Updated: Jul 30, 2020
The image of a cartoon bear in a forest ranger’s hat warning about the dangers of forest fires is iconic. Smokey’s message was simple: everyone has to do their own part to prevent devastating forest fires when you are out in the woods. You are in control of your own campsite and your own messes, so only you can keep them from getting out of hand. Well, the same can be true for painful foot conditions. You have the power to prevent Haglund’s deformity pain in your heels, and no one can do it for you.
Haglund’s deformity, often called a pump bump, is a hard bump on the back of your heel that you get when you have an over-tight Achilles or wear stiff shoes that squeeze the back of your foot. The pressure on the back of your heel bone in those situations enlarges and irritates the bump, causing the pain. This, however, is avoidable. You can prevent the pain and bump development yourself.
The problem is the stress on the back of your heel. The stiff backs of shoes and strain from a tight Achilles tendon aggravates your heel bone. Reducing or eliminating this strain on the back of your foot helps you prevent the problem altogether. Here are a few ways you can protect your heels from pump bump issues:
Wear the right shoes – Choose shoes with soft backs instead of stiff ones.
Pad your heels – If there’s pressure or friction against your heel, pad the problem.
Keep arches supported – Use inserts or shoe changes to keep your arches supported.
Stretch your Achilles – Stretch your Achilles daily so it doesn’t get too tight.
It isn’t hard to prevent Haglund’s deformity pain, but you do have to be intentional about it. Don’t take your heels for granted—they need protection. Our team at Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC are happy to help you take care of your heels and avoid painful problems like a pump bump. Make an appointment today through our website, or by calling (504) 708-4810 to reach our Metairie, LA, office. Don’t wait until the problem has gotten out of hand when you don’t have to—you can live without heel pain.