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Large lump, very painful, on the back of heel
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Large lump, very painful, on the back of heel

I began having burning pain around the back of my left heel several months ago. The skin is sore to the touch and the pain shots around the heel on both sides. The pain is burning but also like a sore from an injury but I have not injuried it. I have developed a large lump on the back of the heel that feels hard to the touch. In the last week, I have started to have the same problem in my right heel. I don't have the lump yet on the right side and the pain has receeded somewhat from the intenisity that it was at the onset. I am in my mid 50s and very active. What could this be from and what would be the treatment?


Hello and thank you for your question. Sounds like you are describing what is called a Haglund's Deformity, also known as a pump bump. This is an enlargement of one of the calcaneal bursas which can become irritated through certain footwear or activities. Haglund's deformity can be painful in shoes with a tight heel counter such as men's dress shoes and women's heels. The best thing to do is avoid excessively tight shoes or wear backless shoes until it calms down. You can take oral anti-inflammatories if necessary or ice the area.

If the pain persists I would see a Podiatrist for additional options such as heel lifts or topical anti-inflammatories.


I don't think this is the problem. I never wear heels. I go barefoot most of the time, summer & winter. When I do wear shoes, they are either tennis shoes or my work boots neither of which are tight or uncomfortable. I also have a heel orthotic in them. Could this be Achilles tendonitis? Right now I cannot stand to walk without a shoe on.


Thank you for the additional information. If your pain is more behind the heel when walking and not necessary due
to pressure on the back of the heel that does sound more like Achilles tendonitis/bursitis. The treatment for Achilles Tendonitis involves controlling the inflammation and decreasing the stress to the soft tissue. Oral anti-inflammatories and icing are can help decrease the inflammation, allowing the soft tissue to heal. To reduce the stress to the Achilles tendon, using heel lifts are initially a good treatment but increasing the flexibility of the ankle is important. Using a night splint or stretching the calves for 5 to 10 minutes 3 times a day is necessary to reduce the pain. Eccentric calve exercises is also recommend for Achilles tendonitis. You can find some great eccentric exercises on the internet. If your pain persists I recommend seeing a Podiatrist who can better evaluate you. Good luck!


I have planters, Achilles tendon and bone spurs on my heel. I am in my 50's and was an avid walker for many years. Now that I am in pain, I have stopped walking and put on 15 pounds while I rest my feet. I want to get back on my feet again but I don't want to aggravate my condition. I feel like I am between a rock and a hard place. Will the bone spurs ever get better or will I have to deal with this the rest of my life?


Thank you for the question. Bone spurs, especially plantar spurs, are a bit of a misnomer. They are not the actual cause of your pain but more of an incidental finding. Depending on your foot type, you may be susceptible to Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis and limited ankle mobility. If this is the case then daily foot strengthening and stretching is important to help prevent any foot pain. Orthotics can also be beneficial in some cases and are something that can be discussed with a Podiatrist. As you consider returning to activity you will also want to avoid high impact activities that cause the greatest stress on feet. Walking is a good option but you may want to initially start with a bike or elliptical as this has less impact on the feet. I hope this helps!


I too have the large, hard lump on the back of my right heel. Mine came after having to constantly sprint a fair distance, sometimes out of nowhere. I worked as Head of Security in two casinos that were separated by a paved parking lot. It wasn't that bad at first, but got to the point I could hardly walk. This was at the end of 2010. It gives me pain a lot of the time still. Especially when I'm on my feet walking around for a long period of time. I went to the local fossil of a podiatrist and told him my problem. He did x-rays of my foot, then proceeded to tape it and told me I was good to go. When I asked him what the bump was, he said "What bump?". I showed him and he took out a little square pad and cut a semi-circle in it, stuck it around the bump, taped it and sent me on my way. He said it may be a bursitis, but with the fact he had no idea what he was doing, I'm seriously wanting a second opinion. Is there anything to do for a bursitis? I would really love to get this taken care of. It hurts a lot. Especially when I get up in the morning and try to walk.



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