Posterior heel pain (pain at the back of the heel) is a very common cause of heel pain accounting for up to 18% of all injuries in athletes but also occurs in sedentary individuals.
- Do you have pain and stiffness at the back of the heel of your foot?
- Is your pain worse first thing in the morning or after a period of sitting?
- Does your pain limit you in from exercising or doing physical activities you usually do?
- Do you find it difficult to walk prolonged distances especially up hills?
If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions it is likely that you have one of the numerous conditions that can cause posterior heel pain. Many of these conditions are NOT difficult to treat.
The adjacent video by Northern Foot Clinic's Dr Shannon Munteanu on Eccentric calf muscle exercises for Achilles tendinopathy
Important things you should know about Achilles tendon pain
There are several conditions that can cause pain at the back of the heel. One or both heels can be affected. The most common causes of posterior heel pain are Achilles tendinitis (now known as tendinopathy), Sever’s disease (very common in children), bursitis, posterior impingement syndrome of the ankle joint, and Achilles tendinopathy secondary to inflammatory arthritis. As these conditions are treated differently, an accurate diagnosis is critical to successful treatment.
What will podiatrists at the Northern Foot Clinic do?
- Take a thorough history from you and evaluate your footwear
- Comprehensively examine your ankle and surrounding structures to arrive at an accurate diagnosis (an accurate diagnosis is critical to developing an effective treatment plan for posterior heel pain)
- Assess your movement during walking (and running) using video imaging (called a biomechanical assessment)
- Refer you for imaging studies if the diagnosis is not clear
- Initiate a management plan that aims to address the causes of your pain, improve your functioning and prevent re-injury
Where can I find more information on posterior heel pain?
We recommend the following resources for high quality independent information for posterior heel pain:
Sports Medicine Australia
Kreher JB. Achilles tendinopathy: everything you need to know (and more). What you should know about Achilles tendinopathy to prevent its occurrence and to stop it in its tracks before it stops you. www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/article-detail.asp?articleid=1694
Beginnertriathlete.com—Video case study on Achilles tendonitis
Call Northern Foot Clinic today to arrange an appointment with a podiatrist and get professional treatment for problems associated with your flat feet — (03) 9004 2342