Heel Pain: Achilles Tendonitis


Pain in the back of the heel is associated with the Achilles tendon as it inserts on the back of the heel bone. Individuals suffering from Achilles tendonitis pain commonly have a tight Achilles tendon, which causes additional pull on the back of the heel. As with the case of plantar heel spurs, bone spurs can also develop in the back of the heel secondary to the constant pull of the Achilles tendon. In some individuals, these spurs can weaken the attachment of the Achilles tendon, causing micro tears, inflammation, and pain. In extreme cases, the tendon’s attachment to the back of the heel can be so disrupted that the tendon can pull off of the bone completely.


Conservative treatment for this type of heel pain includes rest, ice, and decreased activities. Oral and topical anti-inflammatories, heel lifts in your shoe (which help to reduce the pull from the tendon, offsetting a short Achilles tendon), and general shoe modifications can also help. If these methods along with night splints, ankle braces, walking boots, and non-weight bearing give no significant relief, consider trying the MLS laser treatment! Finally, surgery is an option if significant progress is not made with conservative measures. Removing a portion of the heel spur and scar tissue from the back of the heel can typically gives patients significant relief!

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