Feet vary slightly in their shape from person to person. Some people have feet that are more efficient for sports or high-impact activities. Others have limbs that make them more prone to injuries or problems. If your feet are more vulnerable to issues from your shoes, you may end up with a painful condition like Haglund’s deformity in the heel bone.
Developing a Pump Bump
Haglund’s deformity is a swollen, enlarged bulge on the back of the heel that causes pain. Pressure and friction—typically from your shoes— on the calcaneus (heel bone) aggravates the tissues. The shape of your foot can also create the problem. Arches that are either too high or too low are more prone to developing this condition. You may even be born with a spur on the back of your calcaneus. A tight Achilles, which pulls on the heel, can also contribute to the enlargement. The stiff heel counters in footwear, particularly ice skates, dress shoes, and high heels, rub against the foot. This gives rise to the condition’s nickname, the “pump bump.” The more the bone is irritated, the more the bulge develops over time.
All of the friction and pressure against your heel may cause an additional problem. You have a protective bursa that sits between your calcaneus and your Achilles tendon to prevent one from rubbing against the other and irritating the soft tissues. However, with enough aggravation, the bursa itself may become inflamed, creating painful bursitis in addition to your pump bump.
Improving the Pain
You don’t have to suffer with this type of heel pain, however. Conservative methods can be very successful in reducing the pressure on the bony bump and improving your comfort. Dr. Noah Levine will examine your lower limbs to accurately diagnose your condition and its severity. Then our staff can tailor a recovery program specifically for your needs.
You’ll need to decrease the irritation in the back of your heel to relieve the pain. One of the most important steps will be reducing the pressure on your heel bone. You may need to use pads or change your footwear to minimize the stress on your foot. Icing the back of your foot will help decrease swelling and inflammation in the area. If your foot structure contributed to the problem, you may need arch supports. Custom orthotics can both act as padding and correct biomechanical issues. Sometimes physical therapy can stretch out tightened tissues and relieve the discomfort as well. If conservative methods are not managing your pain, surgery to remove the bony bump may be your best option.
Haglund’s deformity is uncomfortable and can make walking around normally very difficult for you. You do have methods to manage the condition, though. Don’t settle for pain when simple treatments can help your heels. Contact Absolute Foot Care Specialists here in Las Vegas to see how we can improve your lower limbs. Call (702) 839-2010 or use the online request form to reach us for an appointment.