A stone bruise can happen to anyone when walking or running. If you land on a sharp rock with your heel or ball of your foot, you know what caused your injury, but sometimes, a stone bruise might be caused by repetitive activity or a foot abnormality. Minor stone bruises usually heal fast, but if yours heals slowly or if you have stone bruises frequently, you should see a foot doctor to verify the diagnosis and to get proper treatment. Here are some things to know about stone bruises.
Signs You Have a Stone Bruise
If you feel a rock under your foot when you land and develop pain right away, then chances are you have a stone bruise. However, it's also possible you could have a bone fracture or other injuries, so if you're not sure you have a simple bruise, then see a foot doctor.
When you examine the bottom of your foot, you might see an indentation where you landed on a sharp object. There might be a blister, redness, and swelling. The pain from a stone bruise can be mild or strong enough to keep you from walking.
Treatment for a Stone Bruise
You can apply ice to the bruise to help with swelling and pain. Keeping your foot elevated can help reduce swelling too. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication might help if the ice isn't enough to reduce your pain.
Ice and rest should be enough to help a simple stone bruise, so if the pain is severe or if it doesn't go away quickly, then you may need to call a foot doctor. Also, if you have diabetes or a nerve condition that interferes with sensation in your feet, have a foot doctor check your injury even if you think it's minor.
Ways to Prevent Stone Bruises
It's important to wear supportive walking or running shoes so your feet are protected from injury. Stone bruises usually happen on the heels or balls of your feet because those are the parts that strike the ground first and then bear all your weight. If you're overweight, you have a higher risk of a stone bruise. Also, as you age, the fat cushioning on the bottom of your feet thins out and increases your risk of getting a stone bruise.
A foot doctor can examine your feet and make recommendations on how to move forward. They might recommend the best type of shoes for you to wear and the right type of padded inserts to wear in your shoes. With the proper support and padding, your feet have the best protection against injury from the repetitive pounding of the pavement or an occasional encounter with a ragged stone in your path.