Most people who suffer from Plantar Fasciitis find themselves on an endless merrygoround of standing up in the morning to extreme foot pain. The pain subsides after walking for a few minutes and then very little pain is felt throughout the rest of the day. The person goes to bed and when they wake the following morning, the continuous cycle of Plantar Fasciitis pain starts all over again.
Those people often find themselves asking the following question.
How do I get rid of the constant pain of Plantar Fasciitis?
During a period of sleep or rest, your body will begin to repair the damage to your plantar fascia. To eliminate the constant pain of plantar fasciitis, you must take care not to once again damage the partially healed tissue. This is done with gentle stretching exercises.
Below we will look in more detail at how you can prevent continually damaging the plantar fascia, and get rid of the constant daily pain.
Why Does My Plantar Fasciitis Hurt So Much In the Morning?
When you go to sleep at night, your body enters a state of deep rest and healing. This time is used to reguvinate our batteries and help our bodies heal us from any ailments it may have endured during the day. This includes your Plantar Fascia.
As you sleep, the Plantar Fascia in the base of your foot is in it’s most relaxed state and slowly starts to repair itself by healing the small tears that it sustained when you stood on your foot for the first time that morning. However, one night is not sufficient time to completely heal those tiny tears, and so once you awake and stand up, those part healed tears will split open once again and you will begin the whole process over again.
It is this constant cycle of part healing and re-damaging the plantar fascia that you need to overcome, if you are to recover from your Plantar Fasciiits condition.
How Do I Prevent The Plantar Fascia From Retearing?
As described in the previous answer, it is the standing in the morning that causes the repetitive damage to the Plantar Fascia membrane. Therefore, the only way to prevent the retearing of the tissue is to gently stretch the Plantar Fascia, prior to putting your whole body weight onto your foot.
Many of the exercises that people are told to do to stretch their Plantar Fascia involve stretching against a wall or a step. The only problem with these exercises is that you usually need to stand up and walk to get to the wall/step, by which time you have put the Plantar Fascia under the stress of your full weight and the damage has already been done.
As you can see, it is the standing up and putting weight on the foot in the morning, is where most peoples problem comes with regard the continuous cycle of Plantar Fasciitis pain.
Fear Not!!! The Cycle Can Be Broken
Thankfully, there are several ways that you can pre-stretch the Plantar Fascia in the morning, and these can be done right from your bedside, without the need to stand up.
Night Time Splint
Many people have found that using a night splint or brace during the night helps them experience less pain in the morning. The device is worn through the night whilst you sleep and keeps the Plantar Fascia stretched rather than allowing it to relax. Once you awake in the morning and stand up, the already stretched fascia tissue is under much less stress and less likely to become damaged further or retear what has started to heal. Some people have said that the night splint can feel a little bulky and take some getting used to when you first start to use it, however you soon adapt to wearing it.
Bedside Exercises and Massage Techniques for Plantar Fasciitis
As mentioned previously, the exercises that involve you getting up from the bed to reach a wall or step, are contributing the the endless pain cycle you are experiencing because they involve you walking to the area to do them. Now that is not to say that those exercises don’t help in the overall healing and recovery process, because they certainly do (and you can find more of those exercises here), however you must first gently stretch the Plantar Fascia before standing, so as to minimise the chance of repeat damage to the partly healed tissue.
Here are a few things you can do from your bedside to help gently stretch your foot prior to putting your full body weight onto it.
Rolling Bar or Massage Ball
Keep a massage ball or roller next to the bed and gently run your foot over it in the morning prior to standing up.
If you don’t wish to purchase a specific massage tool, you can easily use a rolling pin or bottle of water to do the same technique.
Keep a towel beside the bed and use it to gently stretch and massage the underside of your foot before you get out of bed in the morning. The following video shows 3 different ways you can use a towel to gently stretch the Plantar Fascia.
Don’t Walk Barefoot
After you have completed your morning routine to gently stretch the plantar fascia, put on a pair of supportive Sandals or Flip Flops (Happyfeet Footwear) before standing and walking. This is important as it will allow the plantar fascia to stretch that little but more whilst being supported and so under less stress. When you walk barefoot, the plantar fascia is stretched to it’s limits and also carries the whole weight of your body unsupported. This kind of strain greatly increases the chances of damage reoccurring. Our article: Walking Barefoot with Plantar Fasciitis explains more about this.
To begin with, you don’t need to go out and buy specially made orthotic supports or shoes. For many Plantar Fasciitis sufferers, over the counter ready made orthotic aids are perfectly suitable to help with the healing process. These cheaper alterantives should be tried prior to spending money unecessarily. If however you find you are not feeling any improvement after several weeks of use, then you may wish to seek further advice regarding custom made orthotic aids.
Related Article: Plantar Fasciitis Foot Orthotics Explained
As you can see, the reason many people suffer with the constant pain of Plantar Fasciitis for longer than they need to, is down to not allowing the Plantar Fascia to heal sufficiently. Mother nature made sure that our bodies have the ability to heal themselves. however she does need a helping hand sometimes.
If you continue to wake up each morning and climb out of bed prior to doing any kind of pre-standing stretches, you will continue to damage the Plantar Fascia and your condition will only worsten over time.
As your Plantar Fascia is faced with daily abuse, it will weaken and the damage will become more extensive. You could even end up with a plantar fascia rupture which is a much more time consuming and painful condition to recover from.
Related Article: Plantar Facia Major Tear or Rupture
Hopefully you will see now that the absolute best way for you to help speed up the recovery process is to ensure that you break the cycle of continually retearing and damaging your plantar fascia.
Just a few minutes spent each morning applying the techniques shown in the videos above, will ensure that you give yourself the best chance of beating the constant pain of plantar fasciitis, and get back to a pain free way of life.
Of course you need to make sure that you have also addressed the issues of what caused your plantar fasciitis in the first place or you will run the risk of suffering from the condition again in the future. Check out our article The 8 Most Common Causes of Plantar Fasciitis to see if you need to make some adjustments in your life to help get rid of the constant pain of plantar fasciitis for good.