Treating And Healing A Bruised Heel
Bruised heels are a rather common sports injury. They can occur when you strike the heel of your foot on something hard. It's common for people to bruise their heels when they are wearing soft shoes and step on something hard with their heel. A heel bruise is really an injury to the pad of fat that lies just under the heel bone. Though the injury itself should heal in time without causing any permanent damage, it can be quite debilitating and cause a lot of pain. To treat and heal a heel bruise, follow these tips.
It's important to apply ice as soon as you can after you bruise your heel. The ice will help keep the area from swelling up so dramatically, which should keep your pain more manageable. (A lot of the pain with a heel bruise is the result of swelling.) Just place an ice pack on the floor, and rest your heel on top of it. Apply the ice for 20 minutes, and then repeat this treatment three or four times per day for the first three to five days after the injury.
Walking on your heel is sure to be painful. You might be tempted to work through the pain, telling yourself that it is "just a bruise," but this will just extend the time it takes the injury to heal. It's best to stay off your feet as much as possible after you suffer a heel bruise. Avoid sports and running, and when you do need to walk, use crutches or a cane so you can avoid putting your full weight on the injured heel.
You'll know when you are ready to return to physical activity. Within about a week, it will be comfortable to stand on your foot again -- and then you can slowly ease your way back towards walking and running.
Massage and Soaking
One of the keys to promoting faster recovery is ensuring good circulation throughout your foot and heel. To promote circulation, try massaging your feet once a day. Do not massage the bruised area specifically, but instead massage all other areas of your foot that are not sore. This should help keep inflammation down and bring blood -- and all of the healing nutrients it contains -- to the injured tissues.
You can also try soaking your foot in an Epsom salts bath every couple of days. The salts help draw out inflammation and fight any muscle soreness that may be coming up because you're not using your foot as usual.
For additional advice, contact a podiatrist at a location like the Advanced Foot & Ankle Centers of Illinois.