Sore Achilles Tendon In The Morning|How to Recover From It

Life can become very tough if your mobility gets compromised due to pain in the back of your heel. If you are experiencing feet pain, especially heel and calf pain then it means that your Achilles tendon is inflamed. In this article we will discuss in detail about Achilles tendon, the reasons behind sore Achilles tendon in the morning, and what you can do to overcome this problem.

What Is Achilles Tendon?

What Is Achilles Tendon

If you are wondering why my heels hurt when I wake up then you need to understand that upper heel pain or swollen heel is linked with the Achilles tendon. If we study the anatomy of the Achilles tendon we come to know that it is a very tough tendon situated at the bottom of the leg. It links the heel bone to the calf muscles in the leg. A healthy Achilles tendon is vital for your mobility.

What Is Achilles Tendonitis?

Overburden or too much running can make the Achilles ache and you may experience heel pain in the morning or back of heel pain while walking. This strain and pressure can make you suffer from Achilles tendonitis. Achilles tendonitis mostly happens to people who are involved in sporty activities. Runners experience Achilles tendon pain in the morning often.

Usually, Achilles tendonitis can be cured with famous home remedies for heel pain. But if after trying Achilles tendonitis home treatments, you are still experiencing foot pain in the morning then you should go for medical help.

How Can You Identify Achilles Tendonitis?

How Can You Identify Achilles Tendonitis

If you are experiencing pain above the heel then Achilles tendonitis is maybe the reason behind it. Following are some of the symptoms that can help in identifying whether you are suffering from Achilles tendonitis or not.

  • Trouble in standing on toes
  • Burning in Achilles tendon
  • Pain in the lower leg

What Are The Main Causes That Lead Towards Achilles Tendonitis?

How Can You Identify Achilles Tendonitis

If you are thinking about why my feet hurt in the morning when I get out of bed and why I am facing the problem of Achilles tendonitis, then we have the answers to your questions. Many situations can trigger Achilles tendonitis heel pain and this pain will make your daily life very difficult.

Usually, the Achilles tendon flares up when it is overused without giving proper rest. If you are aging then arthritis can also be a reason behind the morning heel pain. Doing your workouts without sufficient warm-up can make your heels hurt in the morning. Too much running or increasing your physical activity suddenly can damage your Achilles tendon.

The wrong choice of shoes or wearing high heels for long periods can cause tightness in the heel and you may experience sore heels in the morning. If you recently got any foot injury that might also be the cause of Achilles tendonitis and heel pain.

Achilles Tendonitis Vs. Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is also a condition in which people experience foot pain, especially in the heel area. A lot of people get confused when they experience foot pain that whether they are in distress because of Plantar Fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis.

You can easily clear this confusion by understanding that in Plantar Fasciitis you will experience pain in the bottom of your heel because it happens when the ligaments that connect the heel to the front foot are damaged. On the contrary,

if you have Achilles tendonitis you will experience pain and discomfort at the back of your heel because it happens when the Achilles tendon is damaged that joins the calf muscles to the heel.

The location of the pain can help you differentiate between Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendonitis. In some cases, people experience heel pain in the morning due to uric acid, and Plantar Fasciitis or Achilles Tendonitis both are not the cause of heel pain after sleeping.

How To Treat Achilles Tendonitis At Home?

 Treat Achilles Tendonitis At Home?

If you are looking for home remedies for heel pain in the morning then you should not stop reading as now we are going to discuss some very effective home remedies that are tried and tested for treating Achilles tendonitis. Most people recover from Achilles tendon heel pain by simply following home remedies and choosing comfortable shoes for themselves.

Use The Rice Method At Home:

If your heel hurts in the morning and you experience Achilles tendon pain while walking, then you should try the RICE method to resolve these issues. This method worked for most of the people who had the complaint of sore Achilles tendon and pain in the back of the ankle above the heel while walking. RICE method consists of the following steps.

  • If your heel hurts when you wake up then the first thing you need to do is REST. Give your Achilles tendon complete rest of 2- 3 days, avoid walking or standing. Don’t put any burden on your feet. By having proper rest Achilles tendon tightness will be released. If you take proper rest your Achilles tendon will heal fast and you will be able to move easily again.
  • The next step in the RICE method is to apply ICE to your Achilles tendon. You can place ice cubes in a bag and then press them against your Achilles tendon. Icing helps in decreasing inflammation and swelling. Apply ice on your sore ankles in the morning for 20 minutes and then give a break. Repeat the process whenever you want, it will help in relieving the pain and you will feel better.
  • COMPRESSION is another step in the RICE method that is quite helpful. For compression wrap your Achilles tendon with a bandage or a piece of cloth. This will compress your Achilles tendon and swelling will decrease. But while doing compression don’t wrap your tendon too tightly, it will put extra pressure on the Achilles tendon and it will act as a hurdle for blood flow as well.
  • ELEVATION can also be very helpful in relieving the Achilles tendon pain you experience while walking. For elevation keep your feet elevated while sitting and lying. Keep your feet higher than the level of your chest. This will decrease the flow of blood towards your feet and you will notice that your swelling and soreness will start decreasing as well.

Choose The Right Footwear:

Wearing uncomfortable shoes that do not provide enough support to your feet can be the reason behind the sore heels in the morning. Wearing high heels for long period will put a lot of pressure on your Achilles tendon and you will start to complain that your Achilles heel hurts.

So don’t aggravate your Achilles tendonitis by choosing uncomfortable shoes for yourself.While selecting footwear for yourself there are some significant facts that you should think through.

If you are looking for shoes for work then you should consider whether does your job requires a lot of walking and running or not. If the answer is yes then you should go for comfortable sneakers or joggers that don’t let your feet get tired during working hours.

To avoid heel and calf pain you should choose the exact shoe size according to your foot, keep the shape of your foot in mind as well. Shoes with sound stability and good arch support help in fighting Achilles tendonitis.

Look for enormous cushioning while selecting shoes for yourself because cushioning helps in shock absorption thus your Achilles tendon experiences less pressure on it. Shoes with rock bottom are considered very helpful for people who face back of heel pain in the morning.

If you are still experiencing heel pain when you wake up then you can discuss it with a specialist and go for medicated shoes that are specially designed to treat conditions like Achilles tendonitis.

How To Get Medical Help For Achilles Tendonitis

If after doing the RICE method and changing your footwear you still have severe heel pain and you can’t walk, home remedies might not be the solution for you. In such a scenario, you need to consult with a doctor and you can ask him, “Why does my heel hurt when I wake up”.

Main Causes That Lead Towards Achilles Tendonitis

The first step that the doctor will execute will be a physical inspection. The doctor will inspect the condition of your foot by pressing on various areas like the heel, ankle, calf, and lower leg. The doctor might ask you to walk in front of him to analyze your walking style and posture.

After the physical examination, the doctor will recommend you to undergo different blood tests and imaging tests like X-rays and MRI. After this, the doctor will suggest a cure in accordance with your circumstances and condition. Mostly used medical treatments for Achilles tendonitis are discussed below.

Physical Therapy:

Your doctor may recommend you to see a physical therapist to treat your Achilles tendonitis. The physical therapist will practice Alfredson protocol with you. Now you might be thinking that what Alfredson protocol is, it is a special routine of eccentric exercises that are performed to strengthen the Achilles tendon.

The physical therapist may also advise you on some tips for running and walking. By performing these simple exercises with your therapist you can recover from Achilles tendonitis quickly and soon you will get back to your normal life.

Pain Management:

If you ask your doctor “Why does my Achilles hurt when I wake up or walk”, then the doctor might suggest using pain medication to make you feel better. Usually, NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications) are given to relieve the pain of Achilles tendonitis.

Taping:

Sometimes doctors suggest taping as a solution for Achilles tendonitis. Your heel will be wrapped with hypoallergenic tape, this will give rest to your Achilles tendon and it will stay in the same position.

Mostly taping is done for one week and after that patients start feeling better. But one thing should be kept in mind, taping should not be done too tightly as it can reduce the blood flow towards the Achilles tendon.

Injections:

Injections are sometimes used for curing Achilles tendonitis. Some injections are to increase the speed of healing or process whereas some are given to just reduce the pain, but the most common injections given to treat Achilles tendonitis are steroids.

Steroids reduce inflammation and pain but they have side effects as well. Most doctors try to avoid them and treat Achilles tendonitis with other treatments.

Surgery:

If you have tried everything but you still have the complaint of sore Achilles tendon in the morning and severe heel and calf pain has made mobility impossible for you then you will have to go for the last option which is surgery.

An orthopedic surgeon will decide the procedure of surgery after deeply analyzing your case. Through surgery, your Achilles tendon will be repaired and you will soon start walking with ease again.

How To Prevent Achilles Tendonitis?

Physical Therapy

You can try to protect yourself from the pain and discomfort of Achilles tendonitis by following some preventions. These preventions will not provide a hundred percent protection against Achilles tendonitis but they will reduce the chances of damaging your Achilles tendon.

  • If you want to increase your exercise routine then don’t do it suddenly, rather gradually increase the duration of your workout. This way your Achilles tendon will not face too much pressure rather it will get strong with each passing day.
  • If you are a runner then be very careful because runners face the problem of Achilles tendonitis a lot. Don’t increase your running time suddenly. Wear comfortable and flexible shoes that provide support to the Achilles tendon while running.
  • Before any strenuous activity don’t forget to warm up your body. Warming up is crucially important as it preps the body for the vigorous activities you are about to execute.
  • Listen to your body if during any exercise or activity you feel pain or discomfort. If this happens stop right there and take a rest. Don’t push your body beyond its limits.
  • Be very careful while choosing shoes. Don’t hurt your feet just for style. You can easily find shoes that are both comfortable and stylish. Don’t wear high heels for long periods as they put a lot of strain on your Achilles tendon.
  • Make a habit to stretch daily. Stretching makes our body flexible and strong. Stretching the Achilles tend and calf muscles in your legs helps in strengthening them. If you have suffered from Achilles tendonitis earlier then you should make it a ritual to regularly stretch your calf muscles and Achilles tendon in the morning and before working out. This will save you in the future from having heel pain in the morning.
  • Mix light and heavy exercises together. Don’t do a lot of heavy exercises in one-day rather incorporate light exercise in your routine as well. This will give some rest to your Achilles tendon and it will not get overstressed.
  • While working out make sure that the surface that you are standing on is even and flat. An irregular and bumpy surface can cause injury to the Achilles tendon. We also recommend that for running don’t choose very difficult and bumpy trails.
  • If your heels hurt in the morning then take proper rest before the situation worsens. Avoid physical activities and let your Achilles tendon recover well.
  • Don’t wear worn-out shoes, they can hurt your feet. Keep changing your shoes timely. Too flat shoes are also not good for the Achilles tendon as they put extra strain on the tendon. So go for shoes that have a bit of raised heel and arch support.

Conclusion

In short, if you are having sore Achilles tendon in the morning then it means that your Achilles tendon is overstressed and there are strong chances that you are suffering from Achilles tendonitis.

There can be many reasons behind this condition like overexertion or suddenly changing your workout routine or the wrong choice of shoes. Most cases of Achilles tendonitis recover by following easy home remedies like the RICE method. Choosing comfortable shoes also helps in treating Achilles tendonitis.

But if you feel that your Achilles tendon is not recovering then you should consult a doctor. The doctor will investigate your condition and then he will recommend treatment accordingly.

Mostly with physical therapy and medications patients start feeling better, only in very rare and severe cases surgery is required.You can minimize the chances of having Achilles tendonitis by taking good care of your Achilles tendon, especially during running or exercising.

We hope that after reading this article, your question that “Why do I have sore Achilles tendon in the morning?” will be answered and you will have enough knowledge about how you can quickly recover from this condition.