There is a bony area on the back of your heel that can become severely irritated and reddened by the unremitting rubbing caused by tightly fitting shoes (such as high heeled pumps), which is why the condition of Haglund’s deformity is often referred to as the “pump bump.” The bump forms near the Achilles tendon, and can sometimes lead to bursitis, a condition that can lead to separation of the tendon and the bone. Since bursitis can contribute to further calcification of the area, the bump can grow larger with an increase in pain and discomfort.
Conservative treatments for Haglund’s deformity may include the following:
- Change your footwear—Go barefoot, or wear backless or very soft canvas footwear that helps cure the problem by removing the pressure on the heel.
- Immobilization—A fitted boot can also decrease rubbing and irritation.
- Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen can reduce pain and inflammation. Using a topical pain reliever directly on the inflamed area may also provide relief.
- Icing—Decrease swelling by applying ice wrapped in a towel to the area for 20 minutes at a time.
- Flexibility exercises—To relieve strain and pressure on the Achilles tendon, use stretching exercises to increase muscle strength and flexibility.
- Orthotic inserts—Custom orthotic arch supports and heel lifts placed inside the shoe help minimize some of the motion in the foot and provide relief.
These therapies can help to heal bursitis that is causing a large part of the pain and discomfort, but the bony protrusion remains, which may need to be surgically removed to provide full relief. Dead tissue may be excised, and the bump may be smoothed down during the procedure.
If you are experiencing pain and discomfort in the back of your heel, see a foot doctor for proper treatment. At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including sports injuries, joint pain, toe deformities, nail fungus, chronic tendon pain, and skin problems. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen provide high-quality foot and ankle care to patients in the greater Philadelphia area at our offices in Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown, PA. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.