What to Do If Your Heel Hurts in the Morning or Every Time You Stand Up
You’re not the only one with heel pain, it’s often a symptom for many of us. A variety of factors can cause it like trauma, being overweight, uncomfortable shoes, and inflammation. It’s important to know that heel aches shouldn’t be endured for a long time, since the diseases that cause them may progress and become more dangerous.
In order to get rid of the discomfort and restore the health of your feet, you need to know what caused the heel pain. Bright Side discovered which disorders can cause heel pain and how to treat each of them.
1. Fracture of the heelbone
A fracture of the calcaneus or cracks in it may be caused by injuries. And sometimes they go unnoticed and don’t show up for a long time.
Treatment depends on the type of fracture. For some fractures, non-surgical treatment may be used. For example, the immobilization of the foot in a cast boot so that the broken bone doesn`t move.
The RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate) method also can help. It includes resting, putting an ice pack on the foot, wearing a compression stocking, and keeping the foot above the level of the heart.
2. Reactive arthritis
Reactive arthritis affects the joints and develops as a result of past infections, like gonorrhea, salmonellosis, ureaplasmosis, dysentery, and other diseases that affect the urinary system or gastrointestinal tract. Distinctive symptoms of reactive arthritis, in addition to heel pain, are that it gets worse at night, unpleasant sensations in the genital area, and inflammation of the joints and eyes. Not the greatest feelings in the world.
If the inflammation of the heel area is the result of diseases like chlamydia, gonorrhea, or other genital infections, they must be urgently cured. See your doctor as soon as possible.
Arthrosis causes deformity and destruction of the joints and it may affect your heels too.
The goal of arthrosis treatment is to relieve pain. It may include:
- Injecting hyaluronic acid into the damaged joint to reduce inflammation and increase mobility.
- Reducing weight to reduce stress on the joint.
- Replacing an injured joint with an artificial one.
- Taking contrast showers to reduce swelling around the joint.
- There is also a natural remedy for reducing inflammation — lemon massage. Just rub the juice from a lemon slice onto the damaged joint.
Bursitis is a disease that is characterized by inflammation of the articular sac.
Bursitis can get better on its own. The doctor may prescribe an antibiotic if the inflammation is caused by an infection, or an injection to relieve the pain. In a critical case, the doctor might prescribe surgery to remove the bursa.
Conservative measures for pain relief:
- Take ibuprofen.
- When sleeping on your side, place a pillow between your legs to relieve tension.
- Take a warm bath or apply a heating pad to the inflamed area.
Due to gout, urates (the salts of uric acid) are deposited into the joints, and this can cause severe heel pain.
To reduce pain and swelling, apply ice to the affected area and lift your foot above heart level. Also take anti-inflammatory drugs.
Gout treatment is aimed at reducing the level of uric acid in the body:
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Give up alcohol.
- Your doctor may prescribe special medications for you, such as Allopurinol.
6. Plantar fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia that connects the calcaneus to other parts of the foot, in particular, to the toes. The main symptom is heel pain.
There is no universal treatment for this disease. But there are several ways to alleviate the condition and prevent further development of the disease.
- First of all, it`s necessary to reduce the load on the legs, try to refrain from running or walking.
- To reduce swelling and pain in the legs, apply ice to the feet.
- Before getting out of bed, warm up your feet: sit in bed and stretch your legs in front of you, pull your feet toward you, roll them clockwise and then counter-clockwise. Repeat 10 times.
7. Heel spur
A heel spur is a calcium formation that is localized on the heel bone. This growth may appear due to injuries and concomitant diseases of the joints or bones. Heel spurs hurt, especially when walking and stepping on the foot.
- Buy heel pads or orthopedic insoles.
- A doctor can prescribe physiotherapy: including mud applications, mineral baths, and ultrasound therapy.
- In extreme cases, doctors can remove the bone growth surgically.
- This natural remedy can also help you: Grate 100 g of cabbage with a coarse grater. Fill the cabbage with 100 ml of boiling water. Once the broth has cooled to room temperature, lower the heel there and hold for 5 minutes.
8. Achilles tendon damage
If it hurts for you to step on your heel after a workout, you may have injured your Achilles tendon.
Achilles tendon injuries must heal on their own. You can speed up the process:
- Take painkillers like ibuprofen.
- Don’t overload your leg. Walk using crutches.
- When lying or sitting, put your foot on a pillow.
- Wrap the calf with an elastic bandage to reduce swelling.
- Use an insole to protect your Achilles tendon from further stretching.
9. Cracked heels
Deep cracks formed in a thick layer of hardened skin can cause severe pain when walking and even bleed.
- The first step is to consult a dermatologist in order to exclude the possibility of fungal infections of the feet.
- Another cause of cracked heels is dry skin. This is especially acute in the summer when we wear open shoes. To prevent the appearance of deep cracks, it`s necessary to moisturize your feet with creams and remove dead skin.
Bonus: How to prevent heel pain
- Only wear comfortable shoes with insoles.
- Don`t overstrain during workouts, increase the load gradually, and warm up before workout.
- Watch your weight. Excess weight can adversely affect health, including the joints.
- Don`t run barefoot on hard surfaces and train only in athletic shoes.
- In case of any injury, consult a doctor.
Do you experience heel pain? Will you visit a therapist after reading this article?
Illustrated by Daniil Shubin for BrightSide.me