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Morning pain

Posted by Mary Kay on 2/12/99 at 00:00 (004739)

Does anybody know why the plantar fasciitis pain is so noticeable upon rising? One would think that after a long sleep, inflamed tissue would feel better, not worse. It's hard enough to get out of bed for many people, without having pain to discourage us! I'm not sure if knowing what's going on inside my foot, to make this happen, would make me feel any better, but it would certainly be less mysterious. Thank you in advance.

Re: Morning pain

John C. on 2/12/99 at 00:00 (004744)

Mary Kay, I do not understand what causes the morning pain, but I found a way to prevent it that worked for me. I slept in a Strasburb sock. There are several things including night splints that keep the foot in a more normal stretched position while you sleep. I found that the sock would prevent the morning pain.

Re: Morning pain

cAROLYN on 2/12/99 at 00:00 (004748)

Hi Mary Kay -
There was a short article on plantar fasciitis in a Prevention magazine a while ago. They explained why it pf hurts the most in the mornings, or whenever you have been resting or sitting for a while,

The semi-short reason why is:
The plantar fascia is a sheath of tissue that starts in the base of the heel and continues forward across the sole of the foot and attaches to the bones in the front of your foot. It stretches and lengthens when you stand, and shortens when your foot is in a relaxed position (when you are sleeping) PF strikes when the tissue stretches beyong its normal limits. When Achilles tendon or calf muscles are tight, the soft tissue of the plantar fascia stretches too far. It gets tiny tears, which become irritated and inflamed. When you go to sleep the tissue retracts as the foot relaxes to its nartural position. Then, when you wake and put your weight on it as you step out of bed, the fascia gets a sharp or sudden tug as your arch flattens, irritating the injured tissues again.

Thats why the pain subsides when you walk and/or stretch your calf muscles - you are gradually stretching the tissue again.

Hope that makes sense!

Re: Morning pain

Mary Ann on 2/12/99 at 00:00 (004749)

I have found that if you use a towel and put it under your foot and pull up on the foot and hold for a short time that the morning pain is not as bad. I have also use a theraband that works well. Do this before getting up. It does help.

Re: Morning pain

Jerry on 2/12/99 at 00:00 (004750)

Mary Kay,

I also use the Strassburg sock and swear by it. I wore it for only about 2 wks and my pain was essentially gone. I now only wear it at night after having run during the day. I have had heel pain for a # of years and it didn't seem to be getting any better, but I am essentially cured I believe now. It was the best $25 or $30 I have spent. I recently (2/6/99) ran a 20 mile trail run in NC and wore the sock that night and have had no heel pain from the run (now my calves from when they cramped at mile 17 - that's a different story!)

Anyway - give the sock a try. There is a web page for the sock.

Note: I am a 49 yr old male who has run off and on for last 10 yrs.

Good luck to you


Re: Morning pain

Mary Kay on 2/12/99 at 00:00 (004751)

Thank you Mary Ann for your speedy reply. I will try the towel. What is a theraband? What kind of store would have one?

Re: Morning pain

Mary Kay on 2/12/99 at 00:00 (004752)

Thanks Jerry for your encouraging message. I wish I could say my injury is from running, but it's from climbing into a van with a high step, twisting the foot and shifting my weight with almost nothing to hold onto. Kind of a freak thing. Being overweight doesn't help. I was jogging for awhile myself in better days. Being prevented even from walking much is certainly an incentive to lose weight. For now, I'm doing the bare essentials -- walking to the subway for work and taking my dog out for about 10 minutes.

I am happy for you, that you're running again and admire your stamina. I think I'll try that Strassburg sock. I'm 41 myself and hope that I'll be running someday too. Thank you again!

Re: Morning pain

Mary Kay on 2/12/99 at 00:00 (004753)

John, thank you so much for replying and for the helpful info. It's good to communicate with people who know what this is about. My activities have become limited from this condition, but it is not a thing that ordinarily elicits compassion. What I really need is to get better, and you are one of two people suggesting the Strassburg sock in response to my question. I'll have to give it a try! I don't know a lot about night splints and am not really good when it comes to attaching things to my body, but maybe I can find a doctor who knows about that. I'll try the sock first. Thank you.

Re: Morning pain

Mary Kay on 2/12/99 at 00:00 (004754)

Thank you Carolyn. Your explanation is helpful and seems to make sense. It helps to clear up the mystery and also provides a little camaraderie. So far, it is the only one I have received, although I also got lots of good advice that I'm very grateful for.

I think I understand what you are saying, to some degree. In a normally-stretched position, the pain is less, but it is the process of stretching it that hurts the most. Is that correct? At the same time, walking for any length of time also hurts because the already torn fascia becomes too stretched and abused. Do you think that makes sense?

Re: Morning pain

Mary Ann on 2/12/99 at 00:00 (004756)

Mary Kay, the theraband is something I got from Physical Therapy, it is just a stretchy rubber band. I think the towel works well also. Good luck

Re: Morning pain-stretching

Lyndel on 2/13/99 at 00:00 (004767)

Mary Kay,

I found that before I get up in the morning, if I put my right heel into the space between my left foots big toe and next toe I can hook my left foot and pull it back and and stretch it with the right foot. this stretches the calf muscles and then i take my toes and curl them forward which stretches even more muscles. do this for a minute or two before you get up in the AM and your feet wont hurt so bad. I just started doing this about a week ago and boy what a relief! After a year of hobbling in the morning for the first 10 steps, it's sure nice to get out of bed and not feel a hundred years old...I swear my wife must think she married some big baby or something but boy can my dogs bark in the morning! :~)

Hope this helps some