Why Do My Heels Hurt When I Wake Up in the Morning?
The alarm buzzes. The light intrudes, insistently, through the cracks in the blinds. You’re nice and toasty under the blankets, but you can feel the cold of the room on your face.
It’s hard enough to drag yourself out of bed in the morning even when your feet feel like a million bucks. But when you know that first steps will be greeting you with stabbing, knife-like pain, your hesitation is all the more understandable.
Why do your heels hurt when you wake up in the morning? Most likely, that stabbing pain is caused by a condition called plantar fasciitis.
Here’s the issue: your arch ordinarily acts like a bowstring, flexing and bending to bear your weight and cushion your feet from the impact of each step. That arch is supported by the plantar fascia, a thick band of fibrous tissue that crosses your entire sole, and connects the heel to the ball of the foot.
Although sturdy, the plantar fascia can, over time, wear down and tear from overuse. When this happens, the tears are usually located near the back of the foot, underneath or just in front of the heel bone.
When you go to sleep—or even take your weight off your feet for a long time, such as when sitting to read a book or watch a movie—the damaged plantar fascia shrinks and contracts. When you stand up, it is suddenly forced to stretch out again, and that can be quite painful.
Okay, so now you know why your heels hurt every morning. Let’s move on to the more important question: how do you fix it?
That’s where we come in. Dr. Timothy Barry at Family Foot & Ankle of Jasper provides a comprehensive program of strategies and solutions to help you resolve your plantar fasciitis heel pain. This frustrating condition usually succumbs to conservative remedies, including:
- Avoiding high-intensity activity for a few days to allow the plantar fascia to heal
- Stretching and exercise to relax the tight plantar fascia and calf muscles
- Custom orthotics to provide extra support to feet
- Splints you wear at night to keep the plantar fascia elongated
- Medications or icing to relieve the pain
The most stubborn cases of plantar fasciitis may need surgery to fully defeat. However, the problem rarely gets to this point.
If you’re dreading the first few steps of the morning (or, at least more than you otherwise would), make an appointment to see the team at Family Foot & Ankle Care of Jasper. Give us a call today at (812) 481-7200.