Can a Podiatrist Fix Your Teenager's 'Pump Bumps'?

If your daughter is a shoe fiend, she may well spend a lot of her time cramming her feet into uncomfortable shoes. Over time, she may develop bumps that stick out on her heels. These bumps can be upsetting for a looks-conscious teenager—she may think the bumps look ugly, they may hurt, and they may start to make wearing her favourite shoes uncomfortable. Can a podiatrist help?

What Are 'Pump Bumps'?

Officially called a Haglund's deformity, these swellings are often also known as 'pump bumps'. They get this name because the bumps often develop over time due to wearing shoes that don't have a lot of give and that rub against your heels. As well as making your heels look a little odd, these bumps can be painful, as they are often a sign of a bursitis inflammation.

How Can a Podiatrist Help?

A podiatrist can help treat existing 'pump bumps' and prevent them from happening again. Your podiatrist can help your daughter manage any pain she may have at the moment. So, for example, your daughter may be told to ice the bumps, to rest her feet and to take painkillers until the pain starts to ease off. Stretching exercises may also help loosen up her feet.

Your podiatrist can also help you work out why your daughter developed this problem in the first place. This may well be down to the shoes she likes to wear—shoes with rigid or high heel backs can rub against the skin and create these bumps. Your daughter may not be happy to hear this, and your podiatrist may recommend that she doesn't wear these kinds of shoes all the time but switches to wearing shoes with softer, more flexible or lower backs at least some of the time. If your daughter is in a lot of pain currently, then any shoe may hurt her heels, in which case cushioned heel pads may help.

In some cases, your daughter's 'pump bumps' may not be caused by footwear but by a foot problem. For example, you can develop these bumps if you have high arches or if your foot posture isn't quite right. If this is contributing to the problem, your podiatrist may recommend that your daughter wear an orthotic insole, lift or support to correct any issues.

Your podiatrist can also help your daughter understand how to spot the early signs of 'pump bumps'. If she starts to develop this problem again in the future, she can then take steps to prevent it from getting to the stage where she is in pain or finds it hard to wear shoes comfortably.