Our feet enable us to walk steadily without falling over and hurting ourselves. Some people experience pain in their feet due to overweight and some others find it painful to walk or feel uncomfortable when there is a bump on the bottom of the foot. The size of the bump can even be as small as a green pea or as big as a golf ball. It might also be on the arch of the foot, ankle or anywhere else too and might hurt or not hurt depending on its location and size. Whatever be it, better to check out the bump and ensure that it’s not cancerous.
There are different reasons for a bump on the back of the feet:
Improper weight distribution: The long bones behind the toes are sometimes misaligned and this hinders body weight distribution as a person walks. Some areas tend to absorb more pressure due to this and calluses might even develop on the ball of the foot. This mostly is present in people with diabetes and these people should take extreme care and avoid these calluses from turning out into ulcers.
Big toe joint: When a person’s big toe joint does not move correctly while walking, there is excess force applied to the toe’s bottom. Due to this pressure there might be chances that a callus might develop and the bone might enlarge.
Plantar fibromas: This is mostly a hereditary condition that causes a nodule to form on the foot’s bottom. These nodules are non-cancerous and form in the plantar fascia, the ligament in the foot’s arch
Plantar warts: These are usually caused due to human papilloma virus (HPV) and found at the heel, forefoot or toe base. The virus can enter the feet when an individual has any cuts or weak spots and leads to small wart formation. They are small and usually go away on their own. Read more on HPV from the website www.firsteatright.com.
Dyshidrotic eczema: If bumps at the bottom of your foot are itchy and filled with fluid, it might be due to dyshidrotic eczema. While the exact cause is still unknown, researchers assume the primary cause to be allergies. People with this condition might find their skin to be flakey, cracked and painful to touch.
Cysts: These are fluid-filled sacs that are usually benign and extremely small visible under a microscope. As the cyst grows, it causes pain and discomfort.
Bursitis: This is an inflammation of the natural cushion between bones and soft tissue.
Synovial sarcoma: This is a type of soft-tissue sarcoma which can be malignant. It grows as a lump or swelling. Cysts and sarcomas appear similar initially and it is easy to confuse between the two, but while cysts are benign, sarcomas are malignant and can spread to other parts of the body.
Haglund’s deformity: This forms under the Achilles tendon and is a bump on the back of the foot or heel. This bump, when it touches or rubs against a person’s shoes might cause pain and discomfort.
Presence of a bump on the person’s feet that does not go away in a couple of days or causes pain/discomfort, it is better to meet a physician. Treatment for the bump depends on the cause primarily.
Uneven weight distribution: An insole or orthotic can treat bumps due to uneven weight distribution as it removes the pressure off the balls of the feet.
Plantar fibromas: Foot orthotics can prove helpful in this case too as it relieves pressure from the arch of the foot and also reduces the size of the nodule. Surgery is considered only during inevitable situations as performing a surgery calls for removing most of the plantar fascia.
Plantar warts: Usually these don’t need any treatment but if they bleed, change color or cause noticeable discomfort, it is better to consult a physician. The physician would suggest whether the wart needs to be removed or not. If you don’t see any changes in the wart, try home remedies such as keeping the leg area dry and clean, avoid touching with your hand and if you touch, please wash your hand immediately and change your socks and shoe every day.
Bursitis: It is usually treated with rest, anti-inflammatory drugs and ice. If none of these improve your condition, the doctor might suggest physical therapy or corticosteroids and recommend surgery when the situation goes beyond hands.
Cysts: Cysts can be drained by the doctor using a sterile needle and never try to drain your cyst at home. Surgery might be needed if the cyst is bigger in size.
Synovial sarcoma: This is malignant and it is better to seek medical attention immediately. Doctors remove it with surgery and might also suggest chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Haglund’s deformity: You can wear open back shoes, keep ice over the affected area or take anti-inflammatory medications as home remedies. If these are not effective, you can go for ultrasound treatments, tissue massage, orthotics, heel pads or immobilizing boots. Surgery might be needed if any of the treatment options are ineffective.