22 Sep What are Heel Bumps
Heal Your Heels
If you’ve developed a painful bump on the back of your heel, you might have one of several foot conditions. So what are heel bumps… the most likely culprit? Haglund’s deformity, a condition where the constant rubbing from a shoe can cause a buildup on the back of your foot.
- A large bony bump on the back of your heel
- Swelling of the bursa, the fluid-filled sac at the back of your heel
- Intense pain in the Achilles tendon area
- Redness around the heel
What Causes Haglund’s Deformity?
It goes by the nickname “Pump Bump,” which will give you a clue about the chief cause, namely, pump-style shoes with stiff, high heels:
Frequently wearing shoes that are pointed, hard or tight
- High arches
- A tendency to walk on the edges of your feet
- A tight Achilles tendon
Treating “Pump Bump”
- Switch to shoes that have open backs and are made of soft materials.
- Custom orthotics can reduce the friction caused by the foot’s movement in shoes.
- Thick socks will cushion the feet and heel.
- A walking boot to immobilize the heel.
- Use ice and anti-inflammatory medications to reduce the swelling.
- Regularly stretch the Achilles tendon to keep it flexible.
You should always consult a podiatrist when you have a painful heel bump because it can be easy to confuse Haglund’s deformity with other causes of Achilles tendon pain. A doctor is the best source for figuring out what’s causing the problem and prescribing the right treatment for heel pain.
This refers to an actual tear of the Achilles tendon. This is a very serious condition that will require immediate treatment by a foot care professional. Treatment will probably include:
- A cast to immobilize the foot
- Crutches to take the weight off the feet
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- After surgery, two to three months of physical therapy and rest
This is a small protrusion of bone that forms in the Achilles tendon area. The treatment for it is similar to that for Haglund’s deformity.
This is similar to Achilles tendonitis but it involves the smaller plantaris tendon. It’s caused by overuse in sports and exercise, and its chief symptom is a sudden, stabbing pain in the Achilles tendon when exercising. The treatment for it will include a walking cast or boot, custom orthotics and possibly surgery.
Treatment for Heel Pain
The first step is identifying exactly what is causing your heel pain and heel bumps. Because these conditions and their symptoms are similar, it’s important to get the right diagnosis. Don’t attempt to diagnose it yourself. Instead, visit a qualified podiatrist who will use the correct diagnostic tools, including x-rays, to determine exactly what’s causing your painful heel bump.
Preventing Heel Pain
Proper foot care is important to keep your feet feeling their best and avoiding problems. Follow these tips to keep your heels happy:
Wear shoes with open backs, like mules or clogs.
- Avoid tight, high heels.
- Limit your uphill running, or running on hard surfaces.
- Stretch the Achilles tendon regularly to keep it from stiffening up.
- Consult a doctor as soon as you experience Achilles tendon pain.
Heel bumps can interfere with your health, well-being, and ability to enjoy life. At Shuman Podiatry and Sports Medicine, we’ll make the right diagnosis, prescribe the right treatment and follow up with after-care to make sure your feet stay healthy. The sooner you contact us, the sooner you can be on your way to a bump-free, pain-free life again.