Heel pain that is at its worst when getting out of bed in the morning may be caused by a common foot condition called plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia, the thick band of tissue that connects the heels to the toes, becomes inflamed. The inflammation can cause pain on the bottom of the heel area and worsen over time. There are a variety of treatments available that can help you step out of bed each morning pain-free.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
Pain from plantar fasciitis can develop and worsen over time. One of the first symptoms you may notice is a stabbing pain in your heel first thing in the morning that lessens as you walk around for a few minutes. The pain may be in one or both of your heels and can range from mild to severe. The reason for heel pain in the morning is that the plantar fascia has tightened overnight and needs time to loosen up when you first get up.
Some other symptoms of plantar fasciitis are:
- Pain in one or both heels
- Tenderness in the bottom of the foot
- Difficulty walking or running
- Pain that worsens after rest
Who Is Likely to Develop Plantar Fasciitis?
There are certain risk factors for developing plantar fasciitis, such as having flat feet or high arches. Those who are middle-aged and women are also at a higher risk for developing plantar fasciitis. In addition, some other risk factors include:
- Injury or trauma to the foot
- Shoes that offer little or no support or have a high heel
- Being overweight
- Overuse from walking or running
- Having a condition such as arthritis or diabetes
- Standing for extended periods of time
Treatment Options for Plantar Fasciitis
If you are experiencing pain in your heels, consult with the Hermiston Family Foot Clinic for an evaluation. Our skilled podiatrist will examine your feet and heels and recommend a treatment plan based on your personal needs. To diagnose plantar fasciitis, we may do the following:
- Review your symptoms and medical history
- Exam your feet to check for the exact area of pain and any areas that are tender to the touch, such as the heel
- Check the range of motion in your feet and ankles
- Order imaging tests such as an X-ray to rule out any other causes of the heel pain
Once a diagnosis is made, some possible treatment options for plantar fasciitis are:
- Shoes. Wear appropriate footwear that is comfortable and provides support.
- Medication. Anti-inflammatory medication can be used to relieve pain and inflammation.
- Ice. Icing the heel can help reduce inflammation.
- Custom orthotics. Orthotics can be used inside the shoes to support the heel and cushion the foot.
- Night splint. A night splint can be worn to hold the foot in a flexed position.
- Physical therapy. Physical therapy can help reduce pain in the heel by stretching the muscles and improving the range of motion.
- Injection. A cortisone injection can be given to reduce inflammation and pain in the heel.
Plantar fasciitis typically responds to conservative treatment options and can resolve completely. For cases that are severe or reoccurring, surgery may be an option.
Preventing Plantar Fasciitis
There are several things you can do to prevent plantar fasciitis. These include:
- Wear shoes that have support and cushioning in the heel area
- Stretch your plantar fascia before exercise or activity
- Avoid running or strenuous activity on hard surface areas
- Maintain a healthy weight
Contact an Experienced Podiatrist
If you have heel pain when you get out of bed in the mornings or have questions about plantar fasciitis, Hermiston Family Foot Clinic can help. Our clinic can create a custom treatment plan to meet your needs. To set up an appointment in our Hermiston, Oregon, office, fill out our convenient contact form online or call us at 541-567-8750.