High heels have been around for centuries, though they weren’t always considered women’s footwear. As they’ve grown in popularity and use, so has a painful foot problem that often comes with them: Haglund’s deformity. This “pump bump” can make wearing shoes and being active very uncomfortable. Fortunately, you don’t have to suffer through this kind of pain.
Not So Fashionable Bump
Haglund’s deformity is a hard, bony enlargement on the back of your heel bone. Pressure, friction, and general strain on the back of your heel aggravates and enlarges it. The biggest source of this kind of pressure and stress on your feet is actually your shoes—specifically, shoes with stiff backs. Any stiff-backed footwear could contribute to the problem, from ice skates to dress shoes. The most common culprit, especially for women, are high heels. That’s why the condition is also called a “pump bump.”
The condition itself is fairly obvious. You’ll notice a hard bump on the back of your foot. Often the bump will appear red and irritated. It may be swollen as well. Pressure on the back of your foot will be painful, which may make it difficult for you to wear some shoe styles, especially pumps. The condition may lead to secondary problems as well, including heel bursitis.
Taking Care of Your Pump Bump
The good news is, of course, that you don’t have to suffer with Haglund’s deformity. You can take care of your heel and alleviate the discomfort. Our team at Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC will carefully examine your lower limbs to diagnose the condition and look for any other factors that may be contributing to your foot pain. Then we can help you with a treatment plan tailored for your needs.
Treatment is almost always conservative. In most cases, changing your shoes to styles that do not have stiff, rigid backs can help significantly. Avoid wearing high heels, too. Padding the backs of shoes may be helpful as well. Sometimes special orthotic devices that support the back of your foot can be beneficial. When discomfort flairs up, ice the back of your heel to alleviate swelling and inflammation. Stretch your Achilles and calf muscles to reduce tension on the back of your foot. Although it’s very rare, some people do need a procedure to eliminate the bony prominence so they can wear shoes again.
Can You Prevent Haglund’s Deformity?
Taking precautions before the problem flares up could actually help you prevent Haglund’s deformity altogether. Avoid wearing shoes with stiff, rigid backs. Instead, stick to styles with appropriate arch support and softer heel counters in the back. Stretch out your lower legs regularly to keep your Achilles from tightening, too. These step do not guarantee you’ll never struggle with heel problems, but it does make it less likely.
Your heels and their health are important for your mobility and a comfortable life. Haglund’s deformity is more common a problem than you might think, but it doesn’t have to keep you from looking your best or enjoying your favorite activities. Take care of your pump bump now, before it enlarges and causes you pain. Our team at Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC is here to help. Make an appointment at our Metairie, LA, office by calling (504) 708-4810, or by using our website contact forms to reach us.