Many different problems can arise at the back of the heel:
1. Achilles tendonitis (Strained tendon)
2. Exostosis (Excess bone growth)
3. Bursitis (Inflamed tissue)
4. Haglund’s deformity (Poorly shaped heel bone)
. . . to name a few.
The two most common causes of achilles tendonitis are lack of flexibility and overpronation. Other factors associated with Achilles tendonitis are recent changes in footwear, and changes in exercise training schedules. Often long distance runners will have symptoms of achilles tendonitis after increasing their mileage or increasing the amount of hill training they are doing.
The main complaint associated with Achilles tendonitis is pain behind the heel. The pain is often most prominent in an area about 2-4 centimeters above where the tendon attaches to the heel. Patients will also experience heel pain while participating in activities, such as when running or jumping. Achilles tendonitis pain associated with exercise is most significant when pushing off or jumping.
As people age, tendons, like other tissues in the body, become less flexible, more rigid, and more susceptible to injury. Therefore, middle-age recreational athletes are most susceptible to Achilles tendonitis. Although some of these problems can be difficult to treat, as usual, there is a course of conservative, semi-conservative, and surgical treatments.