The alarm buzzes. It’s time to wake up, you have a busy day ahead, make breakfast, pack off the children to school and go to the office yourself but you dread those first few steps in the morning!  It’s hard enough to drag yourself out of bed in the morning even when your feet feel good, so when you know that the first steps will be greeting you with stabbing, knife-like pain, your hesitation is all the more understandable. 

Are you wondering why your heels hurt when you wake up in the morning? 

Most likely, that stabbing pain could be caused by a condition called Plantar Fasciitis(

Your arch ordinarily acts like a bowstring, flexing and bending to bear your weight and cushion your feet from the impact of each step. That arch is supported by the plantar fascia, a thick band of fibrous tissue that crosses your entire sole and connects the heel to the ball of the foot. 

The overuse of the sturdy plantar fascia can result in its wear and tear over a period of time and when this happens, the tears are usually located near the back of the foot, underneath or just in front of the heel bone. 

When you sleep or when you take your weight off your feet for a long time, such as when taking a short nap or watching a movie – it allows the damaged plantar fascia to shrink and contract. But the moment you stand up, it is suddenly forced to stretch out again, and that can be quite painful. 

What is the cause of this condition? 

It is a common and often persistent kind of repetitive strain injury afflicting athletes, sportsmen and people like salesman, traffic police etc. who have to stand long hours especially on hard surfaces. There are many reasons which could lead to the heel pain but it’s important that the cause of the pain is assessed so that a solution is found before the pain becomes chronic. 

What is the solution to ease the Plantar Fascia pain? 

To deal with this stubborn pain, the treatment for each person would differ depending on the cause, severity and physical condition (Biomechanics):    

  • Avoiding high-intensity activity for a few days to allow the plantar fascia to heal
  • Stretching and exercise to relax the tight plantar fascia and calf muscles
  • Custom orthotics to provide extra support to feet       
  • Splints you wear at night to keep the plantar fascia elongated     
  • Icing to relieve the pain 

If you’re dreading the first few steps of the morning, make an appointment to see a Podiatrist or a Foot Doctor without any further delay.