Why do I have heel pain in the morning?

Be careful with that first step in the morning when you’re getting out of bed!  It can cause sharp pain to the bottom of your heel making it a bad start to the day already.  Why is it always the first step that is so painful?  It sounds like you have plantar fasciitis.

Well, what is that?  There is a band of tissue on the bottom of your foot that helps support your arch called the plantar fascia.  This tissue is similar to a ligament, holding and stabilizing the foot all day while you work and play.  When the plantar fascia is in a relaxed position, such as when you sleep, it becomes tightened and contracted.  Just like your tendons or muscles that relax when you’ve done a work-out. 

As soon as you step on your bedroom floor, the plantar fascia stretches out too quickly and causes localized, sharp pain to the bottom of your heel.  This is a similar concept to trying to use those sore muscles the next day after that work-out…it hurts!

Okay, so now you know what it is, but the more important question is what can you do to make it go away?  Most of the time, you treat it just like any other sore muscle or tendon. 

  • Stretch it!  Performing a runner’s stretch, towel stretches or rolling your arch across a bottle on the floor can help stretch out the plantar fasica.  You should do stretching threes times a day until you start noticing that morning heel pain go away. 
  • If you’re gonna stretch it, you better ice it too!  Icing can help decrease inflammation to the plantar fascia at the heel.  Ice to numbness daily, usually 10-15 minutes, for the best anti-inflammatory effects. 
  • Lastly, use anti-inflammatories such as Advil, Ibuprofen or Motrin to reduce pain and inflammation, BUT don’t depend on them only.  Remember, stretching and icing are key players in resolving plantar fasciitis.

So you’ve tried all of this…and it’s not working.  You better make an appointment with a podiatrist because you don’t want to let this keep bothering you in the morning.  Because if you let it linger too long, that morning heel pain could start occuring in the afternoon and evening too.  Before you know it, you’re in pain all day long from that heel.  At Advanced Podiatry, we have many advanced treatment options that can help treat your heel pain.  So don’t wait!  Call now and make an appointment to get relief from that annoying heel pain in the morning!