Haglund's Deformity: Stop the Bump
A Pest-y Problem
Ants at a picnic can be bothersome, but they’re not nearly as annoying as that bump on your heel. Sure they might steal some of your food, but it’s not like they’re causing you any pain. Haglund’s deformity is characterized by a painful, bony bump on the back of your heel. It can cause redness, swelling, and pain in your Achilles tendon where it attaches to your heel bone. It is sometimes related to retrocalcaneal bursitis, since the condition can irritate the bursa—a fluid-filled sac that acts as a cushion. This results in even more tenderness. So where did that bump come from, and how can you get it to stop bugging you?
Unearthing the Causes
Haglund’s deformity is also known as the “pump bump,” because it often occurs in women who wear high-heeled pumps with rigid backs that rub against their heels. Women aren’t the only ones at risk, however. Anyone who wears footwear that’s too tight or that has hard heel backs, like ice skates or hiking boots for instance, can wind up with the condition. It can also develop if you have high arches or if you tend to walk on the outer parts of your heels. Tight Achilles tendons are also culprits. Trying these stretches can zap the problem before it gets worse:
Standing Calf Stretches—lean against a wall in front of you and extend your leg back pressing your heel as close to the ground as possible. You can do both legs at the same time or alternate.
Towel Tricks—Grab a towel and place it on the floor in front of you. Grasp and lift it with your toes. Lower it back down and repeat. While you have the towel handy, sit on the floor, loop the towel over your foot and pull the ends toward you. Hold, switch, and do it again.
Swatting Away Symptoms
Icing the bump can reduce swelling and pain, as can anti-inflammatory medication. Applying moist heat is also beneficial. Be sure to stretch your Achilles, and cut back on activities, especially those involving hard surfaces or running up hills. Of course, switching those tight shoes for a better-fitting, more comfy pair will help as well. You can also try orthotic inserts to support your arch and cushion your heel. Dr. Raymond A. DiPretoro Jr. can even make you a custom pair to fit your unique feet. He can treat your bump with ultra-sound therapy too—another effective treatment method. If all else fails and your bump is still causing you pain, surgery may have to be considered.
If you have a bump on your heel that’s bugging you, have it checked out at Advanced Foot and Ankle Center Inc. It could be Haglund’s deformity. Call Dr. Raymond A. DiPretoro Jr. at (302) 623-4250 for more information. You can also visit us online or stop by one of our three office locations in Glasgow, Wilmington, and Newark DE. Don’t let that annoying pain bother you anymore. Buzz on over today!