If you play hockey, you’ve probably heard the term “Bauer Bump” at some point, which refers to a bony prominence that can form at the back of a player’s heel. But what exactly is that? Is it a problem? How do you get rid of it?

The clinical term for the condition is Haglund’s Deformity, a bony prominence that can begin to form at the heel when skates are worn extensively or if shoes are ill-fitting. Though it is commonly called a Bauer bump in the hockey world, it is not specific to Bauer skates, as any brand of skates can cause the condition.

Do you need to do anything about it? Well, that depends. Is it bothering you? For some, the bony protrusion can become symptomatic, either from excessive friction in the skate, increased pressure on the Achilles tendon, or pain when wearing shoes. If it does become symptomatic, there are a couple of things you can do:

  1. NSAIDs: trying ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatory OTC drug can help bring down inflammation and pain. Just keep in mind that this is not a long-term solution, as NSAIDs should only be used for a short amount of time.

  2. Check your skates: if the skate is either too big or too small, this can cause issues for your foot. Too big and you have excessive movement, which leads to friction. Too small and you have excessive pressure, which can also cause irritation.

  3. Ice: using ice after skating can help relieve immediate pain, and is easily accessible.

  4. Padding: if the bump is small enough, then sometimes using a donut pad in the skate can take some of the pressure off and give it enough time to bring the inflammation down.

  5. Manual therapy: if the Achilles tendon is becoming irritated, then sometimes a massage and stretching can help relieve the pain.


As always, if you are experiencing pain or injury, your best bet is to check in with your doctor or athletic trainer, especially if the above solutions do not provide relief.