The Terrifying Foot Issue Your High Heels Might Be Causing

Lindsey Metrus
PHOTO:

The Hunt

Ah, high heels. We have a love-hate relationship with them. As much as we cherish our trusty pumps, sometimes they seriously deceive us—sometimes so much so that they can actually cause physical pain (think bunions, blisters, and all of the fun things associated with painful shoes). However, there's another foot ailment you probably haven't heard of, and it's called "pump bump." Admittedly, we were quite alarmed when we discovered this, so we turned to Dr. Mark J. Landsman of Manhattan Foot and Ankle Care for further clarification.

Landsman explains that pump bump, or an inflammation on the back of the heel, is more scientifically known as Haglund's Deformity. This happens when the bony area on the back of the heel (near the Achilles tendon) becomes enlarged. As a result, your shoe then rubs up against the bump, causing inflammation. What's scary is that Haglund's deformity can happen to anyone but is more likely to happen to people who wear close-heeled shoes (like pumps, for example!). However, the risk becomes greater if it's in your genes. Some people are born with Haglund's, but the good news is you won't necessarily experience pain if you don't wear shoes that rub up against it (we're looking at you, pumps!).

So, what do you do if you're experiencing that red, swollen irritation? Landsman suggests using heel pads and orthotics to lift the heel and reduce pressure. And if you're worried about having to give up heels for good, Landsman says to give yourself a break and wear them in increments, or you may even discover that just one particular shoe is aggravating the heel area, in which case you should find a style of shoe that doesn't make matters worse.

Take a look at our favourite products for reducing pain from "pump bump" below!

Have you ever experienced this issue before? Please tell us how you treated it below!

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