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Ripple Effect: A Pump Bump Causing Bursitis

Have you ever noticed that some problems tend to lead to new issues? You see it in films all the time, like in the new Into the Woods movie that comes out December 25. In that film each of the fairytale characters’ problems and decisions have ripple effects that create more conflict later. In your feet, one heel pain issue can lead to the next, like when a pump bump leads to bursitis.

A pump bump, or Haglund’s deformity, is a bony enlargement on the back of your heel bone. The bump can develop as the result of strain on the back of the foot, or it can be a protrusion you’re born with. Either way, the lump makes wearing certain stiff-backed shoes and being active fairly unpleasant. More painful than that, though, is the overuse condition that can develop as a side effect of your heel bump— bursitis.

Bursitis is inflammation in the bursa sac that sits between your heel bone and your Achilles tendon. This little structure acts like a lubricating cushion that alleviates friction between the tendon and the bone, so the bone doesn’t irritate and damage soft tissues when you walk. The only problem is that the bursa can become irritated under pressure, too.

That’s where a pump bump becomes a problem. The enlarged and irritated protrusion on the back of your heel pinches the bursa against your Achilles as well as the stiff backs of shoes. This irritates it, causing painful inflammation and swelling.

Fortunately, the treatments for Haglund’s deformity and heel bursitis are very similar. Rest and ice give the inflamed soft tissues a chance to relax. Avoid wearing shoes with high heels or tight, stiff backs. Pad the heel area, too, to provide a little extra cushion for the back of your foot. Sometimes simply changing your socks can minimize the friction as well.

One type of heel pain can lead to another, like Haglund’s deformity can contribute to bursitis. Don’t let either problem get in the way of your mobility, independence, and doing what you love. Absolute Foot Care Specialists can help alleviate your discomfort. Contact our Las Vegas offices for an appointment by calling (702) 839- 2010 or using the website.

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