What Is a Stone Bruise?

A Stone Bruise is the common name for any foot pain that feels as if there is a stone in your shoe, or as if you have trodden on a small sharp stone which has bruised the sole of your foot.  It is often referred to a being like toothache in your foot and there are few visible symptoms.

It is commonly caused by an impact – such as stepping on a stone or running on broken ground.  Usually the pain is fairly instant but it can take up to 48 hours to develop.  If it is a deep bruise, or has bruised the bone it can take a considerable time to heal, particularly as we don’t tend to stop using our feet just because of a bruise.

Self Diagnosis

Whilst  self diagnosis of a stone bruise is usually fairly safe, especially if you remember the injury, it can be mistaken for other more serious conditions such as:- 

  • Metatarsalgia
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Heel Spur
  • Stress Fracture
  • Morton’s Neuroma.  

If the pain is persistent or you consistently have stone bruises and does not reduce with rest and care you should always get your foot checked out by a qualified Podiatrist just to make sure it is nothing that requires specialist treatment. Equally if you have redness, soreness or swelling you should get it checked over.


If you are confident that the injury is a Stone Bruise then you can self treat, but only if you are certain.  Ice packs and cold compresses can help in the immediate aftermath of the injury but do be careful not to overchill your feet as that could lead to other problems.  

Rest is probably the most effective treatment, allowing the bruising to reduce and swelling to go down.  Physical activity such as running, jogging or hiking often leads to stone bruises especially if you are taking part on a regular basis so care should be taken when you are exercising.  If you have severe bruising you should get  your feet checked by your podiatrist and take advice on proper footwear, orthotics or some form of insole in your shoe to help reduce the likelihood of injury.  A stone bruise may seem like a simple thing but it can cause immense discomfort.

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