I have pain and/or a lump (achilles tendon)
in my heel

Pain in or around the heel is a common problem with many causes, such as poor footwear or a sudden change in physical activities. “Heel” means different things to different people. It includes the ball of the hindfoot where it contacts the ground, the bony section within the back part of the shoe, and the area above, including the Achilles tendon. Pain in the Achilles tendon, especially knobbly swellings, often means that you have Achilles tendonitis. Some people have a natural heel bone prominence at the back on the outside edge where the Achilles tendon attaches. If large, this is called Haglund's deformity. This is where shoes grip at the heel, causing an angry red soft tissue swelling (bursitis), enlarging the bump and exacerbating the pressure. The Achilles tendon itself can become inflamed where it rubs against this bony prominence.

Hairline fractures (stress fractures) following unaccustomed, intense activity, can also cause pain in the body of the heel bone. Stress fractures can also occur elsewhere in the leg or foot. The pain may not develop until a few hours or a day later.

If your pain is under the ball of the heel where it contacts the ground, or even a little into the arch, you may have plantar fasciitis. This usually develops for no obvious reason and is particularly painful with the first few steps in the morning. A pinched nerve at the side of your heel (tarsal tunnel syndrome) can feel similar to plantar fasciitis.

With passing years, your heel can hurt due to thinning of the shock-absorbing fat pad beneath the bone. Even dry, thick and cracked skin can cause painful heels.


The following list is a summary of some symptoms you may have. For full assessment and treatment of your particular problems, please contact us.

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