A bruised heel, also known and Policeman’s Heel is a contusion or bruising to the tissues under the heel causing pain.
A bruised heel is usually caused by overuse such as repetitive bounding, long distance running or landing heavily on the heel. The heel bone or calcaneus bone as it is called is protected by a pad of fatty tissue. Repeated pounding of the heel can cause the fat pad to flatten and be displaced up the side of the heel leaving a thinner protective layer which may result in bruising of the bone and pain.
Treatment of a bruised heel
What can the dancer do about heel pain?
Rest until there is no more pain. This is the most important element of treatment as continuing to dance on the injured foot will not allow the injury to heal.
Wear dancing shoes with lots of cushioning or pad the heel of shoes with shock absorbing insoles or heel pads. These should be worn in both shoes, even if only one heel is bruised. Wearing a raise in only one shoe causes a leg length difference which can cause other problems.
Replace your dancing shoes if they are old. Dancers practice almost everyday and therefore the shoes take a lot of abuse and may need to be replaced every 6-12 months.