Haglund's Syndrome

What is Haglund's Syndrome & How is it Caused?

Haglund's syndrome is a condition, which occurs when Retrocalcaneal Bursitis and Achilles Tendonitis occur at the same time. The combination of these two conditions results in Haglund's syndrome. Retro-calcaneal bursa lies posterior to heel (clacaneon) bone. Inflammation of Retro-calcaneal bursa is known as Retro-calcaneal Bursitis. Inflammatory condition (disease) of Achilles tendon is known as an Achilles tendonitis. Chronic inflammation causes bump of Achilles Tendon known as “Pump Bump”.

What is Haglund's Syndrome?

Continuous inflammation of Bursa and Achilles Tendon causes repeated irritation and inflammation of periosteum of heel bone. Inflammation of periosteum initiates calcium deposits over periosteum and extra bone growth known as exostosis. The severe heel pain as a result of achilles tendon, bursitis and exostosis is known as Haglund’s Syndrome.

Haglund's Syndrome

Symptoms of Haglund's Syndrome

  • Achilles Bursitis is one of the symptoms of Haglund’s Syndrome.
  • Pain at the posterior side of the heels, particularly when running uphill or on soft surfaces can also be a symptom of Haglund’s Syndrome.
  • Tenderness is present.
  • Swelling is present.
  • A spongy resistance is felt upon pressure on both sides of the heel.
  • Achilles Tendinitis is also yet another symptoms of Haglund’s Syndrome.
  • Pain in the Achilles tendon at the posterior side of the ankle.
  • Pain upon starting any activity which subsides as the activity increases is also a symptom of Haglund’s Syndrome.
  • Tenderness upon palpation.

Symptoms of Haglund's Syndrome

Treatment of Haglund's Syndrome

  • In order to successfully treat Haglund’s Syndrome, both the conditions i.e. Retrocalcaneal bursitis and Achilles tendonitis should be treated.
  • Rest should be taken.
  • Cold therapy can be applied in order to treat Haglund’s Syndrome conservatively.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications such as naproxen and ibuprofen help in pain and inflammation associated with Haglund’s Syndrome.
  • The calf muscles should be gently stretched.
  • Patient should start a rehab program after complete healing of Haglund’s Syndrome is achieved.

Treatment of Haglund's Syndrome

What is the Recovery Period for Haglund’s Syndrome?

It is imperative that the person suffering from Haglund’s Syndrome stops the activity for a period of at least a month that caused the initial injury which led to development of Haglund Syndrome. The rest period is estimated depending on the severity of the injury. For grade I and II types of injuries resulting in Haglund’s Syndrome, the rest period and the recovery is about one week and for more serious injuries the recovery period goes up to about a month. During this healing period of Haglund’s Syndrome, it is vital to stop any sporting activities and contact sports of any kind.

To facilitate healing of Haglund’s Syndrome it is helpful to perform calf stretches as tightness of the other muscles like the hip and the back may cause tightness of the calf muscles. This can also be done additionally by strengthening the anterior tibialis muscles which tends to stretch the calf and promote healing. Following stretching the calf muscles for about a fortnight, advance to strengthening exercises to strengthen the calf muscles. Below mentioned are some of the exercises which are suggested for Haglund’s Syndrome.

What are the Exercises for Haglund’s Syndrome?

Achilles Tendon Exercises for Haglund’s Syndrome: This is the best form of exercise to treat Haglund’s Syndrome. These forms of exercises can be done in cases where the Achilles tendon is tight. Calf stretches can loosen the Achilles tendon and also reduces abnormal stress to the Achilles tendon. Some of the other exercises which can be done for Haglund’s Syndrome are towel pickups in which you are required to pick up and grasp towel from the toes. Towel stretches are also helpful in which you need to sit on the ground and make a loop of a towel around the bottom of the foot and stretch the muscles. There exercises if introduced in the daily routine can also prevent development of Haglund’s Syndrome.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Last Modified On: July 26, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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