How To Heal A Bruised Heel Without Going To The Doctor

The most common cause of heel pain, plantar fasciitis accounts for an estimated 8% of running-related injuries. Whether you are a long time runner or a beginner, at one time or another you may experience a bruised heel.

Although bruising your heel is not considered to be a major medical issue, the pain can be excruciating. Perhaps even worse is the fact that you may have to put your running to a halt until you heal.

We want you to get back to your routine as soon as possible, so we put together all the information you will need to know how to heal a bruised heel without going to the doctor.


​Causes Of A Bruised Heel



​First of all, it would be logical to examine what caused your bruised heel. Think back to these time you started to feel the pain, was it after your run? During your run? Remember the details of where you were.

Things such as what terrain you were running on, what shoes you were wearing and the like. This will help you identify the cause of the bruise. In general, bruised heels in runners are caused by the following:

​Plantar Fasciitis



This happens when the plantar fascia- the ligament that extends from the heel bone to the tip of the foot becomes inflamed. Inflammation may be triggered when this ligament is stretched too far. Pain may be felt either in the middle of the foot or under the foot.

Heel Bursitis

This is also an inflammation but of the bursa at the back of the heel. A common cause is landing on your heel in an awkward position or because of uncomfortable footwear. Pain may be felt deep inside the heel or at the back. The pain usually escalates with time.

Stress Fractures



This is caused by engaging in physically demanding sports. Runners are prone to the stress fracture in the metatarsal bones.

Chronic Inflammation Of The Heel Pad



This is a condition that may develop when the heel pad becomes too thin or when you take heavy footsteps.

Symptoms Of Bruised Heel



Pain related to heel injury usually starts gradually and becomes worse when flat footwear is worn. Normally, pain is experienced under the foot near the front of the heel. In addition, symptoms seem to get worse during rest periods and just when you wake up. Other symptoms to look out for include:​

  • Pain when walking, running or jumping
  • Pain when standing still for a few minutes
  • ​Swelling around the heel area
  • Tenderness in the heel area especially when put under pressure​

Treating A Bruised Heel

Being able to make the pain bearable, reduce swelling and take preventive measures to make sure you don’t suffer again are the three main targets of treatment. A principle called P.R.I.C.E should be followed which means:​

P.R.I.C.E Method

  • ​P - Protection
  • R - Rest
  • I - Ice
  • ​C - Compression
  • E - Elevation

What you need

  • Crutches or a fascia bar
  • An ice pack
  • Elastic bandage
  • ​Pillows to stack

P.R.I.C.E Method
To Treat A Bruised Heel

Let’s discuss these steps one by one

P - Protection



  • Make sure you don’t walk on your heel until the pain totally disappears
  • Use crutche s while you recover
  • Use a Fascia bar to protect your heel. This technology has a dense cushion of soft Kraton to help absorb the impact when walking or standing. It is recommended for Plantar Fasciitis sufferers with worn out heel pads.

R - Rest

  • Try as much as possible to keep your foot off the ground
  • Remember that one of the causes of your heel bruise may be due to overuse, high impact sports or bad fitting shoes so the thing they need most is rest.

I - Ice



  • While you rest, alleviate the pain and swelling by putting an ice pack. If you don’t have one, you can simply put ice in a towel and place it on your heel or else make your own ice pack using water and rubbing alcohol.
  • Although an ice pack will not cure the condition, it will at least make the pain bearable while you heal naturally.
  • Make sure you only leave your ice pack on for up to 20 minutes to avoid causing cold injuries.​

C - Compression

Leg tensor bandage being applied outdoors


  • This involves wrapping the area with an elastic bandage to help lessen swelling. Compression also helps limit blood flow which will minimize the size of the bruise.
  • Wrap the bandage around the area that is swelling or bruised.​

E - Elevation



  • The final way to treat your bruised heel without going to the doctor is to elevate the injured area.
  • Ideally, it should be elevated above your heart in order to reduce the blood flow and minimize the bruise.​

Related Injuries

1. Sprained ankle

These basic treatment methods are very important to remember since they can also be administered in case of other common injuries such as a sprained ankle.

The difference with a sprained ankle is that it is often caused by environmental issues such as running on an uneven surface.

2. Feel Heavy In Your Leg

​Basically,most foot-related injuries and even minor discomforts such as heavy legs when you run have very similar treatment methods although they may vary in their cause and degree of pain.

Familiarizing yourself with these basic treatment methods will be valuable in your running career. With both a bruised heel and a sprained ankle, you can also follow the following preventive methods.

Pro Tips To Prevent Bruising

Like the saying goes “prevention is better than cure” so after you experience the pain of having a bruised heel, you want to make sure it doesn’t happen to you again.

Taking care of your heel is especially necessary after injury since it is easier for you to get bruised again. Here are some easy preventive steps to follow.​

  • Review the cause of your heel bruise and identify what triggered it. Then take the following measures.
  • Wear shoes that support your heel well. Shoes should fit well and have good heel counters to provide support. Shoes that don’t easily bend in the middle and have a heel counter are the best choice for running.
  • Always replace worn soles. Worn soles result in an uneven step that may cause problems.
  • Stretch your feet before and after you exercise
  • Limit the time you spend walking or standing on concrete floors especially if this is the nature of your work
  • Gradually increase your pace after your injury. This will help prevent sudden strain on your muscles and feet.Consider a sports alternative until you fully recover
  • Be aware of your running surface and stay away from bumpy, uneven surfaces
  • Maintain a healthy weight. People who are overweight put more pressure on their feet which may increase the chances of injuring the heel repeatedly.
  • Minimize the occasions you walk barefoot. Being barefoot on uneven surfaces increases the chances of damaging your heel tendons.​

If you have a minor heel injury, you can save yourself from going to the doctor by following the mentioned steps at home. If the pain persists or increases even after P.R.I.C.E, then it may be wise to seek medical attention.

How Do You Think ?

Did you enjoy this tutorial? Although prevention is the best option, it is difficult to totally eradicate injuries, but this shouldn’t stop you from continuing your running routine.

I am a firm believer in home treatment methods and the ability for the body to heal itself. In injuries such as bruised heels, it is easy to make the hasty decision of seeking professional advice immediately, but this may not be necessary at all.​

I would love to hear what you thought about the article. Was it helpful? IS there something you didn’t understand? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.​