Heel Pain In The Morning: Causes, Treatment & Prevention

min read


The Sports Injury Clinic

Rachel O'Loughlin

April 26, 2022


What Causes Heel Pain in the Morning

People are often repulsed at the term ‘plantar fasciitis.’ It is an understandable reaction if you have ever been unlucky enough to be diagnosed with the dreaded pathology. It is painful, persistent and will often inconvenience your life until treated.  

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that causes inflammation of the plantar fascia, the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. The condition is common in runners and other athletes, but it can also be caused by everyday activities such as standing or walking for long periods of time.

Patients commonly experience pain after stepping out of the bed in the morning, pain in the heel in the evening, or if it is particularly bad pain ALL THE TIME. If you have recently started experiencing any of these symptoms, I recommend visiting a health care professional to set you up with a treatment plan because the sooner you start treatment the sooner the pain will resolve.  

How is Heel Pain/Plantar Fasciitis Treated?

Heel pain can be difficult to treat because there are so many factors that can contribute to its development. Such factors include over-load, inappropriate footwear, a flexible pronated foot, aka flat foot, biomechanics and/or strength deficit.

There are several ways to treat plantar fasciitis, and the best course of treatment will depend on the severity of the condition.

Conservative treatments for plantar fasciitis include rest, ice, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. These treatments can help to reduce inflammation and pain. More aggressive treatments may be necessary if conservative measures do not provide relief. These treatments include steroid injections, physical therapy, and custom orthotics. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to release the tension on the plantar fascia.

How to Prevent Heel Pain/Plantar Fasciitis

Prevention is always better than a cure. But If you are in a situation that puts you in a high risk of developing Plantar Fasciitis, i.e. your job requires you to be on your feet for extended periods, here are some tips to help ward off this frustrating foot disorder.

1) Do Not Overload Your Body

When I refer to overload, I am talking about doing too much activity, too soon. Something we have seen a lot of during the COVID-19 lockdowns. If you increase your walking activity substantially without having adequate strength and recover timeframes, your soft tissue structures start to degenerate and become irritated. Load is something that will always need to be addressed when treating plantar heel pain.

If you’re going to be on your feet for long periods of time, make sure to take breaks and put your feet up when you can.

2) Pick the Best Footwear

Footwear! Boy is there an abundance of footwear we can choose from in this day and age. This is also a key feature in the treatment of heel pain. Unfortunately there is no one-size-fits-all shoe that I can recommend. Footwear selection comes down to one’s biomechanics, strength and training experience. It is best you reach out to someone for a personalised assessment.

Avoid high heels and other shoes that don’t provide good support for your feet.

3) Stretch

Stretching your calf muscles and Achilles tendon can also help prevent plantar fasciitis. Try doing some simple stretches every day, like grabbing your toes and pulling them back toward your leg. If you already have plantar fasciitis, stretching can still help relieve some of the pain.

If you are concerned you are experiencing plantar fasciitis, please reach out to one of the clinical staff members at The Sports Injury Clinic so that we can point you in the right direction.


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