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Heel Pain and Achilles Tendonitis

Pain around your back heel area, also known as posterior heel pain, can be a very debilitating condition. The first step in treatment is a proper diagnosis because different causes of this type of heel pain can require very different treatments.

Three common causes of posterior heel pain are insertional Achilles tendonitis, pump bump (Haglund’s disease), or an Achilles tendon rupture. Insertional Achilles tendonitis, also called Achilles tendinopathy, is a chronic inflammatory or degenerative disorder which affects the place where the Achilles tendon inserts onto the heel bone. A pump bump, Haglund’s disease, is a bump on your heel bone that rubs on the back of shoes causing pain and inflammation. An Achilles tendon rupture is a total or partial tearing of the Achilles tendon. This condition usually requires immediate surgery and you should be evaluated by a podiatric foot and ankle specialist soon after the injury. Insertional Achilles tendinopathy and pump bump can often be relieved by conservative treatments although in some cases surgery is required. Only your foot and ankle specialist can determine what treatment is right for you. Today’s topic will center around insertional Achilles tendinopathy.

– Chronic posterior heel pain
– Tenderness at the Achilles insertion
– Insidious (gradual) onset
– Symptoms aggravated by shoes
– Symptoms relieved by backless shoes

– Rest
– Ice
– Heel lifts or custom molded shoe inserts (orthotics)
– Stretching
– Physical therapy
– Modifications in training or daily activities
– Immobilization or casting
– Surgery

Only a physician can decide which treatment is right for you. Here at Foot and Ankle Associates, Dr. Ades and Dr. Shapiro will design a custom plan of treatment to relieve your pain quickly and help return you to your activities faster. If you have any further questions about insertional Achilles tendinopathy, posterior heel pain, or any other foot or ankle problems please contact our office online at or by phone at (704) 662-3660.

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