Why is my heel pain worse in the morning?

It's bad enough when your alarm clock jolts you awake, but when your first step yields a stabbing pain in your heel, it's definitely not a good way to start your day! Heel pain that is worse in the morning is a telltale sign of the common overuse injury, plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis occurs when repeated stress is placed on your plantar fascia - the fibrous band of tissues that connects your heel to your toes. Tiny tears in the tissues lead to inflammation and cause heel pain and swelling. When at rest, the band contracts, but as soon as you take a step, it stretches tautly, pulling on the heel bone and causing pain.

As you walk and the plantar fascia loosens up, the pain may go away - but don't be fooled! It will return after periods of inactivity.

There are, however, things you can do to ease your pain, such as gentle stretches, wearing night splints, icing the area, and avoiding the recurring activity that brought on the condition in the first place. Orthotics can provide additional cushion and support, too, and injection or laser therapy can relieve pain and swelling.

If you have heel pain that is worse in the morning, this is your wakeup call! Contact our Cedar Park or Round Rock, TX office for an appointment by dialing (512) 593-2949.