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Why Does My Heel Hurt When I Get Out of Bed in the Morning?

Why Does My Heel Hurt When I Get Out of Bed in the Morning?

If you experience a sharp pain in your heel when you take your first steps out of bed in the morning, you may suffer from plantar fasciitis. The condition often causes heel pain, particularly during the first few steps you take after lying in bed all night.

Ijeoma C Nwuju, DPM, and the team at Foot and Ankle Wellness Center in Washington, DC, explain why heel pain happens and what the available treatment options are.

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, affecting about one in 10 people in their lifetime. It occurs when the plantar fascia, a thick ligament that connects the heel bone to the toes, becomes inflamed or irritated. The condition is often characterized by stabbing pain near the heel, particularly in the morning or after long rest periods.

Causes of morning heel pain

While plantar fasciitis pain can occur at any time throughout the day, particularly after long periods spent sitting, the pain experienced in the morning can be attributed to several factors:

Nighttime rest 

When we’re sleeping, the plantar fascia naturally tightens and shortens. But when you go to step out of bed in the morning, the tight band suddenly stretches to accommodate your weight and causes tiny tears in the tissue that result in pain. 

Reduced blood flow

Blood circulation to your feet decreases while resting in bed. When you stand up, the blood rushes back into the feet, which can increase the inflammatory response and cause discomfort.


Long periods of immobility can lead to stiffness in the calf muscles and feet, making the plantar fascia more susceptible to strain and injury when you place weight on the foot.

Home plantar fasciitis treatment options

Plantar fasciitis is treatable, and several conservative self-care measures can help alleviate morning heel pain. Here are some effective treatment options you can try at home:

Stretching exercises

You can improve the flexibility of your plantar fascia and calf muscles with regular stretching exercises. Try simple exercises like calf stretches, toe curls, and towel stretches.

Ice therapy

Apply ice to the affected area for 15 minutes a few times daily to help reduce inflammation and pain.

Wear supportive shoes

Wearing properly fitting shoes can help relieve plantar fasciitis symptoms. Look for well-cushioned shoes with arch support. 

Self-care measures can be helpful in managing mild cases of plantar fasciitis, but for more persistent or severe symptoms, calling our office ensures you receive the proper diagnosis and treatment plan to prevent further complications.

How we can help

If your heel continues to hurt despite self-care treatment, our experienced podiatrists can recommend more advanced treatments, including:

You can often manage morning heel pain with a combination of self-care measures, but if you continue to experience pain, we encourage you to reach out to the Foot and Ankle Wellness Center for an evaluation and personalized treatment plan. Call the office in Washington, DC, or schedule an appointment online today.

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