches: Regular practice can maintain proper foot mechanics, helping to avoid heel discomfort.
  • Strength exercises: Concentrate on your calf muscles and intrinsic foot muscles. This boosts support and stability, preventing heel pain.

Choosing the right footwear plays a significant role in preventing and alleviating pain behind the heel. Select shoes with adequate cushioning and arch support. A firm heel counter and good shock absorption reduce strain on your Achilles tendon.

Avoid high heels and shoes with inadequate support to maintain proper foot alignment and prevent discomfort. Consider custom orthotic inserts for additional support and cushioning, relieving pressure on your heel.

Regularly check and replace worn-out footwear to guarantee continued protection and decrease the risk of developing heel pain. With these steps, you’re not just choosing shoes, you’re investing in your comfort and well-being. Remember, proper footwear selection is a key measure in preventing heel pain.

While selecting the right shoes can greatly reduce the risk of heel pain, it’s equally important to prioritise rest and recovery as preventive measures and part of your care regimen. Overworking your feet can exacerbate existing conditions and potentially lead to new ones, like stress fractures or Achilles tendonitis.

Here’s why rest and recovery matter:

  • It prevents further strain on your Achilles tendon and surrounding structures, reducing the chance of injury.
  • It allows your body to naturally heal, reducing inflammation and promoting tissue repair.
  • It contributes to a faster and more effective recovery from pain behind the heel.

In Closing...

As you try to figure out what’s causing your heel pain, keep in mind that it’s not a mediaeval torture experience you need to put up with. The pain in your heel could be caused by Achilles tendonitis, Haglund’s deformity, or something else – and there are effective and lasting cures available.

Tenderness and swelling are signs that you shouldn’t ignore. Talk to a podiatrist, wear shoes that are comfortable, and give your feet a break. You don’t have to go through the pain any longer; you can get help now.

Talk to a podiatrist to get a diagnosis and learn about your treatment options. Also, take steps to avoid getting this problem in the future as outlined in this blog so that your steps are easier and don’t hurt.

If you want the right professional advice on how to treat your heel pain, we currently have a limited offer running to help you out. For just $79 (usually valued at $189), book in online for our Complete Heel Pain Assessment & Treatment Consultation will get:

  • Complete In-Depth Heel Pain Examination
  • Review of Footwear & Personal Habit Diagnosis
  • Treadmill Walking Gait Analysis & Video Assessment
  • Complete Foot & Ankle Structural Diagnosis
  • Effective Heel Pain Treatment Plan To Get You Walking Pain Free
  • Peace of Mind You Know What Is Causing Your Heel Pain & How To Fix It
Check out our eBook below for further details on this special offer as well as other tips and techniques you can try at home to manage your plantar fasciitis and heel pain.

Ignoring heel pain or plantar fasciitis never cures it and your situation will likely get worse the longer you leave it.   

Take control today by booking in online or call us today on (03) 4237 7165 to see one of our podiatrists and get this issue sorted once and for all.

Back Of Heel Pain

Understand what causes your heel pain and what you can do to get rid of it once and for all. Find out what treatments can get you back to walking pain free so you can enjoy living an active life again!

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