Heel Pain: Why do my feet hurt when I wake up?
Heel pain is an extremely common foot issue. The pain usually is located beneath the heel or behind it, near where the Achilles tendon joins the bone of your heel. Sometimes, it may affect the heel’s side.
The pain in the heel area is known as plantar fascitis. This is the most commonly reported reason for heel pain. Pain in the heel can be a sign of Achilles tendinitis. The pain may also affect the inside or outside side of the foot and heel.
In the majority of cases the pain isn’t caused through an injury. In the beginning, it’s typically mild, but eventually it can get extreme and, in some cases, even crippling. It is usually gone without treatment, however it may persist and eventually develop into chronic.
What is Plantar Fascitis?
Plantar fascitis is a cause of pain at the heel’s lower part. It is a spongy web-like ligament that joins the heel and front part of your feet. It functions in the role of absorbing shock, and assists in supporting the foot’s arch, assisting to walk.
Plantar fascitis is among the most frequent orthopedic ailments. The ligaments of your plantar fascia experience many wear and tear throughout everyday life. The pressure that you put on your feet could end up damaging or tearing the ligaments. The plantar fascia is damaged, and inflammation results in heel pain and stiffness.
The symptoms of plantar Fascitis
The main complaint for those who suffer from plantar fascitis is discomfort in the lower part of the heel, and sometimes on the lower mid-foot. It typically affects only one foot, however it could affect both feet.
Plantar fascitis pain develops slowly as time passes. The pain may be sharp or dull. There are some people who notice a burning or pain at the bottom of their feet, which extends beyond the heel.
The pain usually gets worse at the beginning of the day when you are taking your first steps out of bed, or when you’ve been lying down for a long time. It can be very difficult due to stiffness in the heel.
When you’re active for a long time the pain may become worse due to an increase in inflammation or irritation. Plantar fascitis sufferers don’t generally feel pain during exercise, but instead after having stopped.
Plantar Fascitis causes
Women and men who are active who are between 40 to 70 are the most at risk of developing plantar fascitis. It’s also more common for women than men. Pregnant women often have bouts of plantar fascitis especially during the last trimester of pregnancy.
There is a higher chance of developing plantar fascitis in the event that you’re overweight or obese. This is because of the pressure that is put on your ligaments in the plantar fascia especially when you’ve experienced an abrupt weight increase.
If you’re a runner who runs long distances, you’re more likely to suffer from plantar fascia issues. It is also possible to be at risk if you’re in a work that requires you to be constantly on your feet for a long time, like work in the factory, or working as an employee in a restaurant.
If you have foot structural problems, like high arches or straight feet, it is possible that you could suffer from plantar fascitis. The tight Achilles tendon which are the tendons that connect your muscles of the calf and your heel, could cause plantar fascia discomfort. Just wearing shoes that have weak soles and inadequate arch support could also cause plantar fascitis.
Plantar fascitis doesn’t always occur as a cause of heel spurs. Doctors once believed that heel spurs were the cause of discomfort in patients suffering from plantar fascitis. But this isn’t true.
Tests for Plantar Fascitis and the diagnosis
The doctor will conduct physical examinations to check whether your foot is tender and pinpoint the area of the pain. This is to ensure that the discomfort isn’t a result of another foot issue.
During the examination the doctor may require you to flex your foot as they press onto the fascia of your plantar to check whether the pain becomes more severe when you bend it, and then improves when you move your toe. They’ll also look for signs that you experience mild swelling or redness.
Your physician will assess the muscle strength as well as the health of your nerves through looking at your:
- Tone of the muscles
- Sight and touch
An X-ray, or an MRI scan might be needed to ensure that nothing else is causing the heel pain, for example fractures in your bone.
Diagnostics of Plantar Fascitis
To determine the cause for a foot and ankle surgeon will take a medical history as well as examine your foot. Through this process the surgeon will rule out any possible cause for the heel pain, other than plantar fascitis.
Additionally diagnostic imaging studies like x-rays, or other imaging techniques, can be used to identify different kinds that heel pain. There are occasions when heel spurs are observed in patients suffering from plantar fascitis however, they are not usually an underlying cause of pain. If they do show up, the condition can be identified as plantar fasciitis/heel spurs syndrome.
A Non-Surgical Treatment
The treatment for plantar fascitis begins with the first-line treatment strategies, and can be implemented at home.
- Exercises for stretching. Exercises that stretch out the muscles of the calf aid in relieving pain and help in recovering.
- Beware of walking naked. When you walk without shoes, you place unnecessary strain and strain on the plantar fascia.
- Putting an ice pack on your heel for 20 minutes several times per day will help to reduce inflammation. Put a towel in between the heels and the ice and do not apply the directly on the skin.
- Limit activities. Limit your long-term physical exercises to give your heel a break.
- Modifications to shoes. Wearing supportive shoes with an arch that is well supported and a slightly elevated heel can reduce strain over the fascia of the plantar.
- Medications. Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) including ibuprofen are often recommended to help reduce inflammation and pain.
When is a Surgery Necessary?
While the majority of patients suffering from plantar fascitis are able to receive non-surgical treatment, a tiny proportion of patients will require surgery. If after a period of time after nonsurgical therapy, you still be suffering from heel pain, surgery is a possibility. Your ankle and foot surgeon will go over the surgery options you have and decide which option is most suitable for you.
Whatever treatment you choose to receive for plantar fascitis, the root causes of the condition could persist. This is why you need to keep taking preventive measures. Stretching, wearing supportive shoes and utilizing custom orthotic devices are the primary stay of long-term treatment of plantar fasciitis.
Exercises for plantar fascitis
Stretches that are gentle can ease and even prevent plantar fascitis. Stretching your calves as well as the plantar fascia helps to loosen your muscles and lessen the pain in your heel.
It’s crucial to rest from certain sports, such as running, to allow the plantar fascia time heal. Swimming, as well as other activities that are low impact allow you to exercise without causing more heel discomfort. If you are planning to return to running make sure you start gradually.
Stretch and stop when exercising to prevent discomfort from recurring. Make sure you stretch before starting your workout routine, too.
Stretches to treat plantar fascitis are simple to perform. It’s all you need are the most basic props such as a chair, a foam roller, or maybe an empty water bottle that has been frozen. Learn the correct stretch exercises to help reduce and treat plantar fascitis.
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Exercises for Plantar Fascitis