A bruised heel is one of the more painful kinds of foot/ankle injuries that people can experience.
When you bruise your heel, you have actually injured the calcaneus bone and/or the fat pad that surrounds it.
What should you do if you bruise your heel? keep reading!
(image by WiseGeek.net)
The calcaneus is the bone in the foot that bears most of the weight during the heel striking phase of movement. The calcaneus is at risk for injury because it is the sole bone that makes initial contact with the ground when you walk, jog, or land from a jump.
A complete fracture of the calcaneus needs a significant amount of force, such as sky diving. During a fracture, you would not be able to walk and would experience immediate swelling and pain.
A bruised heel can be diagnosed by a foot and ankle doctor with an exam, bone scan and/or x-ray.
Athletes who repetitively land from jumping may be especially at risk for heel bruises. This might include indoor volleyball, basketball, beach volleyball, and running. The foot experiences stress anytime an athlete runs, jumps, and changes directions. A heel bruise can also be caused by a one-time incident.
The good news is that you can prevent heel bruises or fractures. Athletes and non-athletes should pick shoes that fit well and have good shock absorption. Runners should replace their shoes often to ensure that the quality of shock absorption for their feet.
Athletes should also take care to wear shoes when training on uneven surfaces like the beach. Athletes may think that soft sand may prevent injuries to the foot, but the outcome is often the opposite. Uneven surfaces may also cause injury to the muscles on the inside and/or outside of the ankle.
Treatment for a bruised heel begins with P.R.I.C.E. – Protection, Rest, Icing, Compression, Elevation. You should not walk on the heel until the heel is pain free during weight-bearing. It is important to not push through the pain in this type of injury. Playing sports with heel pain could turn a short rehab period into a long one.
If you have foot pain that is persistent and won’t go away, do not let it go untreated or it could very well get worse. Get your foot looked at today so that tomorrow is pain-free.
Please call 626-447-2184 (Arcadia) or 818-408-2800 (San Fernando) to speak make an appointment with Dr. Alireza Khosroabadi about your foot and/or ankle needs.