Mother’s Day is a good excuse to stay in bed a few more minutes and hope your husband and kids will treat you to a special breakfast. On the other hand, you may feel like staying there every day if you have been suffering from morning heel pain that makes your first steps so unbearable!
Actually, staying in bed a few minutes longer can be a good thing—as long as you put the time to good use. Stretching can be particularly helpful when you have heel pain from plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the ligament that runs along the bottom of your foot. Do the following every morning before you step foot on the floor, and you may discover that these small tricks can make a big difference to the start of your day:
- Wake up your toes by alternately curling them under (as if you were picking something up with them) and spreading them out. Hold each position a few seconds and repeat several times.
- Now get your feet in gear by pointing your toes and writing the alphabet in the air. This loosens muscles deep inside your foot and helps them better support your arch.
- Get your legs ready for the day with a stretch for your Achilles tendon and calf muscles. Lying on your back, lift one leg straight in the air. Take a towel (which you placed by your bed the night before) and loop it around the toes, pulling gently so they point down toward your body. Hold for half a minute or so, then switch legs.
- Finally, when you get out of bed, don’t hit the ground running. Stand there a few minutes to let the plantar fascia gradually stretch out before taking that first step.
Spend five minutes doing this routine every day before you get up and you may be surprised how much better your morning heel pain becomes. You can do the same type of stretches before you get up and walk following an extended period of sitting.
If you still have pain after trying these stretches for a couple of weeks, come and see us at Abbott Foot & Ankle Clinic in Collingwood, ON. Call (705) 444-9929 for an appointment, or request one online. We can help you with custom orthotics, laser therapy and other conservative treatments.