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Haglund’s Deformity Advice

Minute Read


Posted 9 months ago


Last updated: 03/12/2022


by James McCormack

Is Achilles Tendonitis the same as Haglund’s Deformity?

Achilles Tendonitis is often associated with Haglund’s Deformity, but they are not the same. Achilles Tendonitis is a condition that causes pain, swelling and structure change in the physiology of the Achilles Tendon. At the same time, a Haglund’s Deformity is a bony growth or spur on the back of the heel bone where the Achilles Tendon attaches.

In some cases, a Haglund’s Deformity can rub off the underside of the Achilles Tendon, resulting in pain when walking or running, but ultimately they are different conditions.

Haglund's Deformity diagram

Can you run with Haglund’s Deformity?

Yes, you can run with Haglund’s Deformity, as it is likely that you have had the condition for a very long time. If you have a Haglund’s Deformity without any symptoms, you do not need to modify your running routine. If you have mild symptoms of Haglund’s Deformity during or after running, then you should take some steps to manage it with our suggested home treatment.

If you have severe symptoms of Haglund’s Deformity, you can still run but consider taking longer breaks between runs of up to 3 days, avoiding hill training and cross-training with cycling and swimming.

Can I walk with Haglund’s Deformity?

Yes, you can continue to walk with Haglund’s Deformity. In the worst case scenario it may irritate your symptoms temporarily but that can settle with home treatment. It it worthwhile considering your footwear options as they can significantly reduce your pain levels or adding a heel raise to your shoe. Avoid uphill walks or hiking to manage your symptoms appropriately.

Can you cycle with Haglund’s Deformity?

Yes, you can continue to cycle a bike with you have a Haglund’s Deformity as it is a non-impact activity and highly unlikely to aggravte your symptoms.

If you have severe symptoms of Haglund’s Deformity, you can consider raising your saddle height to decrease the amount of dorsiflexion when cycling as this can rub off the insertion of the Achilles Tendon.

What happens if Haglund’s Deformity is left untreated?

In most cases, Haglund’s Deformity goes untreated without any issues as most people don’t even know that they have Haglund’s Deformity. In cases where there is pain, if you manage it appropriate with good footwear choices, non-impact exercises and rest between walks, then Haglund’s Deformity symptoms can resolve or remain manageable.

In severe cases of Haglund’s Deformity that goes untreated, symptoms can worsen to the stage where it hurts to walk. If you suspect you have a Haglund’s Deformity, we recommend having a consultation with a medical progressional such as a Physical Therapist.

Is Haglund’s Deformity a bone spur?

Yes, a Haglund’s Deformity is a bone spur. You can develop a bone spur on any bone in your body. Due to the weight-bearing nature of the calcaneus, it is more prone to bone spur formation on the back of the heel (Haglund’s Deformity) or the underside.

A bone spur such as Haglund’s Deformity can develop spontaneously; it can be hereditary or develop from shoe friction over time.

How long is recovery from Haglund’s Deformity?

There is no set time for Haglund’s Deformity. We have found in our clinics that Haglund’s Deformity takes 4-6 weeks to improve and settle in mild cases and up to 12 weeks in more severe cases that may require steroid injections in conjunction with Physical Therapy.

In severe cases of Haglund’s Deformity that require surgery, these can take 6 months to recover.

How common is Haglund’s Deformity?

A Haglund’s Deformity is a prevalent bony abnormality of the calcaneus bone that can be found in patients with and without pain; however, there is no study that we are aware of that indicates the prevalence of Haglund’s Deformity in the general public.

Should you massage Haglund’s Deformity?

There is no benefit to massaging a Haglund’s Deformity. A Haglund’s Deformity causes pain, inflammation and swelling at the back of the heel, and further compression from massage can potentially worsen symptoms.

It can be beneficial to massage surrounding muscular tissues such as the calf muscles and plantar muscles of the foot to take the pressure of your Haglund’s Deformity

Physiotherapy with James McCormack

This is not medical advice. We recommend a consultation with a medical professional such as James McCormack. He offers Online Physiotherapy Appointments for £45.

Related Article: Haglund’s Deformity: Symptoms and Treatment

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