The heel bone in our feet is known as calcaneus. Any trauma or injury to this heel bone results in heel bruise. It occurs when parts of the fat pad which protects the calcaneus, get pushed on the sides of the heel bone, thus, weakening this protective layer on the heel and causing swelling and pain in the process. People who are more susceptible to a heel bruise are sports persons and dancers. Researches have shown that cold weather may sometimes aggravate this condition in people. Plantar fasciitis, a condition under which plantar fascia, a fibrous ligament under the heel bone swells, can cause this condition. Wear Shoes Make sure you are in shoes all the time. No going barefoot. Wear shoes that are rigid and bend only where the foot bends, at the toes. Test your shoes by turning them upside down, grabbing the toe and the heel and bending them. If they fold in the middle - throw them away. They may have caused your pain. Many shoe companies are designing shoes to be lightweight. This compromises the stability in some brands and results in a breakdown of the shoe within a few months after purchase. Testing your shoes often for stability will help avoid injuries. People with plantar fasciitis often describe the pain as worse when they get up in the morning or after they've been sitting for long periods of time. After a few minutes of walking the pain decreases, because walking stretches the fascia. Wearing non-supportive footwear on hard, flat surfaces puts abnormal strain on the plantar fascia and can also lead to plantar fasciitis. This is particularly evident when a person's job requires long hours on their feet. Obesity also contributes to plantar fasciitis. Diagnosis According to a recent survey from the American Podiatric Medical Association, heel pain is the number one foot ailment Americans have experienced the most. Plantar fasciitis is often referred to as “heel spur syndrome” in the literature and the medical community, but the label is a misnomer. This vague and nonspecific term incorrectly suggests that osseous “spurs” (inferior calcaneal exostoses) are the cause of pain rather than an incidental radiographic finding. There is no correlation between pain and the presence or absence of exostoses, 1 and excision of a spur is not part of the usual surgery for plantar fasciitis. 2 Plantar fasciitis occurs in both men and women, but is more common in the latter. Its incidence and severity correlate strongly with obesity. Suffering from plantar fasciitis can be tough. Plantar fasciitis is a condition which causes moderate to severe pain on the bottom of one's heels while standing, walking, and running. The pain is caused due to irritation and swelling of the tissues inside the heel. The pain tends to be worse after you stand from a sitting position. Stretching your muscles, tissues and ligaments is an excellent way to boost their resistance against stress. If you are unsure on how to go about your exercise plan, you can either talk to your podiatrist or scour through the Internet for helpful tips on how to stretch and flex your toes and heel.