Why Does Plantar Fasciitis Hurt More In The Morning


The plantar fascia tissue runs along the base of your foot from the heel bone to the toes. This tissue acts like a shock absorber when your weight is applied to the foot. When the plantar fascia is put under too much stress, it becomes weak and easily damaged. Small areas of the tissue can tear open and become inflammed. This leads to a condition known as Plantar Fasciitis.

Most people suffering with plantar fasciitis will experience the most intense pain first thing in the morning after waking up.

Why does plantar fasciitis hurt more in the morning? During the night as you sleep, the plantar fascia contracts and the tears begin to close up and heal. When you awaken and stand up, the added weight to your foot causes the contracted tissue to stretch, and those partially healed tears once again split open, causing the pain.

As you go about your usual day, the pain will subside due to the fact that the most damage was done when you first stood and stretched the plantar fascia. Unless you over exert the plantar fascia through sports or jumping, the tears are not likely to get worse and you may feel relatively pain free until you awake the next morning and the cycle plays out all over again.

It is this partial healing and re-injury cycle that you must change if you are to recover from your plantar fasciitis.

How Do I Prevent The Morning Pain?

As mentioned earlier, the pain comes from the plantar fascia being stretched when the weight of your body is applied as you stand up, causing those tears to re-open

The only way you can prevent this cycle from continuing, is to ensure that the plantar fascia has been gently stretched prior to you standing and putting weight onto it.

There are a few ways in which you can achieve this.

  • Night Splints
  • Splint Socks
  • Foot Massagers
  • Massage Balls & Bars
  • Filled Water Bottle
  • Towel Stretches

We will now look at each of these points in more depth.


Night Splint

Night Splint

A night splint is worn while you sleep. The splint keeps the foot at a 90 degree angle and the plantar fascia stretched.

Allowing the plantar fascia to heal whilst in the stretched position helps prevents the tears from re-opening when you stand.

Approx $15 – $25

Click to see prices on Amazon


Night Splint Sock

Night Splint Sock

The night splint sock works very much as the night splint above, however some feel it is more comfortable to wear.

Approx $20

Click to see prices on Amazon


PF Foot Massage
Dual Foot Massager

Dual Foot Massager

Keep the dual foot massager beside your bed and use it to gently stretch the plantar fascia before standing up in the morning.

Approx $10 – $20

Click to see prices on Amazon


Massage Bars & Balls

Massage Bars & Balls

Massage bars and balls are a cheap and convenient tool for helping to cure plantar fasciitis. Easy to keep beside the bed, in the desk at work or even your pocket. Gently massage the base of your foot after any period of rest to stretch the plantar fascia.

Approx $5 – $25

Click to see prices on Amazon

Plastic Water Bottle

Plastic Water Bottle

A full plastic water bottle makes a cheap massage bar to roll your foot across. Freeze the bottle prior to using and the cold will help reduce inflammation of the plantar fascia.

Approx $1

Towel Stretches

Keep a towel beside your bed and use it to stretch your plantar fascia. Watch the video below for instruction on how to do the towel stretches.

Free

(Most people own a towel)

Conclusion

As you can see, there are several ways that you can gently stretch the plantar fascia tissue prior to standing in the morning.

By ensuring you do this after each rest period, you will reduce the amount of re-injury that could happen, which in turn, will  dramatically speed up your recovery.

For more information about breaking the partial healing and re-injury vicious circle, read our article Breaking the Plantar Fasciitis Pain Cycle

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