A bruised heel or Policeman’s heel is basically a contusion or bruising to the tissues beneath the heel which causes pain and discomfort. In most cases, a bruised heel is typically caused by misuse or overuse such as constant jumping, running long distances or activities that involve landing on the heel heavily. The heel bone is shielded by a padding of fatty tissue. The constant pounding of the heel will cause the fat pad to flatten out and end up displaced to the side of the heel, thus resulting to a thin protective layer that can lead to the bruising of the bone and trigger pain.
Management of a bruised heel
The individual should rest until there is no more pain. This is a vital element in treatment since continuing to walk or run using the injured foot will not allow the injury to properly heal. If you will enroll in a first aid class, you can learn measures that will help ease the symptoms experienced by the individual.
It is recommended to opt for soft trainers that provide a lot of support or padding on the heel of the shoes along with shock absorbent insoles or heel padding. These must be used on both shoes even if only one heel is bruised. Using a raise in just one shoe will cause a leg length difference that can lead to other issues. This is why it should be used in both shoes during any activity.
It is best to replace running shoes if they are already worn out. Remember that running shoes are specifically designed to last up to 400 miles of running. After this, the middle soles are weakened through use.
When to seek treatment
A sports professional will confirm a diagnosis. Depending on the condition of the bruised heel, the right treatment such as insoles, orthotics or heel padding can be used to provide protection to the fat pad in the heel while at the same time correct any biomechanical issues of the foot.
Taping of the heel is recommended in order to prevent pain and compress the soft tissue beneath the heel for added protection to the bone.
If the individual can determine the start of heel pain early, he/she must rest so that it can recover quite quickly within a few days. In case the initial onset of pain is simply ignored and the fat pad becomes damaged way beyond repair, it can be a difficult injury to treat.
Always remember that rest is vital in treating a bruised heel. Adequate rest is a must so that the injury will heal properly. If the individual is required to use his/her feet, it is important to utilize a shock absorbent and moderating heel insert into the shoes as well as taping the heel for added protection.