Many a times, while playing certain sports like volleyball, basketball, etc, where the feet are made to work extra hard and the entire weight of the body rests on the heel, there are high chances for the heel to get bruised. Even in cases where there is repetitive bounding as in long distance running or even during sports where it required landing heavily on the heel, the soft pad of fatty tissue gets flattened and may also at times get displaced, which in turn results in bruising of the heel bone, thereby causing extreme pain while walking.
This condition of bruising the heel is also known as Policeman’s Heel and is a painful injury that needs to be treated at the earliest. Such an injury can range from mild to severe where there is also possibility of a fracture.
In cases like these, one of the first symptoms along with extreme pain is increased inflammation in and around the heel area. It has been found that a heel injury mostly results in the displacement of the fatty tissue pad thereby exposing the underlying bone and working the heel too hard has resulted in permanent damage to it.
Also, excessive weight and wearing of the wrong kind of footwear without proper cushioning to the heel have been found to be the major reason behind a heel bruise. Thus, there are certain things that anybody with a possible heel injury should keep in mind. This includes the following:
It is necessary that you use footwear that has the proper shock absorbing mechanism in it. Any footwear you choose should be able to cushion your heel to the extent that further damage to it is minimized. This is specifically important if you are an athlete. Also make sure to change your footwear regularly to ensure that the shock absorption mechanism is working to keep the heel from bruising further.
If there is any kind of swelling, it is suggested that you use an ice pack on the inflammation to reduce it as well as to lessen the pain. For this, you can consider using ice packed in a towel and apply this twice daily. If ice is not available, you can also soak your feet in some ice cold water for 10 minutes twice daily to get rid of the inflammation.
It is crucial that you do not work on the heel and put it to complete rest till the bruising has minimized. Any kind of weight put on the heel will only worsen the condition causing serious damage that can also get permanent. As such if you are an athlete suffering from this condition it is advisable to take a break and rest from the sport for a few weeks till the pain has subsided.
Most doctors suggest keeping the foot in an elevated position. This ensures that the blood flow to the injury does not increase the swelling since this will result in increased pain in the injured foot.
Taping the heel is necessary since this will help relieve the pain as well as compress the soft tissue of the heel giving it the necessary support.
Consult a Doctor
It is advisable to consult a podiatrist to check the severity of the condition and follow the instructions given in order to help heal the injury.