How Do I Treat a Bruised Heel?

Athletes are susceptible to bruised heel injuries.
Keeping feet elevated may help encourage blood flow to an injured heel, which will promote faster healing.
Obtaining new, supportive footwear may help treat a bruised heel.
An ice pack, which can help with a bruised heel.
Chronic heel bruising may be caused by repetitive movements or daily habits.
Article Details
  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Athletes are most susceptible to bruised heel injuries, though anyone can endure such an injury as the result of a fall, a hard impact, and so on. Bruised heel injuries may refer to impacted soft tissue or impacted bones, and the treatment may vary according to the severity of the injury. The most basic treatment of this type of injury involves using the RICE method; RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. More severe bruises may require attention from a doctor who can prescribe medication to alleviate pain and help reduce swelling.

Most of these injuries can be treated with the RICE treatment. Resting the injury allows the soft tissue or bone to heal on its own, and icing the injury helps keep painful swelling to a minimum. Compression and elevation both encourage blood flow to the injured area, which in turn promotes faster healing times. If the RICE treatment is not sufficient to treat the heel, it may be wise to visit a doctor, as a more serious condition may be occurring. A bone fracture, for example, may cause pain in the heel, and while some fractures can also be treated with the RICE treatment, more severe fractures will require more intensive treatments.

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Some people cannot stay off their feet long enough to allow the bruised heel to heal on its own, so orthotics may be necessary. Orthotics are devices that help restrict movement, support or cushion the affected area, and otherwise encourage healing by taking some of the stress off the heel. Ideally, orthotics as a treatment will be combined with the RICE treatment whenever possible to promote faster healing and to prevent further injury to the heel.

Sometimes a heel injury is due to repetitive movements or daily habits that are adversely affecting the health of the foot. It may be necessary for you to examine daily routines to find out if any of those routines are causing the bruising. This is a good step to take if you experience a chronically bruised heel, or if the bruising occurs more than once. Sometimes inadequate footwear can cause heel bruising, and simply wearing new, more supportive footwear can correct the problem. In other cases, your walking gait can lead to bruising, at which point you may want to consider visiting a doctor or other professional who can give you orthotics that can help correct your walking gait.

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Discuss this Article

fify
Post 3

A heel bruise can also be plantar fasciitis in which case anti-inflammatory medication or pain relievers might be necessary.

SteamLouis
Post 2

@anamur--Yea, shoes are extremely important, especially for those participating in sports.

I had the same problem because of a pair of runner shoes. The pad of the shoes were rubbing against my heels while I ran and bruising them. It took me a while to figure out that it was the shoes because the bruise was so painful. It would ache constantly, even at night, so I thought I had something else going on.

Once I figured it out though, I changed my shoes and applied ice on the bruise for several days. It slowly disappeared.A bruised heel bone can surprisingly cause a lot of pain.

serenesurface
Post 1

I get bruised heels whenever I wear flat sandals in the summer. When the sandals are flat, my heels rub against them the wrong way when I'm walking and get bruised.

The only treatment has been to avoid wearing very flat sandals. I only wear sandals that have the proper crease on the base now. This provides some orthopedic support for my feet and my heels don't bruise anymore.

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