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"Why does my right heel hurt when I get up in the morning?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy does my right heel hurt when I get up in the morning?


I'm a 44 year old woman. For the last week, my right heel has been very tender when I first stand up in the morning. It doesn't hurt until I put my weight on it, and then every step is painful until I've been walking around for awhile. My heel does sometimes bother me at other times of day, but it's definitely the worst first thing in the morning. I'm overweight, which I know may be contributing to whatever the problem is, but I haven't done any unusual physical activity, there's no bruising or swelling, and it's only the right heel that bothers me. I have tried putting my foot on an ice pack for 10 or 15 minutes, which helps a little. What would cause this, and what can I do to make it better?


Heel pain is common. The heel is actually a fairly complex structure, with many bones, muscles and ligaments involved. I would recommend seeing your doctor to have this evaluated. The most common cause of heel pain is known as plantar fasciitis. This is normally pain at the bottom of the foot. It is often worse with putting weight on the foot, and certainly can be worse first thing in the morning. Plantar fascitis is caused by inflammation in the fascia (sheet of connective tissue) on the bottom of the foot. It is thought that this is caused by an abnormal foot arch. There are many ways to treat this. The best treatment is a supportive shoe inset (a shoe orthotic). Talk to your doctor as he or she can provide a prescription for a specific one. There are also splints that can be worn at night to make sure the foot arch is in the correct location at night. In terms of pain control, anti - inflammatories such as ibuprofen are often helpful. Talk to your doctor before starting any medicine. For severe cases steroid injections and surgery can be helpful. Other causes of heel pain include Achilles injury or bone problems. See your doctor. Good luck!

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