What Is A Pump Bump?

Updated on March 16, 2022

Also known as Haglund’s deformity, this is growth behind the foot that develops when soft tissue rubs against rigid shoes. This starts with the inflammation of the fluid-filled sac between the Achilles tendon and bone, the bursa, causing calcium to build over time that makes the pump bump bigger and more painful. The name pump bump was derived from the effect of heels in causing the painful foot deformity, but it can happen to anyone wearing shoes that exert frequent pressure on the heel resulting in the lump.

The growth may also be observed in certain occupations and hobbies where there’s a tightness of the Achilles tendon or walk on the outside of the heel, such as athletes and those who work in boots. It’s important to visit a medical officer once you notice a pump bump to correctly diagnose and treat it to avoid pain and effects on your gait.

Once you notice the symptoms of developing growth and pain when you put on shoes, you can seek various types of treatments to alleviate this.


Foot specialists can help with the correct diagnosis of the ailment to avoid misclassification as Achilles tendonitis. The professional asks questions to elicit the causes of the growth while conducting a physical examination. With further information provided by an X-ray or MRI scan, the medic then proceeds to recommend any of the following treatment options;

  1. Icing – This is the simplest technique. At the end of the day, apply an ice pack on the swelling for 20 to 40 minutes to reduce the inflammation. Repeat this until the swelling subsides.
  2. Medication – Non-inflammatory medication such as ibrufen or aspirin can also be prescribed and taken orally to manage the pain and reduce the swelling. These should be non-steroidal to avoid negative side effects and should only be taken under the direction of a qualified medical officer.
  3. Exercises – These are easy techniques to relieve tension from your Achilles tendon and are recommended especially when you are suffering from a tight heel cord.
  4. Orthotic devices – These are custom shoe inserts prescribed to redistribute pressure away from the heel or change the motion of your foot. Eventually, the pump bump will subside with continued use of the device bringing you much-needed relief.
  5. Shoe modification – This can be a great solution when you don’t have other podiatric conditions. You can use soft-backed or backless shoes to avoid friction and reduce irritation.
  6. Immobilization – Pump bump can lead to extreme inflammation. In such cases, a soft cast or walking boot is employed to restrain the foot until healing occurs.


Protection is always better than cure, and some simple techniques can be observed to keep pump bumps at bay. For instance, wearing appropriate shoes, performing stretching exercises at the end of your day, and avoiding running on hard surfaces and uphill can be great at avoiding podiatric conditions. However, when you experience discomfort when fitting your shoes, or notice a bump developing on your heel, don’t hesitate to seek medical advice.

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.