With the weather warming up, we know you’re itching to get out for a fancy night on the town. Fancy shoes, however, can be problematic for a number of reasons. One of them is an increased likelihood of developing Haglund’s deformity, a bony growth at the back of your heel.
There’s a reason this condition is also known as “pump bump.” Slip-on heels with rigid backs are murder on sensitive heels; the friction and pressure they apply is what aggravates and irritates the bursa sac near where your Achilles inserts into the heel bone, causing the characteristic swelling and pain of the condition.
Getting the right shoes, then, is quite important for those hobbled by Haglund’s deformity. We’re not saying you can never wear those flashy pumps again, but you want to avoid, as much as possible, shoes that make the problem worse, instead choosing styles that can accommodate the swelling.
First, generally avoid shoes with rigid backs or high heels as much as possible. The best footwear for pump bump pain will be shoes with soft backs, or those that have some cushioning or padding along the collar—these minimize painful pressure and friction. You may also consider backless shoes once in a while, though only in moderation, as they can force your toes to work overtime and lead to other foot problems. If and when you do choose a pair of heels, make sure the heel is no higher than 2”.
Simple modifications and inserts can also make your existing shoes better suited to accommodate the bump. Heel lifts or heel pads are often a good choice to help relieve pressure. For others, arch supports (particularly for those with abnormally high arches) or full custom orthotics may be their best chance to ameliorate tenderness and pain.
The experts at Family Foot and Ankle Center can be your guide. If you’re struggling with Haglund’s deformity, we can help you find the right orthotic device, shoe modification, or footwear for pump bump pain. Give us a call today—we have five convenient offices throughout Greater Cincinnati to serve you. You can reach us online or by dialing (513) 728-4800 or (859) 282-1572.