Pain at the back of ankle
Overstretch & traction injury to the Achilles tendon of the calf muscle group that anchors to your heel. The Tendon tendons must be able to withstand the pulling force when its suddenly loaded, but if overloaded the Achilles tendon becomes painful.
Achilles tendonitis is an overuse injury causing pain, inflammation, and or degeneration of the Achilles tendon at the back of your ankle. This repetitive contraction with excessive force causes micro-tears in the Achilles tendon. Pain & stiffness is mostly in the mornings and at the start of training, then it eases off, but returns after you’ve cooled down. Squeezing the tendon is a dead giveaway.
Its inflammation of the sheath or layer surrounding the Achilles tendon. Very similar to Achilles tendinitis, but needs an MRI or Ultrasound to differentiate. Walking on your toes or stretching your calf muscles will bring on the pain. There’s sometimes swelling around the tendon and back of your ankle.
Torn Achilles tendon
Sudden sharp pain in the Achilles tendon, often described as if being shot in the leg. A loud snap or bang is heard when it happens. Sudden sharp pain that subsides quickly, may leave you thinking ‘its not that bad’, until you feel the weakness to stand on your leg.
Only found in Children aged 8-15 that do a lot of sports or overactive. Pain & tender over the back of the heel which gets worse with exercise. Squeezing the sides of the back of the heel will bring on the pain. Often linked to a child’s growth spurt, when the muscles and tendons can’t keep up with the bone changes.
Insertional Achilles tendonitis
Insertional Achilles Tendonitis occurs at the back of the heel where the Achilles tendon inserts into the heel bone. The injury is similar to Sever’s disease in children but affects adults. A lumb develops over the back of your heel where the Achilles anchor onto your heel. Pain & swelling at the back of your heel & ankle gets worse with training or exercise.
Retrocalcaneal & Achilles bursitis
Ankle bursitis is inflammation of a fluid filled sac or cushion (bursa) over the a bony point at the back of your calcaneus & Tibia, and your Achilles tendon. This condition occurs when the bursa becomes irritated, compressed or infected. With repetitive bending & straightening of your knee it triggers the bursa to get inflamed and painful at the back of your ankle.
Posterior ankle impingement
It is when a bony growth at the back of your ankle restricts normal ankle range of motion. The tissue is pinched between the talus and Tibia. Impingement means tissues have become trapped between bones. A bony spur on the Tibia or Talus protruding backwards causes posterior ankle pain. Most pain at the end of the movement when your foot is pointed.
Fibula Stress Fracture
Repetitive strain and excessive training may cause a stress fracture of your fibula. The bony tip of the fibula is a common site of these ankle injuries. This type of pain is dull and constant, irrespective of rest or load. Applying a manual load over the back or tip of your fibula will increase your pain. Stress fractures are not visible on normal X rays, but a skilled Physio will be able to detect & treat it.
Due to irritation of the nerves that runs along the back of your leg and provides the skin & muscle its ‘power’. Abnormal compression and irritation on the Sciatic nerves that supply your leg, will give you nerve pain at the back of your ankle. The pain may be contained to the back or spread upwards to your calf & knee, depending on the branches of the nerve that are pinched. Nerve pain will have a tingling quality ,and feels like pins & needles, numbness or weakness. A pinched Sciatic nerve is a serious problem.
This is caused by an injury or problem elsewhere such as your shin, (fibula & tibia) foot joints. The pain you’re experiencing is pain that radiates from other joints nearby.