Pain in the back of the heel

Pain and soreness in the back of your heel is often due to inflammation of your Achilles tendon. If this is the case, you will often experience stiffness and pain during and/or after running, jumping or a long walk as well as in the morning.

You might also experience that the pain radiates into your calf, while the Achilles tendon itself feels thicker to the touch than normal. Typically, you will be able to trigger a flare of pain by touching or applying pressure to the sore tendon.

Find the right program for you

Why does it hurt?

The most common cause of pain occurs if you strain the Achilles tendon beyond its capacity. For instance, by running, jumping or exercising more than you usually do. Performing any of these activities on a hard surface may in itself be enough to lead to inflammation of the Achilles tendon. Other common causes are:

  1. Excessive strain: When the Achilles tendon is subjected to unaccustomed strain over a longer period of time.

  2. Acute injury: When the tendon is damaged due to a sudden and often overwhelming strain.

  3. Degeneration: When the Achilles tendon becomes weaker and stiffer with age, which naturally increases your risk of injury.

Inflammation and pain are the body’s way of telling you to ease the strain on your heel. Two things are critical in treating your pain:

  • Reduce the frequency of the activity or activities that led to the injury. Particularly jumping, skipping, running or similar.

  • Perform exercises that stimulate your Achilles tendon. The exercises will strengthen and help return it to normal.

How Injurymap treats your Achilles pain

Injurymap’s program for the Achilles tendon consists of exercises that stimulate and help rehabilitate the injured tendon. We show you how to stretch and strengthen it with exercises that will help you avoid future injuries.


Exercises for Pain in the back of the heel

  1. Heel lift with bent knees I

    This browser does not support the video element.

    • Stand with your feet slightly apart.
    • Your toes should point straight ahead.
    • Slowly move your knee past the toes so that your ankle and knee bends.
    • Move the knees forward as far as possible, so that the ankle is bent to a maximum.
    • You should feel it tightening in the back and front of the ankle, but it should not hurt.
    • Keep your knees bent while slowly raising your heels, so that you're standing on your toes.
    • Hold your balance for a few seconds then slowly lower your heels again.
    • Perform 5 repetitions.
  2. Ankle bend on the floor

    This browser does not support the video element.

    • Sit on the floor with your legs stretched.
    • Tie an exercise band to a solid object.
    • Place the exercise band over the toes so that it tightens and flex your ankle using the exercise band as resistance.
    • Go back and forth.
    • Perform 3 sets of 15 repetitions with each leg.
  3. Achilles tendon stretch
    30 sec. x 3 sets

    This browser does not support the video element.

    • Stand with bare feet.
    • Place your toes up against a wall.
    • Bend the knee a little and move it towards the wall.
    • You should feel it stretching at the bottom of the back of the heel and in the arch of the foot.
    • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and perform 3 repetitions with each leg.

Treat your pain with Injurymap

Download the app to get a customized program that addresses your specific pain with exercises.