MD Podiatrist Discusses Heel Pain

You swing your legs out of bed, hit the floor with your feet and -ouch! – your heels are hurting. “Heel pain is one of the top five reasons that patients go to a podiatrist,” says Daniel Michaels, DPM. The heel is a weight-bearing bone; constant repeated stress of walking barefoot at home, standing at a desk, or taking up running as a new hobby are a few reasons why foot docs have been seeing an uptick in heel pain problems lately.
As for why heel pain strikes in the morning? When you’re resting in bed, the plantar fascia -the fibrous connective tissue that runs from heel to toe along the bottom of your foot – is contracted, Dr. Michaels says. “The first step out of bed aggressively wakes up and stretches the fascia, causing pain and micro-tearing where the [tissue] inserts in the heel,” she says. Then, the heel hardly has a chance to recover as you constantly move about during the day.