Also referred to as Haglund’s Deformity, “pump bump” is a condition that affects thousands of men and women regularly. More patients, mostly women, are found complaining of pain and discomfort at the back of their heels. The deformity is particularly aggravated by the strict rear designs and shapes of pump-style shoes. When one suffers from a pump bump, there is a bone-like enlargement at the back of the heel. The enlargement hits the top portion of the shoes when one walks, causing pain and discomfort.
Symptoms of pump bump
One can suffer from a series of symptoms that range from mild to severe. Some of the symptoms are:
- A visible bump, or enlargement at the back side of the heel
- Swelling in the heel’s back
- Pain and discomfort
- Blisters and calluses when the bump gets rubbed against shoes
What causes it?
Doctors and medical experts are still not aware of the definite reasons for Haglund’s Deformity, or what is known as a “pump bump.” The experts in the field link pump bump with multiple factors. Often, a person’s natural foot structure is responsible for causing the deformity. Some other causes are:
- The condition of supination, where the feet roll outwards while walking
- A tight Achilles tendon exerts pressure on the heel bone.
- Outward slopping heel bone is more likely to get rubbed against the shoes
- The presence of a high arch forces the heel to go back during walking, thereby rubbing the Achilles tendon
Individuals with the above-listed types of feet might be more prone to pump bump conditions. It is suggested that such individuals must avoid wearing shoes with strict and rigid backs. Furthermore, it is also important to ensure that the footwear fits perfectly and is not too tight. Shoes with rigid backs result in friction that worsens the foot structure and makes it more prone to pump bumps.
Prevention and management of the condition
Every individual might not be able to avoid pump bump deformity. But the risk of developing it can be prevented by following certain steps.
- Open-backed shoes are highly recommended, especially for those with foot problems, tendinitis, bunions, etc.
- Pressure on the heel must be avoided by wearing soft shoes and having flexible backs.
- People with high arches must wear shoes with proper arch support.
- Stretching before and post exercises, particularly, the feet, calves, and Achilles tendon must be taken seriously.
- Seeking medical advice in case of heel pain and discomfort, as the condition pump bump won’t go away without proper treatment.
Genetic foot structure is considered one of the top reasons for Haglund’s deformity. One can prevent the development of a pump bump by restricting the use of shoes and footwear that cause continuous friction on the back of the heel while walking. Certain exercises and regular icing can help relieve pain and discomfort in mild cases. When pain, discomfort, and other symptoms are severe, surgery remains the only procedure to alleviate the issues and offer relief. Experts recommend that individuals shouldn’t ignore any kind of foot pain. Managing the development of pump bumps is easier when they are detected early and a treatment plan is underway.