Heel Bumps

A bony prominence on the back of your heel is called a calcaneal bump. These are most commonly associated with a high-arched foot. The back of the heel pushes and rubs against the back heel counter of the shoe. Both the tendon and soft tissues can become inflamed and painful when this occurs.


Heel bumps.
Heel bumps.

In a high-arched foot, the heel bone (calcaneus) can have an altered alignment, which causes an enlargement of the bone in the back of the heel. Often, the body will create a fluid-filled sac (bursa) in order to protect the tendon and other soft tissues. When wearing shoes or boots, this bursa gets pushed up against the heel counter, and becomes very painful.


Try cutting away the heel area of the shoe in order to reduce pressure against the bony prominence. Or, place a doughnut-shaped pad or strip padding on either side of the bump to help reduce direct contact with the shoe. If these don’t work, consult a podiatrist who may inject the bursa with a small amount of a steroid to reduce the inflammation. In severe cases surgery may be required in order to remove some of the offending bone, so that normal activities can be resumed, pain-free.


If you have a high-arched foot, wear a well-padded shoe or sneaker that does not have an excessively firm heel counter.

Activity Restrictions

None. It depends on the severity of pain and inflammation.