Morning Heel Pain


This is probably the most frequently asked question when it comes to foot pain:


“For the last few weeks I’ve been getting out of bed with serious foot pain. The first five or six steps that I take are excruciating. What is going on?”


One of the most prominent and recognizable symptoms of plantar fasciitis is morning foot pain. This uncomfortable condition occurs when the tissue covering the plantar tendon in the foot becomes irritated and/or inflamed. While morning pain is often acute this discomfort may last throughout the day, although it likely won’t be as severe as it was upon waking.

If plantar fasciitis isn’t properly looked after the level of debilitation can progress, symptoms can worsen, and it can become difficult to function at previous levels of activity.

While the plantar fascia is the tissue that becomes inflamed, and this tissue spans the length of the foot pain is usually experienced primarily in the heel of the foot. And while heel spurs do not cause pain on their own if they are present this only confirms that an advanced case of plantar fasciitis is likely.


What Causes Plantar Fasciitis and Morning Foot Pain?

Plantar fasciitis, and therefore morning foot pain, is so frequently caused by the regular wearing of flip-flops or inexpensive shoes that is has been called ‘flip-flop disease’! The problem with this type of footwear is that it lacks sufficient arch support and does not have the structure to accommodate heel cups or cushioning. Upgrading the quality of shoes that you are wearing is one of the primary recommendations that health-care providers give; it is also one of the easiest lifestyle factors to modify.

And while this type of recommendation once meant getting rid of your favourite summer footwear this is no longer the case. Thanks to a company called Dr Foot it is now possible to find a well made, sufficiently structured sandal/flip-flop that builds orthotic devices right into the sandal. This means that you can wear flip-flops on hot summer days without sacrificing the benefits of using orthotic devices to reduce morning foot pain.

Dr Foot sandals have an additional benefit as well; they’re easy to slip into, and since going barefoot is not recommended for sufferers of morning foot pain this makes them an ideal shoe to put on when you first get out of bed in the morning. This allows you to begin treating foot pain immediately upon waking as the orthotic devices are built right into the sandal.


How Your Line of Work May Cause Morning Foot Pain


How you do what you do may actually have more bearing on morning foot pain than what you do. There are two factors that almost always contribute to the development of foot and heel pain and plantar fasciitis:

• Excessive Standing: This is particularly true when the surface you are standing on is unforgiving. Concrete floors are a good example of this kind of surface.
• Dramatically increasing your physical activity in a short period of time is another frequent culprit for morning foot pain.
If you must stand for the better part of the day then adequate foot and arch support will be required to prevent and/or reduce discomfort. Choosing high quality, well designed footwear is necessary for proper foot health, and the older we get the more important this becomes.

Treating morning foot pain can be expensive but orthotics inserts don’t have to be. The use of orthotic devices is an affordable way to test and see if this will reduce your discomfort. There are several different types widely available on the market:

• General orthotic insoles that are created with a standard shoe in mind
• Orthotic insoles created for use in high heels
• Orthotic insoles created for use in work shoes or boots
• Orthotic insoles specifically created to treat heel pain


How Your Desk Job Can Cause Morning Foot Pain


Being active and standing for long periods of time are two of the main causes of morning foot pain, but there is another perhaps surprising culprit that is frequently encountered, and this having a desk job/sedentary lifestyle.

Being overweight is often connected to sedentary living although it can be a problem all on its own. Sitting for long periods of time causes the calf muscles to tighten up and lose flexibility and being overweight places more general strain on the tendons, bones and joints of the foot, especially if they are not primed for use.

Inflexible calf muscles are often responsible for causing overpronation in the feet, as this overloads the plantar fascia and throws the alignment of the foot and lower leg out of balance. Excessive stress on the plantar fascia will certainly lead to inflammation but may also cause over-stretching and a thickening of the plantar tissues. Extreme thickening of this tissue can severely reduce the flexibility and strength in the feet.

Correct use of well adjusted orthotics can realign the foot, minimize morning foot pain and stop the deterioration from advancing.


Foot Pain and Physical Activity


While leading a sedentary lifestyle often causes morning foot pain being physically active can occasionally cause problems too. And these problems usually stem for the force of impact upon landing from a jump (volleyball, track and field) or the repetitive motions found in running and tennis, for example.

If it seems likely that the morning pain you are experiencing is the result of repetitive movement or force of impact there are devices specially created for your needs that may help significantly reduce your pain. Here are a few types of specialty orthotics designed for activity:
• Orthotic insoles for golfing
• Orthotic insoles for running
• Orthotic insoles, general activity

Orthotic inserts are not that expensive and are readily found in most pharmacies or sports clinics.

Custom Orthotic Insoles


Orthotic insoles such as the Dr Foot Custom Insoles that found are on store shelves are designed to be used ‘as is’, which means that they are designed to fit as many people as possible. What this also means is that they are not contoured to fit anyone specifically, and this can not only minimize their level of effectiveness but may cause discomfort in some wearers.
If two weeks pass and you do not find that your pain has sufficiently diminished you can try taking them back and make an appointment with a specialist who can heat meld a pair of custom insoles for you based on the specific measurements of your feet. This is a very affordable option when it comes to purchasing a custom fit for your particular morning foot pain needs.

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