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Silent But Deadly: The Real Cost of Bone Bruises in Football

Joey Bosa is the cornerstone of the LA Chargers Defense and undoubtedly one of the most talented pass rushers in the NFL. While Bosa has been doing everything he can to help the Chargers Super Bowl dream, injuries have impacted his performance. The most serious of his career was an injury to his left foot during training camp in August 2018. During that time he missed several games and was out for almost 10 weeks.

Then things got worse. The already weakened foot sustained a second blow to his left tendon which became swollen and caused him to miss more of the season. Injuries impacting the ability to weight-bare from a bone bruise can take a few weeks to months to heal. Bone bruises are extremely common and occur in almost all levels of football. Any of your bones can be damaged with unusual stress that leads to a bruised bone. In this article, you will learn about bone bruises, their impacts, and preventive measures.

What is a bone bruise?

Some common injuries include bruises, abrasions, and swellings that result from an external blow on soft tissue. Muscles and delicate tissues contain small blood vessels and when a blow hits this, these become leaky. The blood from these tiny vessels accumulate under the skin, and this is how bruises form. It’s no surprise that bones can also be bruised causing severe pain and swelling. 

The bruising of bone can be due to certain changes in the bone structure:

  • Inflammation of bone blood vessels
  • Swelling of muscles around the bones
  • Small bone stress fractures

What are the symptoms?

Simple skin bruises are quick to heal, and the skin color variation indicates day-to-day improvement. But high impact injuries to the area around the bone may produce symptoms similar to Joey Bosa’s blow on his left foot:

  • Extended pain of the injured area 
  • Redness of skin
  • Swelling
  • Inflammation of a joint
  • Restriction of movements around that area

You’ll know if your bone bruise/stress fracture is severe if swelling is getting worse and pain is not lessening by taking painkillers. Your doctor may advise some X-Rays or MRI that help to determine the diagnosis and its prognosis.

What are the causes and risk factors?

Bone bruises/stress fractures are quite common in cleat sport athletes.  Football comes with an increased risk of bone bruises due to the intensity and frequency of the contact. Elbows, Knees, ankles, and heels remain the most susceptible part of your body to get bone bruises as they receive contact first and remain widely unprotected.

The following individuals have increased odds to have bone bruises:

  • Highly active individuals in sports e.g football.
  • Athlete without protective gear.
  • Individuals dealing with heavy-duty instruments or machines.
  • People with fragile bones tend to acquire bone bruises more often.

What can you do?

Stress fracture/bone bruises can be prevented by making some lifestyle modifications and adding protective gear. Individuals who are at risk of getting bone bruises shouldn’t compromise on these preventable measures. One thing is apparent that healthy bones ensure maximum functioning. You can have optimum bone growth by observing the following measures:

  • Have a balanced diet.
  • Avoid alcohol 
  • Calcium and vitamin D are necessary for bone growth
  • Regular exercise strengthens bone development. 

Being proactive means using the proper sports equipment.  NXT Foot Guards from Prolific Sports Lab is the best option to protect your feet from grueling foot injuries. They’re made from a military-grade impact reducing foam and their design helps to protect your feet from a severe injury on the field. Secure your feet with NXT Foot Guards!

Visit  to grab a pair of Foot Guards for you or your athlete.

How is it treated?

The treatment of a bone bruise/stress fracture is done with rest, icing, compression bandages, targeted elevation, and medication. The most common bone bruise treatment is:

  • Complete rest to the injured limb or body part.
  • Elevation of the injured area to limit swelling.
  • The application of ice on the bruised area.
  • Compression stockings prove beneficial to some extent.
  • A cast may be applied to limit the movements for a fast recovery.
  • Over-the-counter medications to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • In severe bone bruises, your doctor may inject medication directly into the bruised area.


A bone bruise is dangerous.  It results from a direct blow to any part of your body and injures muscle and bones. Bone bruises are associated with swelling, redness, and severe pain in the affected region. 

You should make sure that you’re taking every precaution possible to keep your body healthy and resilient. Treating your body right by eating a healthy diet and wearing padded protection where you’re most vulnerable. The NXT Guards by Prolific Sports Lab is the only company developing these types of protective equipment. Don’t wait until it’s too late, invest in your future and protect yourself. 


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