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Why Do My Heels Hurt When I Get Out of Bed in the Morning?

 Why Do My Heels Hurt When I Get Out of Bed in the Morning?

When you sleep, your body does critical healing work. As a result, you might think you would wake up feeling your best. For some people, though, those first few steps after getting out of bed are some of the most uncomfortable of the day.

If that sounds familiar, it’s time to visit Christopher Vittori, DPM, or Ameet Thakrar, DPM. Here at our Vittori Foot & Ankle Specialist offices in Homer Glen and New Lenox, Illinois, we specialize in treating heel pain. You don’t have to start your day hobbling; we help you find relief from your heel discomfort. 

That means finding out what’s causing your symptoms in the first place. If your heels hurt when you first get out of bed, you’re likely dealing with plantar fasciitis. 

Your plantar fascia in the morning

Along the bottom of your foot, you have tissue connecting your heel to the base of your toes. This band of tissue — called your plantar fascia — is subject to a lot of stress because it has to stabilize your foot as you move. If it stretches too far with your motion, it can cause tiny tears in the fascia. Over time, those tears cause inflammation, or plantar fasciitis

This condition comes with a telltale symptom: stabbing pain in your heel when you get up in the morning. Most people sleep in a position that limits blood supply to the foot, contributing to this sensation. As a result, you might notice your heel pain when you get up from sitting for long periods of time, too.

As you get moving — and, in doing so, encourage circulation to the tissues in your foot — the pain usually abates. That doesn’t mean you should ignore it, though. If you keep experiencing this pain, it indicates that your plantar fascia is continually inflamed. 

Diagnosing and treating plantar fasciitis

Here at Vittori Foot & Ankle Specialist, Dr. Thakrar or Dr. Vittori starts by physically examining your foot, talking with you about your symptoms, and reviewing your medical history. We might also order an X-ray to rule out other causes of heel pain, like a bone spur.

Once the doctor uncovers the root cause of your heel pain, they create a personalized plan to alleviate it. If you have plantar fasciitis and you’re a runner, for example, we might recommend swapping running for a low-impact activity for a few weeks to allow the inflammation to heal. Using medication or the RICE protocol — rest, ice, compression, and elevation — often helps. We might also fit you with orthotics to support your foot as you move. 

If you don’t get relief with more conservative treatment options, we can scale up as needed. In rare cases, people need surgery to detach the plantar fascia from the heel bone. 

You don’t have to start your day hobbling around. To get relief from your heel pain, call us, or schedule an appointment online today.

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