Our bodies are incredibly good at taking precautions to protect themselves. Think of stomach acid and how it kills bacteria, or how inflammation helps carry blood supply to affected areas.
But did you know that when you regularly experience stress on the backside of your heel, your body may create extra bone tissue to protect itself? This excess bone tissue forms a lump on the back of your heel, which can unfortunately then cause further problems for you.
Although this condition is referred to as pump bumps, it’s not only women who wear pumps that can develop pump bumps, or Haglund’s Deformity as it’s also known. In this post, we’ll answer questions such as what is a pump bump, what are the causes of this condition and how to identify symptoms of pump bumps. We’ll also cover some of the treatment options available to you.
What is a Pump Bump?
Are you wondering, what is a pump bump exactly? Essentially, it is an enlarged bump distending from the back of your heel. When you’re barefoot, you won’t be in any pain and will hardly even notice it’s there. But put on your favorite pair of shoes, and if they rub against this bump, you’ll start to feel pain in your heel. As a result, blisters may even start to form. This may lead to redness and swelling.
The Causes of Pump Bumps
Pumps, high-heels, and other footwear are common causes of pump bumps. This issue is common with pump-wearing females because the rigid back of pumps keeps your feet from sliding out, but while doing so, it puts pressure on your heel bone. This, in turn, sets your body in motion to create a bump to protect your heel bone. Other tight footwear can create pump bumps too, such as tight athletic boots.
Now when this pump bump rubs against the back of your shoes, it can then irritate the soft tissue that’s close to your Achilles tendon. This irritation may turn into bursitis, which is the inflammation of your bursa. Your bursa is a fluid-filled sac that provides cushioning between your tendon and bone.
So what are the other causes of pump bumps? Unfortunately, it may just come down to genetics. If you have tight Achilles tendons and high arches, you may have a higher risk of developing pump bumps. If you tend to walk on the outsides of your feet, you also risk gaining Haglund’s Deformity.
The symptoms you’ll experience from these pump bumps include:
- The growth of a bony bump on the back of your heel
- Pain where your Achilles tendon attaches to your heel
- Swelling and tenderness at your heel
- Redness in the area of the bump
Treating Haglund’s Deformity
It’s not as easy as you think when it comes to diagnosing Haglund’s Deformity, as it’s commonly misclassified as Achilles tendonitis. This is why it’s essential to visit your foot specialist to properly treat the condition.
Your podiatrist will ask you questions about any pain you are experiencing, conduct a physical exam, and set up any necessary X-rays to monitor the heel bone.
YF&A focuses on pain relief, and will advise you as to how to take pressure off your heel to manage the swelling and inflammation. When it comes to pump bump treatment, our recommendations may include:
- Changing your style of shoe to ones made of soft material or a backless supportive shoe style.
- Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication.
- Icing the area until the swelling subsides.
- Placing heel pads inside your shoes to add cushioning.
- Add heel lifts to your shoes if you have high arches.
In more severe cases, you may find that treatment options will include:
- Wearing a custom orthotic to help reshape your foot and reduce pressure in the area.
- A soft tissue massage, physical therapy, and ultrasound therapy can also be applied to the area to relieve pain.
- If your pump bump results from a tight Achilles tendon, your doctor may suggest exercises to stretch your heel cord.
If your pump bump is severe and you are in significant pain, surgery may be the pump bump treatment option to consider. In surgery, your doctor will remove the excess bone from the heel and ensure your stability isn’t jeopardized. Recovery from this surgery usually takes around eight weeks and will require you to wear a walking boot or protective cast while healing takes place.
How Yeargain Foot & Ankle Can Help
If you’re experiencing pain at the back of your heel and find that wearing closed shoes becomes extremely uncomfortable, or you’ve noticed a lump growing at the back of your heel, it’s time to give the experts at YF&A a call.
The sooner you tackle your heel bump, the more successful and less invasive pump bump treatment will be. At YF&A, we’ll work with you on figuring out how to get rid of a pump bump so that you can be back on your feet and pain-free in no time!
If you suffer from heel pain, act fast; book an appointment for pump bump treatment with Yeargain Foot & Ankletoday. Dr. Yeargain and Dr. Agyen will put you on the path to recovery as soon as possible. Call (214) 824-3851 or book via our contact page.