What is a bruised heel?


The heel bone (calcaneus) is protected by a pad of fat. Repeated pounding of the heel can cause the fat pad to be pushed up the side of the heel leaving less of a protective layer causing heel pain.

This injury is also sometimes known as Policeman’s heel. It is common in sports requiring a lot of impact onto the heel and in particular soldiers marching up and down on the parade square.

What can the athlete do about the heel pain?


  • Rest until there is no more heel pain.
  • Pad the heel of shoes with a shock absorbing insole.
  • Replace running shoes if they are old (more than 400 miles of running) or the soles are weakened through use.
  • Bruised heel treatment
  • A sports injury professional will confirm the diagnosis.
  • Advise on shoe inserts or heel pads to protect the fat pad in the heel.
  • Tape the heel to provide pain relief and compress the soft tissue under the heel giving more protection to the bone.

How long will it take to recover from heel pain?


If you catch heel pain early and rest then it should recover quite quickly – within a few days. If you ignore the warning signs (heel pain) and the fat pad gets damaged beyond easy repair then this is a very difficult injury to treat. Rest means rest.

There is no point you stopping running for a week if you put up scaffolding for a living and are on your feet every day. If you have to be on your feet then ensure you put a shock absorbing and cushioning heel insert into your shoes.

Medical Heel Pad


Medical Heel Pads are specially designed for athletes recovering from injury where shock absorption is required. By absorbing the repetitive impact of the heel striking the ground they protect the heel and protective fat pad from shock, allowing it to heal naturally.

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