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Family Foot & Ankle

Stretches to Help Manage Pump Bump Pain

This bump on my heel
is both painful and swollen.
Help me manage pain.

Friday is Haiku Poetry Day, so we thought we’d try our hand at this short Japanese poetry form. With the weather warming up and pump-style shoes being dragged out of the closet more often, we’re also thinking about how our patients can manage pump bump pain at the backs of their heels.

Pump bump (Haglund’s deformity) gets its name from the fact that it’s common among women (especially teenagers and young adults) who often wear hard-backed pump shoes. Although bad shoes may catalyze or exacerbate the pain, there’s usually a second underlying cause—an abnormally tight Achilles tendon.

As a result, stretches designed to help you manage pump bump pain usually target the Achilles and calf. Some common favorites:

  • Standing calf stretches. Lean forward, standing with your arms forward against a wall. Put one foot forward, bent at the knee, with the other leg straight and back. Keep both feet fully on the floor. You should feel a good stretch in the calf of your trailing leg, but it shouldn’t be painful. Hold for half a minute, then switch legs.
  • Towel exercises. Try these when you are in a seated position, even while eating breakfast or watching TV. Place a small hand towel at your feet and grasp it with your toes. Try curling the towel back and extending it forward, or lift it off the ground and replace it (keeping your heel planted).
  • Seated calf stretches. One particularly good one also stretches your plantar fascia. Sit with your legs straight out, loop a long towel around your toes, and gently tug on the ends. Again, you should feel a good stretch, but not so much that it hurts.
  • Stair stretches. Stand on the edge of a stair with your heels dangling off the edge. While keeping your legs straight, gently raise or lower your heels until you feel the stretch, and hold.

Struggling with a red, swollen, painful bump at the back of your heel? Call Family Foot and Ankle Center. From physical therapy to shoe modifications and more, treatment designed by our experienced podiatrists will help your feet feel their best. Give us a call today at (513) 728-4800 in Ohio or (859) 282-1572 in Kentucky, or you can request an appointment online.

Dr. Cynthia Miller
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Dr. Cynthia Miller is a board certified podiatrist who has been established in the Cincinnati area since 2004.
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