Try This Simple Tip To Help Heel Pain

It’s Stephen and Brandi here from CORE Therapy and Pilates. I wanted to go over a quick question that I got today with one of my clients… she came in reporting she was having heel pain with the first step in the morning that she takes out of bed.

How do I help the heel pain in the morning?” she asked “Because once that pain starts it then leads to pain for several hours through lunchtime before it starts to calm down a little bit”

So with that said I want to explain a little bit of the why she was having heel pain first thing in the morning… so go ahead and lay back for us Brandi… When you’re laying down sleeping on your back for the night your toes and your ankles are naturally pointed… just like hers are here… What happens when you’re sleeping in this position for an extended period of time with your foot pointed and then you go stand up and put weight through it, all the sudden it really stretches the plantar fascia. This fascia is on the bottom of the foot going from the heel, all the way up to the balls of the foot. This weight bearing and stretch will cause pain in the heel if the plantar fascia is inflamed.

One of the best things that she can do first thing in the morning is stretch her plantar fascia and her calf before she gets out of bed. Remember, once she gets out of bed without stretching, she has lost the chance to really help this before it becomes painful for the morning.

What I recommend for someone to do is to put a towel or a strap right next to their bed so the first thing they do when they wake up is actually do this stretch (before putting any weight on the heel). Now if I were to say Brandi I want you to stretch your plantar fascia the first thing in the morning when you wake up, there’s a very good chance that she would just wake up and get up and go about her business first thing in the morning. So my next question is Brandi, What side of the bed do you get up on? The right side…

So what I want to suggest is to put a foam roller standing vertical right next to where you will get out of bed. Now place a stretching strap or a towel right on top of it. The first thing that happens in the morning when you wake up and roll over is you see this foam roller there with a towel on it… it’s going to remind you that something is a little different…

Now grab that towel (We’re gonna use a strap) and we’re going to stretch the plantar fascia. Lets do your left side, so now we’re gonna first and foremost before putting weight on the foot after sleeping, and then grab the strap, place it around the balls of your feet, straighten your elbows and then lean back as you pretend you’re waterskiing, Hold 5 big breathes to stretch the plantar fascia. Do 2-3 times on both sides!

So that is our tip for today… if you have plantar fascia/heel pain, stretch before you get out of bed. How do you do that? How do you remind yourself? You put the towel or the strap right next to your bed on the foam roller to be in the way, and that’s what we got for you today I hope that helps…

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I must say that every client I have seen with heel pain in the last decade has an issue up the chain in the hip and/or lower back. So this tip will only get you so far, but it will help first thing in the morning…

If you need to set up an appointment to learn more, call 512-215-4227 and we can take care of you… take care.

Co-Owner / Physical Therapist at CORE Therapy and Pilates
Stephen graduated with a Masters in Physical Therapy in 1998 from LSUMC in New Orleans and is a licensed physical therapist in Texas since 2004. Immediately interested in hands-on therapy, he began to study with Brian Mulligan and became certified in the Maitland Australian Approach in 2003. Stephen has since studied the fascial system through John F Barnes Myofascial Release. Stephen completed a comprehensive Pilates training in 2002 and the GYROTONIC Expansion System® in 2009. The combined treatment of manual therapy with mind-body awareness exercises using Pilates and Gyrotonic concepts was the start of his whole-body treatment approach.
Stephen Dunn