Pain in your foot or Achilles tendon could be caused by a number of things, from overstretching to something more serious. But pain combined with other bothersome symptoms could be a sign of a specific condition.
Have you been noticing painful irritation or swelling around your heel? Do you have a large, painful bump on the back of your heel? These symptoms, along with pain at the point where your heel and Achilles tendon attach could be signs of a condition called Haglund's Deformity.
What Is Haglund's Deformity?
Haglund's Deformity is a condition that affects the bone in the foot as well as the tissue. The bone can rub against the heel tissue near the Achilles, irritating both the tissue and the bursa that lies between the bone and the tendon.
Normally, the bursa contains fluid that allows easy movement in the heel. But when the bursa is affected by rubbing, it can become thick and inflamed, causing a bump. Pressure from shoes and activity can irritate the bump, making it worse and causing pain.
What Causes Haglund's Deformity?
While it can be caused by many factors, poorly fitting shoes are the most common cause of Haglund's Deformity.
High-heeled pumps can be particularly problematic. When you walk in pumps, the stiff material rubs up and down on the heel, causing pressure and irritation.
People with high arches may be prone to foot issues and Haglund's Deformity can be one of them. The high shape of the arch adds pressure to the heel.
If you are overweight, you can experience extra heel pressure which can cause this issue.
Other causes include walking on the outside of the heel and a tight Achilles tendon.
Symptoms of Haglund's Deformity
How do you know if you have Haglund's Deformity? Symptoms of this issue include:
- A large, painful bump on the back of your heel
- Swelling of the heel
- Redness at the heel
- Pain in the area where the heel and the Achilles attach
Relief From Haglund's Deformity
If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, it's a good idea to see your doctor. Haglund's Deformity can present like many other common foot issues so it's best to get a formal diagnosis.
The first step to finding relief is to wear shoes that do not put pressure on your heel and shoes that fit correctly. If you have high arches, an insole can help you correct it and bring you relief from the symptoms it can cause. You can also try sandals or clogs.
Over the counter medications, ice, and massages can bring relief from pain or, in extreme cases, surgery may be required to remove the mass from your heel.
Preventing Haglund's Deformity
If you don't already have Haglund's Deformity, you can prevent it by making sure you're wearing shoes that fit, shoes that don't rub, and, when needed, insoles that help your shoes form properly to the shape of your foot. Even when wearing high heels, insoles can add support that will keep the heel from rubbing and causing irritation.
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