Experiencing painful lumps on your heel can be quite alarming. However, they are not usually a sign of any serious underlying health condition. Most of them can be treated at home using non-invasive natural processes. It’s imperative to know the cause of the problem to get the right treatment.
Signs and symptoms depend greatly on the cause of the lump. Lumps may show up in one or both heels. Swellings and redness can occur around the lumps and may become tender to touch. In other cases, a noticeable lump in the middle of the arch or instep feels firm.
Lumps may also occur between forefoot pad and the heel pad. Mostly, pain experienced from these lumps worsen when one rises on toes or stands barefoot. These lumps occur as a single mass or in clusters. They are non-cancerous and can enlarge causing pain while walking.
The presence of a painful lump on the bottom of the foot under the skin can have many causes. Some of them include the following.
Calluses arise in the areas of heel that experience a lot of friction. These can result from wearing tight shoes. If you have diabetes, get treatment from your doctor in case calluses develop. The misalignment of the metatarsal bone located directly behind the toes may occur if calluses develop on the ball of your foot.
Dyshidrotic eczema causes bumps that are filled with fluid and sometimes get itchy. Doctors and medical researchers believe that allergies cause this condition. Patients may also have skins that cracks, flakes or painful to touch.
This condition is hereditary and causes nodules to develop on the bottom of the foot. These nodules often form beneath the arch in the middle of your underfoot. It gets painful when pressure is applied.
Warts are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). This virus can enter your body resulting in warts formation if you have weak spots or cuts on the foot under the skin. Warts occur on the heel, forefoot or at the base of the toes. They are rough, fleshy and grainy yet relatively small.
When you stand or walk around, you may experience pain or tenderness.
This condition occurs when a bump forms underneath the Achilles tendon. The bump gets painful and irritated when it rubs against your shoes.
Bursas are natural cushions situated between bones and soft tissues. They are lubricated to relieve friction that occurs during physical activities. Bursitis may occur after an injury. The synovial membrane that houses bursa’s lubrication gets inflamed and swells with extra synovial fluid. Bursitis causes swellings under or near the big toe.
Cysts are sac-like filled with a semi-solid, gaseous or liquid substance. They can be microscopic or visible to the naked eye. As cysts grow, they may cause discomfort and they have minimal or no accompanying symptoms.
This condition causes malignant lumps to form under the foot. They are harmful and spread to other body parts if untreated. Initially, sarcomas may not be noticeable. Sometimes, they mimic cysts. Nonetheless, as they grow, lumps and swellings form under the foot. They cause pain and numbness. Sarcomas cause a decreased range of motion. This condition is believed to be hereditary.
Diagnosis depends on the underlying cause of the lump. In most cases, the doctor examines the foot and feels the affected area. Sometimes, the doctor’s physical examination can cause pain that extends to other unaffected regions especially the toes. Treatment can be relatively quick and effective. Your doctor may perform a biopsy, X-ray or MRI to evaluate the lump further to prescribe appropriate treatment.
Lump treatment varies subject to its cause. In cases where inflammation is present, icing and use of anti-inflammatory non-steroidal drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen can help reduce discomfort and redness. Also, other non-surgical treatments can relieve the pain of the lumps but may not necessarily make the mass disappear.
There are various nonsurgical treatment methods available. Orthotic devices are functional in cases where the lump is not changing in size. Custom orthotic devices like shoe inserts may distribute the patient’s weight away from the lump hence reducing pain. Physical therapy that delivers anti-inflammatory medication into the lump without the need for injections is also effective.
Steroid injections into the lump may help shrink relieving pain experienced when walking. Nonetheless, size reduction can be temporary, the lump may gradually get back to its original size. In severe cases, surgery can be appropriate to eliminate swollen tissue and restructure patient's underfoot.
Rest is a reliable form of preventive measure. Try to stay off your feet whenever you can to ease pressure on the lumps. Some may heal depending on the underlying cause. Reduce exercise or motion that may cause excessive force and friction on your underfoot. Cross-training and change of exercise regime can also prevent the development of these lumps.
Wearing comfortable shoes with a less restrictive heel also reduce the chances of developing painful lumps on the bottom of your feet. Special stretches that strengthen feet ligaments and tendons can improve underlying conditions that cause the bumps. Support and flexibility provided by these stretches to your feet help in the prevention of lumps formation.
If the lumps do not respond to treatment and preventive measures, consult a medical professional. If the lumps bleed or change in color or appearance, it is advisable to consult a doctor to rule out other complications. It is recommended to visit your doctor if the pain from the lumps causes discomfort that affects your daily life activities.
Individuals with a weakened immune system or type-2 diabetes are also advised to visit a doctor whenever these lumps appear on the bottom of their feet.