Have you ever experienced intense heel pain in the morning as you get out of bed? Then as you tentatively take your first few steps in the morning the discomfort seems to ease? Only to then find after a moments rest (such as sitting down to dinner or watching your favourite TV show) that crippling pain is once again stopping you in your tracks?
If yes – it is mostly that you have experienced ‘post-static dyskinesia.’ Post-Static Dyskinesia is a medical term that identifies pain that occurs after a period of rest and within the foot, the heel is a common complaint. Post-static Dyskinesia creates some confusion in its presentation as it tends to cause pain after rest, and most expect pain to be relieved after a solid night’s rest. The reason this occurs is because whilst you are sleeping, your body is recovering from all the stresses that had previously occurred. Microtears occur within the muscles after loads and recovery leads to shortening of musculature.
Additionally, the position in which we sleep in results in our foot being in the plantar-flexed position (pointing down) which also shortens the calf muscle. As we rise from rest, we cause our ankle to go through a large range of motion before the calf muscle has had a chance to warm up and transfers load to the heel, or more specifically the plantar fascia. The Plantar fascia is a thick connective tissue that originates from the heel to the toes and is unable to be stretched in excess before damage occurs. The pain of this force and loading is what is referred to Post-Static Dyskinesia and commonly associated with Plantar fasciitis. If left untreated, accumulative stresses and loads can damage the Plantar fascia to a point where treatment becomes more difficult. Early intervention has shown to reduce pain more efficiently. Treatment options include: Physical therapy, orthotic therapy, footwear modifications, shockwave therapy, injection therapy, to name a few. What may be simple morning pain can become something more debilitating. Make an appointment for an assessment to determine the treatment best for you.