How to treat a bruised heel
A bruised heel is a contusion or bruising of the tissue found under the heel. A heel bruise is a painful injury that can be due to an acute injury or due to continuous impact on the foot. Moderate injury can cause bruising of the fat pad that surrounds the calcaneus. Recurrent injuries can cause a calcaneal stress fracture. The calcaneus is the largest bone in the foot and a weight bearing bone which is susceptible to injuries that can be very debilitating.
A heel bruise can range from a mild to moderate stress fracture or to severe fracture of the calcaneus.
Factors for high risk of developing a bruised heel include athletes who repetitively land from jumping, performing long jumping and triple jumping. Other sports that puts one at risk to this condition include basketball, indoor volleyball, beach volleyball and long-distance running.
Causes of bruised heel
- Inadequately cushioned or worn-out running shoes
- Excessive body weight
- Increase in training
- Performing on hard and uneven surfaces
- Walking or training barefoot
- Landing on the heel from a significant height and wearing ill-fitting shoes
- Repetitive trauma or running on the beach without a shoes
- Take a few days of rest for fast healing of the condition. Avoid performing activities that can worsen the pain and further damage the heels.
- Elevate the foot above the level of the heart for proper circulation of blood in the area.
- Apply an ice pack on the affected area to lessen the swelling and the pain.
- Use crutches to lessen the pain and lessen the weight placed on the affected area.
- Tape the heel for fast healing and compress the affected area. Taping of the heel is needed to stop the pain and for compression of the soft tissue found beneath the heel and for protection of the bone.
- Wear supportive or protective footwear especially when playing sports to prevent the risk of developing a bruised heel. Training barefoot have a high risk of developing the injury.
- Proper stretching of the feet before performing physical activities or exercises. Seek the help of the physical therapist for some stretching exercises to lessen the pain and other symptoms.
Disclaimer / More Information
The material posted on this page on a bruised heel is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage this injury by taking a first aid and CPR class with one of our training providers.