What is that Bump on My Heel?

By Tara Hackney for Athletico Physical Therapy

Haglund's Deformity - What's that Bump on my Heel

Our feet literally take us places all day long, and foot pain is a fairly common issue. For some people, the pain is located more in the heel. That heel pain can also lead to the discovery of a bump on the back of the heel.  This could be a condition known as a Haglund’s deformity.

What is a Haglund’s Deformity?

A Haglund’s deformity is a bump located at the back of the heel. This is the location where the Achilles tendon attaches to the bone of the heel. The deformity is an enlargement of the bony prominence. Other common names for this issue include “pump bump” because of the frequency of this condition in women who wear pump-style shoes. The occurrence of this condition is more common in those age 15-30.

What are the causes?

Haglund’s deformity occurs with frequent pressure on the back of the heel, possibly by wearing shoes that are too tight or too stiff. There is also an increased risk of developing this condition if there is extra tightness in the Achilles tendon, or a very high arch in the foot.


  • A bony bump on back of the heel
  • Pain in the area where your Achilles tendon attaches to the heel
  • Swelling in the back of the heel
  • Redness near the back of the heel
  • Pain with pressure or tight fitting shoes

What is the treatment?

Treatment is focused on relieving pain and decreasing irritation of the heel not necessarily getting rid of the bump. Treatments for the symptoms of Haglund’s deformity include:

  • Wearing open back shoes
  • Icing the bump to reduce swelling
  • Wearing shoe orthotics
  • Wearing heel pads to reduce pressure from shoes
  • Soft tissue massage
  • Stretching of the calf muscles and Achilles tendon

It is also important to note that surgery can be an option for removal of the bony prominence on the heel if it continues to be problematic. Should you discover foot or heel pain, take the first step in developing a treatment plan by clicking the link below to schedule a complimentary injury screening at your nearest Athletico location.

Schedule a Complimentary Injury Screen

Proper Training Shoe Selection; When is Surgery not an Option?; Bone Loss & Osteoporosis

Episode 17.16 with Hosts Steve Kashul and Dr. Brian Cole. Broadcasting on ESPN Chicago 1000 WMVP-AM Radio, Saturdays from 8:30 to 9:00 AM/c.

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Segment One (01:31): Steve and Dr. Cole talk with Perry Miroballi, the Co-Owner of New Balance Fresh Foam 822v3 Trainer, Pisces with Black & Poisonberryfour New Balance Stores, about proper athletic shoe selection; providing video analysis and foot scans to determine pressure points and arch type; the wide variety of sports specific shoes that are now available from New Balance and the advancements in New Balance shoe technology. More than 500 major league baseball players now wear New Balance Shoes and they now make a golf shoe that is only 7 ounces, the lightest shoe in golf.

Segment Two (12:52): Steve and Dr. Cole talk about a wide range of non-surgical options for pain and orthopedic problems and how the art of medicine serves to determine the right approach to treating injuries.

Segment Three (20:08): Steve and Dr. Cole talk with Dr. Chris Stout, Vice President of Research and Data Analytics at ATI Physical therapy. The discussion centers around bone loss,  osteoporosis and calcium deficiency; the importance of proper life style, exercise and nutrition to minimize the effects of bone loss. Dr. Stout is also on faculty of the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He has published over 35 books and been translated into eight languages. He founded a 501(c)(3) to work on international humanitarian projects, and subsequently has won five international humanitarian awards and four additional honorary doctorates.

What is Aquaboom?; Treating ACL and Meniscus Tears; Treating Tendonitis and Tendon Tears

Episode 17.15 with Hosts Steve Kashul and Dr. Brian Cole. Broadcasting on ESPN Chicago 1000 WMVP-AM Radio, Saturdays from 8:30 to 9:00 AM/c.

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Segment One (01:58): Matt Kredich, Executive Director at Tennessee Aquatics,Photos from AQUA BOOM's post Knoxville and USA Swimming; American Swim Coaches Association World Clinic Speaker. Matt describes the Aqua Boom training device for upper and lower body training and rehab using variable and progressive water resistance; converting a pool into a complete gym.

Segment Two (10:29): Dr. Cole and Steve talk about the causes and treatments for ACL and Meniscus tears in elite athletes as well as the general population.

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Segment Three (18:50): Dr. Cole describes the anatomy of tendonitis, the various types of injuries and tendon tears and the various treatment alternatives.

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MOR Physicians Help Patient Get Back to Active Lifestyle

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Rob Satek, 46, a resident of Michigan and Florida, refers to himself as a ‘hard sell’ when it comes to doctors. “I like to do things my way, even when it comes to my medical care,” he explains.

However, three orthopedic surgeries in 14 months changed his mind.

Satek, who has been snowmobiling, riding motorcycles and racing motocross and speed boats for most of his life, recently found himself in so much back pain that he decided it was time to sell his bikes and boats. He was forced to use a wheelchair in some cases just to get around. “No one thinks about the wear and tear on the body when you’re doing those sports,” he explained. “Especially not me.”

Reluctantly, at the suggestion of a friend, Satek visited Frank Phillips, MD, a minimally invasive spine expert at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush (MOR). After imaging, a thorough exam and extensive conversation with Satek, Dr. Phillips recommended a spinal fusion to relieve his pain. Satek agreed, underwent the L5 to S1 fusion surgery and was thrilled to be walking again without back pain a week after surgery. “I’m not an emotional guy, but one of my most emotional moments was when I realized that Dr. Phillips had fixed my back,” he says.

During a follow up appointment, Dr. Phillips noticed something unusual about Satek’s shoulder and asked him how long it had been hurting. “I couldn’t believe it,” Satek says. “I never mentioned my shoulder to him, but he could tell it was bothering me. I actually hadn’t been able to pull the starter on my snowmobile for some time.”

That same day, Dr. Phillips introduced Satek to MOR partner, Dr. Nikhil Verma, a sports medicine surgeon who diagnosed Satek with a torn rotator cuff and recommended surgery to relieve his pain. Once again, Satek agreed and not long after surgery, he was back in the gym. “I really like the way these doctors collaborated about my care,” Satek says. “They really understand the human body and how all of its parts work together.”

One year later, Satek begain experiencing pain again, this time in his foot. He was having trouble walking several blocks, so he called his friends at MOR once again. He met Dr. Kamran Hamid, a foot and ankle specialist, who diagnosed him with a bone spur and recommended surgery to remove it. He agreed, but warned Dr. Hamid that he had a vacation planned post-surgery that he didn’t want to miss. Three weeks after surgery, Satek left for Florida and Dr. Hamid agreed to monitor his care unconventionally. “I sent Dr. Hamid regular texts with photos and updates about my foot,” he explains. “I described what was going on and he replied with any modifications that he felt were necessary.”

Today, Satek is back to riding snowmobiles, motorcycles and enjoying an active lifestyle without any pain.

“I’m not a professional athlete but I run my life like one,” he explains. “I like that the MOR doctors treat the pros. If they can get those guys back into the game, they are the only ones I want to get me back to my active life.”