An injury to the Achilles tendon (Achilles tendinopathy) can cause pain and stiffness on and above the back of the heel. Achilles tendinopathy is common among athletes. But it also occurs in people of all ages, activity levels, and jobs. Bursitis can also cause pain and swelling at the back or bottom of the heel.
To prevent and ease pain during work, play, or daily activities:
- Reach and stay at a healthy weight.
- Do calf stretches with your toe pointed slightly in. Make sure your body is warmed up (from walking or biking) before fully stretching your Achilles tendon.
- Avoid strenuous activity that your body is not conditioned for.
- Wear shoes, heel pads, or orthotics (shoe inserts) that cushion your heels during sports or strenuous activities.
- Avoid poorly fitting shoes or shoes that press on the backs of the heels.