Heel Pain in the morning

 

Do you experience heel pain with your first steps in the morning?

Morning heel pain is a common medical condition which a lot of Americans complain about. It is an acute condition in people who are already suffering from heel problems.  Generally, heel pain strikes badly at the first hours of the morning. Morning heel pain is experienced during the initial few steps when you get out of the bed and the entire body weight is placed on the heels.

Heel pain is most intense after an extended resting period i.e. sleeping or sitting for a long a few hours. The main reason for this stabbing pain is that during hours of inactivity the muscles and ligaments in the body become stiff and inflexible. In this case, the calf muscles, achilles tendons and the ligaments under the foot (plantar fascia) are all quite tight after a night’s sleep. With your first step out of bed in the morning sudden weight is applied to these ligaments causing them being overly stretched as they haven’t warmed up yet.

Morning heel pain is quite unbearable when first placing your feet on the ground but the pain diminishes after your heels have warmed up a bit, but the soreness and discomfort tends to linger all through the day. Different factors are responsible for morning heel pain:

  • most commonly, Plantar Fasciitis is the major cause of morning heel pain. This is a condition whereby the plantar fascia ligament (running along the length of the heel to the arch of the foot) becomes overly tight due to over-pronation of the feet.  The plantar fascia tears and inflames due to constant strain on the ligament. It is at the point where the ligament inserts into the heel pain where the inflammation is at its most intense.
  • The presence of a heel spur could also be another reason of morning heel pain. This condition develops when an abnormal bony growth runs from the calcaneous or heel bone into the sensitive heel tissues. After long resting hours when you first place your foot, the spur digs directly into the heel tissues, causing a stabbing feeling. Even if the pain subsides, it can hit anytime during the day.
  • Other causes of heel pain include being overweight or obese, heel bruise or stone bruise, tarsal tunnel syndrome, stress fracture etc.

What you can do the avoid morning heel pain?

Morning heel pain can be avoided by doing a few simple things before getting out of bed. First of all walking barefoot should be avoided! Most damage to the heel ligament is done with your first steps out of bed when walking barefoot in hard tiles and floors. Always have a pair of shoes, slip-ons, flip flops next to your bed to slip into when getting out of bed. Warm up your foot and leg muscles with some simple morning heel pain exercises. It will only take you a few minutes per day, but save you a lot of agony!  Get yourself a pair of orthotic insoles; these don’t have to be expensive custom-made orthotics.

Read more about What causes morning heel pain, and the Treatment options available.

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