Have you experienced a sharp pain in your heel after stepping down first thing in the morning? This heel pain is very common for many people. It occurs when you first wake up as the body has been in a state of rest throughout the night. After walking around for some time, the pain eases or goes away completely.
Here we will go over what causes heel pain in the morning, and ways to treat the problem.
Heel Pain Symptoms
- Excruciating pain in the heel at the first step in the morning
- A dull ache that lingers all day long, when walking or standing.
- The bottom of the foot may be tender to touch.
- A stabbing pain when walking up the stairs or when tip-toeing.
Causes of Heel Pain in the Morning
Plantar Fasciitis – The most common cause of heel pain is a condition known as plantar fasciitis. This occurs when the plantar fascia ligament (the tight tissue forming the arch of the foot) is stressed. The stress causes tearing and inflammation.
Heel Spurs – Another factor that may cause the heel to pain is heel spur. This is caused by a bony growth that extends from the heel bone to heel tissues. Heel spur is mostly common in people who have untreated plantar fasciitis.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome – This is another condition that may cause painful heels in the morning. It occurs when a nerve in the back of the foot becomes entrapped or pinched. Although they are not common, stress fractures may also cause the heel to pain. Stress fractures are mostly common with people who are active in sports.
Treatment for Heel Pain
The first step towards treating heel pain is to get a proper diagnosis so that the right treatment is administered. A person suffering from heel pain may decide to have it medically treated or they may opt for self-treatment. Some of the available treatment options include:
- Injection of anti-inflammatory steroids into the heel. This treatment works instantly but only offers relief for about 2 months.
- Shockwaves are targeted to the plantar fascia tissue, to offer healing.
- Orthotic shoe inserts are a good way to control foot motion. They can fit into any shoe size and offer healing even when you are on your feet.
- In cases of extreme plantar fasciitis, surgery may be necessary.
- Avoid all activities that may aggravate the situation. Activities like running, climbing stairs too often and carrying heavy loads may make the situation worse.
- To offer immediate relief, you could use ice first thing in the morning. Try rolling your foot over an iced water bottle.
- Get into the habit of stretching your foot first thing in the morning.