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Morning Foot Pain? It May Be Plantar Fasciitis

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Plantar Fasciitis related image Photo: Getty Images

If your feet hurt when you first step out of bed in the morning, you may have Plantar Fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis), a condition that causes pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes.

What causes it?
Plantar fasciitis is common in runners, but straining the ligament that supports your arch causes it. Repeated strain can cause tiny tears in the ligament. These can lead to pain and swelling. This is more likely to happen if you:

• are a woman between 40 and 60
• walk around around bare-footed or in flip-flops daily
• have high arches or flat feet
• are overweight
• your feet roll inward too much when you walk
• you have tight Achilles tendons or calf muscles
• stand for long periods of time

What are the symptoms? Most people who suffer with plantar fasciitis have tenderness or a stabbing pain in the feet upon waking up in the morning or after long periods of rest, which lessens as you continue to walk. Your foot may also hurt more as the day goes on when walking or climbing stairs.

How do I know if I have it?
Go to your doctor or podiatrist. She or he will check your feet, watch how you stand and walk, and ask questions about your symptoms, physical activity and past health. It’s also a good idea to have an X-ray taken of your foot to detect stress fractures or other bone problems.

What can I do about it?

Follow these tips to lessen the foot pain:

• Try not to walk or run on hard surfaces.
• Put ice on your heel.
• Take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin), naproxen (such as Aleve), or aspirin.
• Get a new pair of shoes. Pick shoes with good arch support and a cushioned sole. Or try heel cups or shoe inserts.
• Opt for non-weight bearing exercises.
• Do stretching exercises, especially when you first get up in the morning. (See video on youtube.com)

Do I need to give up my high-heels? If you follow the tips above, this author says, “not unless everything else fails.” ☺

WebMD – A to Z Guides - Plantar fasciitis. Web. 19, December, 2011

Mayo Clinic – Health - Plantar fasciitis. Web. 19, December, 2011

YouTube – Physical Therapy TV - Plantar Fasciitis Exercises. Web. 19, December, 2011 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1D4xfYjGDQ

Reviewed December 19, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment2 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I had this condition for about two years. I finally got so tired of waiting for some doctor to help me deal with it I decided to use my electric sawzall power tool. I inserted a very fine tooth blade into this tool. I proceeded to cut my foot off. I than limped to my doctor and showed him what I had done. I told him "that's why I kept asking for the pain medication (hydrocodone) you wouldn't give me anymore because you were so f-in paranoid about getting into trouble with the DEA for giving it to me too much (30 pills per month-take as needed). Well it couldn't had been because I was abusing the prescription because of the "as needed" instructions I told him. That was because I still had some pills left to take 6 months from when it was dispensed to me. Sooo, how paranoid do I rate this doctor and does anyone have any suggestions before I start having pain in my other foot?

June 9, 2017 - 9:43am
EmpowHER Guest

I suffered for years from Plantar Fasciitis and did everything known to man to rid myself of the pain. The worst part was not being able to wear anything but flats... well .. ok ..the physical pain worse. I accidentally came upon was has been a 90% cure!!! A treatment called "shock wave therapy". Many physios have the machine and it takes one or two 15 minute treatments and viola! most of the pain is gone.

December 22, 2011 - 12:27pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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