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Why do I have sore feet in the morning?

As a therapist I am seeing more and more clients that are sharing that they have very sore feet when they wake up in the morning. They often describe the pain as a stabbing sensation and most typically felt first thing in the morning or after long rest periods. It can be one or both feet and the pain usually is felt in the heels but can extend through the arch to the ball of the foot. This is a common condition called plantar fasciitis. It affects approximately 900,000 people a year.

Plantar fasciitis can occur when the thick band of tissue that connects the heel to the ball of the foot creating the arch is over stretched or overused which then becomes inflamed. Standing on hard surfaces for prolonged periods, incorrect footwear, obesity, and tight muscles are just some of the most common catalysts for this condition.

There are many treatment options, and it will be different for everyone based on what the cause is for that individual. Some of the most successful treatment options include rest, stretching, medication, supportive shoes, ice packs and massage.

Massage is particularly effective as it promotes blood flow to the area and can break up some scar tissue. By massaging the surrounding muscles and tendons it can also help reduce referred pain. Massage is usually a treatment that doctors recommend trying first along with assessing your footwear before more invasive treatments. Something your can even try at home is rolling a tennis ball under the feet a couple of times a day. This may be all that is required but it’s also important to keep in mind that plantar fasciitis can take approximately 10 months to heal. Again, this is depends on what the causes is which is important to investigate for yourself.

Here are some interesting facts about your feet and the best way to take care of this often neglected and unappreciated body part:

  1. A quarter of all the bones in your body are acutally found in your feet!!!

Fascinating fact this one! Your feet contain 52 bones, or a complete quarter of all the bones in your body! Things get complicated and set the stage for the onset of plantar fasciitis when those bones are misaligned.

2. The amount of power that the plantar fascia absorbs is rather astounding.

Your feet absorb the same amount of impact over the course of a typical day as a fully loaded cement truck! Therefore, it should come as no surprise that if your arch isn't adequately supported, this strain can seriously damage the plantar fascia.

3. About 50% of patients with plantar fasciitis have heel spurs.

Plantar fasciitis causes heel spurs, not the other way around, against popular assumption! Trauma to the plantar fascia can result in heel spurs, which can eventually cause excruciating walking pain. How can I prevent heel spurs? Attend to any early signs of plantar fasciitis.

4. Sometimes treating plantar fasciitis only requires a supportive pair of shoes.

In one study, just wearing more supportive footwear helped 14% of patients notice a reduction in their plantar fasciitis symptoms. We are well-versed in the importance of footwear in providing support for your arch and heel. Improved cushioning, reduced heel movement, and improved impact absorption are all signs of quality footwear.

5. Women are more likely to experience plantar fasciitis

Compared to men, women walk an average of 3 miles more every day! This is perhaps the reason why foot issues affect women four times more frequently than they do males. Alternatively, it's possible that 90% of women frequently wear shoes that are truly too small! It's absolutely time to give up on the stilettos and switch to some slightly more supportive footwear.

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