Experiencing severe pain in your heel just when you get up in the morning is not exactly the most fabulous way to begin your day. Although a minor pain in the heel may be nothing serious, there are a variety of painful and debilitating heel conditions that may require the help of your podiatrist to properly identify and treat.

Two frequently implicated causes of morning heel pain are plantar fasciitis and repetitive stress injury from overuse:

Plantar Fasciitis

It is caused by an overstretching and inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the thick connective tissue that covers the bottom of your foot and then connects to the heel bone. The pain from this condition can make it nearly impossible to put weight on your foot.

Treatment for plantar fasciitis:

  • Wear properly fitted shoes and avoid high heels and flip-flops.
  • Avoid any activities that put excessive pressure on the arch, such as running or jumping.
  • To relieve pain and swelling try the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation).
  • Proper arch support is essential to avoid overstretching and to allow healing to occur.
  • Do calf-stretching exercises to help increase flexibility and reduce pain.
  • See your podiatrist if you don’t experience some improvement after several days.

Overuse Injury

Your heels carry the full impact whenever you walk or exercise, making it more likely that you will suffer an injury if you put too much strain on your feet. Athletes frequently suffer injury to their plantar fascia from the constant stress of their sport. Also, the continuous pressure of just being on your feet all day for work, especially if you are overweight, can contribute to the causes of severe heel pain.

Treatment for overuse injuries:

  • Use an ice pack on the affected area to help decrease swelling.
  • Wear shoes that have adequate cushioning in the heel area.
  • Biking or swimming, and other low impact activities should be substituted for stressful activities until the injury improves significantly.

Additional causes of morning heel pain include arthritis and tendonitis. If you are suffering with pain in your heel it’s recommended that you have an evaluation done by a foot doctor for proper diagnosis and suggestions for treatment.

At Podiatry Center of New Jersey, Dr. Russell Samofal treats a variety of foot and ankle conditions, including toe deformities, sports injuries, diabetic foot problems, arthritis, and nerve conditions. Dr. Samofal provides unparalleled care to patients across Morris, Passaic, Bergen and Essex counties. To schedule an appointment, please call our Wayne office at (973) 925-4111.