Heel Pain When Waking Up

Do you feel heel pain when you wake up in the morning? If yes, you may have conditions like Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis. It can also be caused by a stress fracture and other foot injuries.   

Heel pain can be painful. It can cause difficulty in performing your daily tasks.         

You can treat heel pain with home remedies like rest and ice. However, if the pain becomes more debilitating, you should check it with a podiatrist or doctor. 

What are the causes of heel pain when Waking up? 

Heel pain when waking up can be caused by the following.

1. Plantar fasciitis

It is the condition where your plantar fascia, a thick ligament located on the bottom of the foot, becomes irritated. Some symptoms include heel or foot pain and stiffness. 

The pain may worsen in the morning due to poor blood circulation to the foot and heel when you’re at rest. Plantar fasciitis is common in athletes, especially runners. 

It occurs if you place a lot of stress on your heels and feet. Cross-training weekly with activities like swimming and cycling can help. 

It is also better to wear proper footwear to reduce overuse pain. You can warm up the area to ease the pain. 

2. Rheumatoid arthritis 

Another reason for heel pain in the morning is rheumatoid arthritis. People who have this condition are also prone to plantar fasciitis. 

If the symptoms don’t improve with conservative treatments at home, your doctor may advise you to wear a night splint to keep your feet flexed. 

3. Achilles tendinitis

Your Achilles tendon is a band of tissues that connect your heel bone to the calf muscle. Achilles tendinitis occurs if this tendon is inflamed, where you can feel pain and stiffness in your heel. 

You can feel pain in the morning since the circulation in this area can be limited when resting. If you have Achilles tendinitis, you may feel discomfort or pain all day. 

4. Stress fracture 

You can develop a stress fracture in the heel due to overuse, intense activities, or improper technique. You may observe that the pain develops over days or weeks. It may involve swelling, which can lead to difficulty in walking. 

5. Hypothyroidism 

You can also feel heel pain in the morning because of hypothyroidism. The disruption of hormones and chemicals in the body can result in swelling and inflammation in the ankles, feet, and heels. 

Hypothyroidism can also cause tarsal tunnel syndrome, wherein your tibial foot nerve is damaged or pinched. Make sure to talk with your doctor if you have symptoms of hypothyroidism. 

6. Poor-fitting shoes 

Wearing poor-fitting shoes can also cause heel pain in the morning. With that, you should wear that fits properly on your feet. Wear shoes that have enough arch support. 

According to the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research, most foot pain and disorders are associated with wearing ill-fitting footwear. 

7. Bone spurs 

A bone spur can be developed if your bone abnormally grows, making it rub other tissues in the nerves, which causes pain. Bone spurs are usually located in the heel area resulting in intense pain, especially after waking up. 

8. Flat feet 

Flat feet or fallen arches may occur if you have low or no arches. A lack of arch can make the sole foot touch the ground while standing. 

It can also cause painful swelling in your heel and arch. The pain is due to a lack of support for the foot muscles and ligaments. The podiatrist may recommend stretches, therapy, and proper footwear to reduce the pain. 

What are some home treatments for heel pain? 

The following are some remedies for heel pain you can do at home. 

1. Massage 

You can roll a lacrosse or tennis ball on the bottom of your feet from your toes to the heel. It can help release tension. You can also do a traditional massage by holding your foot with your hands and applying gentle pressure on the heel and foot area with your thumb. 

2. Ice 

Get a small bottle filled with frozen water. Wrap it with your towel and gently roll it along your foot and heel in the morning. 

3. Stretching 

You can also perform stretches to reduce heel pain. Your doctor may advise you to do plantar fascia tension stretch or heel cord, and foot arch stretches. 

How to avoid heel pain? 

Are you feeling heel pain when waking up. There are many ways to avoid heel pain in the morning.

  • Change your athletic or running shoes every 400 to 500 miles
  • Keep a healthy lifestyle and body weight since being overweight can add stress on your foot and heel area
  • Wear supportive, sturdy, and proper-fitting footwear
  • Try low-impact activities like swimming and cycling
  • Do stretches, especially after you exercise

When should you seek medical help? 

If you feel the following symptoms when feeling heel pain when waking up, you better see your podiatrist or doctor. 

  • Heel pain that continues all day and is disrupting your daily activities
  • Morning heel pain that doesn’t go away for weeks after trying home remedies like rest and ice
  • Swelling and severe pain near your heel
  • Difficulty in walking
  • Heel pain accompanied by swelling, fever, tingling, or numbness
  • Chronic heel pain that begins after an injury

What will happen if you leave your heel pain untreated? 

If you leave your heel pain untreated, it can lead to chronic heel pain. The pain may prevent you from performing your daily activities comfortably. It may also lead to knee, foot, hip, or back pain. 

If you don’t want to suffer from further foot damage pain, it is best to seek the help of your doctor immediately. 

Want to know whether you should use heat or ice for plantar fasciitis, then read out the guide on this link.


To sum it up, heel pain when waking up can be caused by plantar fasciitis and other foot conditions like we mentioned above. You can do home remedies like stretching and ice to relieve the morning heel pain.  You should see your podiatrist if you have more severe heel pain or injury. It is also good to wear proper shoes to prevent the heel pain from worsening. If you’re going to buy quality shoes for your injury, check out our best shoes for plantar fasciitis.

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