Pain in the back of the ankle joint characterizes posterior impingement of the ankle, or ankle impingement syndrome. It is exacerbated by flexing the foot or pointing the toes downward which compresses the tissue. Symptoms are generally felt in the Achilles area or the back of the ankle and may include a dull ache or sharp pain which increases when touched firmly. Other areas may be the calf or foot.


  • Pushing off the wall during lap swimming

  • Kneeling

  • Walking/running downhill

  • Ballet positions such as en pointe

Bone spurs or arthritic changes in the foot may cause ankle impingement. Gymnasts, foot ballers and ballet dancers generally experience this fairly unique foot and ankle condition.

Treatment is usually non-surgical and may include rest and anti-inflamatory medication. If symptoms do not improve, a steroid injection or even surgery may be the best option.