Bruised Heel: Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

Bruised Heel

Things You Need To Know About Bruised Heel

Are you experiencing pain in your heel? If you’ve been very active recently, if you play sports or if you’ve had high impact on your feet such as a jump from a height, it’s possible that you’ve got a bruised heel.

Bruised heels can cause a lot of pain, but the good news is that this condition can be treated quickly and easily. It is not permanent, so long as you take proper care of your heels and get the correct treatment. If you have serious concerns about your feet or any injuries, it is always best that you consult a doctor or a suitably qualified health care professional such as a sports therapist or physiotherapist to ensure you have the right diagnosis and treatment plan in place.

What Are Bruised Heels?

The bone in your heel, or calcaneus, is surrounded by tissue and sits on a pad of fat called your heel pad. The tissue and heel pad protect the bone. When this tissue or heel pad get damaged, it can result in a bruised heel. Bruised heels are also called Policeman’s heel. This is quite a common sports injury.

Symptoms of a Bruised Heel

Symptoms of a bruised heel can include:

  • Pain when walking or applying pressure to the foot. This pain usually comes on slowly and can be felt directly under the heel bone. Applying pressure with your fingers to the heel pad directly beneath the heel bone will help you to determine whether you might be suffering from bruised heel as you will feel pain from the touch.
  • nstant pain can also be a symptom of bruised heel when you have experienced a sudden impact such as landing on a hard surface or receiving a blow while playing sports. While this may also result in further injuries, it is best to stop activities immediately once you feel pain and seek help.

What Causes a Bruised Heel?

Bruised heels occur when the heel pads beneath the heel bone get pushed aside due to constant impact. Because the weight of the body is transferred to the feet during activities, the constant pressure on the tissue surrounding the heel bone and the fatty heel pads protecting the bone can result in damage to the tissue. This is a painful injury.

The main causes of a bruised heel are:

1- Sports injuries

Bruised heels are common sports injuries as most sports involve a lot of impact between the foot and hard surfaces such as football fields or running tracks. The weight of the body is felt by the heel bone and the repeated thumping on the heel pad can lead to bruised heel. Activities that include jumping, such as hurdles or high jumps can often result in sudden high impact and cause bruised heels.

2- Walking for a long time

If you are involved in any work or activities which require you to walk for long periods of time, you should protect yourself from bruised heel. The name Policeman’s heel’ has been used to describe bruised heel precisely for this reason. Policemen have been known to suffer from difficulties with their feet, in particular, bruised heels. This is because of marching and patrolling activities that involve repeatedly bearing weight on the heel bone and causing damage to the tissue and heel bone beneath. It is also a common ailment with marching soldiers.

3-Carrying heavy loads

Extra weight from lifting and carrying heavy items can also lead to bruised heel. If you’re planning to move house, or if your job requires a lot manual handling of heavy loads, you should prepare your feet for such activities and treat your feet accordingly to prevent the possibility of bruised heels.

4- Excessive Weight

Bruised heel can also be caused if you are overweight or obese. Carrying extra weight leads to pressure on the heel bone which may eventually lead to bruised heels. To avoid bruised heels or other foot related injuries, it is best to drop the extra pounds so that you can keep your feet and your body healthy.

5- Wearing the wrong footwear

Bad footwear is never good for your feet and can lead to all sorts of foot difficulties. Bruised heels are no exception. Make sure your footwear supports and protects your heels, your feet and your ankle to prevent all sorts if injuries, including bruised heels. If in doubt, consult a footwear specialist to make sure you make the best choices about your shoes.

read also: How To Get Rid of Bruises Fast?

How to treat a bruised heel

  • See your Doctor or healthcare professional

The first step with any foot injury or pain such as bruised heel should be to get a correct diagnosis. You don’t want to overlook any more serious injuries. If you think you are suffering from a bruised heel, it is best to visit your doctor or to consult a qualified and trusted sports health professional. If the injury was brought on while taking part in sports activities, your sports team may have a physiotherapist or sports injury professional to assess and treat your injury. A correct diagnosis as soon as the pain occurs will help to identify the right treatment for you and give you every chance of treating the injury and successful recovery.

  • Stop Physical Activity

It’s important that you stop taking part in any physical activities as soon as you feel any pain or suspect that you have a bruised heel. If you ignore the pain and continue with your physical activity, you will run the risk of further damage to the tissue in your heel and to the heel pad.

  • Rest

Most cases of bruised heels can be treated quickly and efficiently and most will recover with just a few days’ rest. You need to literally take the weight off your feet for a few days. Don’t participate in any physical activities that could worsen the pain of further damage your heels. Try to keep your foot elevated and remember that you will soon be back on your feet. Try not to rush it.

  • Put it on Ice

Ice is a very important part of caring for your bruised heel. To avoid any inflammation or swelling of the heel, you should put ice on it as soon as possible after the injury or after you begin to feel pain in your heel.

Put it on Ice

  • Taping

Taping your heal can help with your recovery. Sports health professionals will have the appropriate tape to suitable compress your heel and help with the recovery. Compression with tape is best used in conjunctions with resting the foot, icing it to reduce any swelling and elevation while taking a few days off from physical activity to allow your body time to heal and your foot time to recover.

  • Change your footwear

Do not continue to wear unsuitable footwear while your heel is recovering. If you have been wearing poor running shoes for physical activities in particular, then investing in a pair of supportive, protective shoes is very important to looking after your heels and the general health of your feet. Your choice of footwear is key to a long and injury-free sporting life so don’t cut corners or you may run the risk of all sorts of foot injuries.

Change your footwear

What to Do for a Bruised Heel Bone

· Stop Physical Activities

Stop straight away. Whatever you’re doing when the pain starts, you need to stop. Rest your foot and avoid causing further damage.

· Check with your doctor or health professional

If you’ve suffered an injury during sports, ask your team’s healthcare professionals to take a look at your foot. As soon as you feel pain, get professional advice. While it may seem like bruised heels are a straightforward injury, there is always the risk of further complications or damage that you cannot identify yourself. If you have suffered any kind of fracture or serious injury, your doctor or sports health professional will recommend further precautions, treatments or medical examinations.

read also: Bruised Knuckle: Causes and How to Treat Them

How to Prevent Bruised Heel

· Wear appropriate footwear

For the best chances of preventing bruised heels, always wear supportive or protective footwear. If you are especially active or play sports, you will need to take good care of your feet and you cannot value good footwear highly enough. Sports shoe specialists will assess your feet and identify what footwear is best for you. Try also to avoid training barefoot as there is no protection offered to your feet and risk of suffering from bruised heels is higher.

· Stretch

As a matter of best practice when exercising, always stretch your feet before undertaking physical activities. Your sports coaches and sports health specialists will advise you on the correct stretches to best take care of your feet.

· Follow advice of Doctors or health care professionals

If you have a medical history involving bruised heels, or any other type of foot injuries, you should seek advice from your Doctors or your sports health professionals about the best care for your feet and how to prevent bruised heels.

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  1. I have this bruised heel for 7 years, I work 3days/ week (8 hr shifts). So as a classical symptom of fat pad atrophy resulted heel bruise (i think bone bruise too) high intensity pain when I am on my feet for longer time. It immediately disappears when I SIT. Met 10-15 podiatrists , they all diagnosed at plantar fasciitis, what a joke.
    I want to know does hyper baric oxygen theray help heel the heel burise (bone burise).

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