Why does the back of my heel hurt?

Written by donna st. sauver-protzel
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Why does the back of my heel hurt?
(Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Nina)

The pain in the back of your heel is a sign that something is not right. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, posterior heel pain is often the result of faulty biomechanics. Correcting your foot's position can be the answer to alleviating your symptoms.

Achilles Tendonitis

If you have pain while running or jumping and tightness, the diagnosis could be Achilles Tendonitis. This is inflammation of Achilles tendon, which attaches the calf muscles to the heel bone.

Haglund's Deformity

Haglund's Deformity is a bone prominence on the back of a heel. It looks like a large red bump and can be quite painful. This condition has earned the term "pump bump" because it is seen so frequently in women who wear heeled shoes, which put pressure on the back of the heel.

Retro Calcaneal Bursitis

A small red bump on the heel can indicate Retro Calcaneal Bursitis. The bump will be tender on direct palpation. The bursa, a fluid-filled sac that should prevent tendons and bones from rubbing together, becomes inflamed


Treatment for your heel pain can be as simple as proper-fitting shoes or customised orthotics to hold your foot in the correct position. Home-stretching exercises and massage can help loosen tendons and muscles. Anti-inflammatory drugs are used to reduce swelling and minimise pain. A physician can prescribe physiotherapy or inject the heel.


If your heel pain persists for more than six weeks, consult with a podiatric surgeon.

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