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Many people with plantar fasciitis have intense heel
pain in the morning, when they take their first steps after getting out of bed. This
pain comes from the tightening of the plantar fascia that occurs during sleep.
Stretching or massaging the plantar fascia before standing up can often reduce
Other steps can help reduce heel pain when you take your
first steps after getting out of bed. You can:
Stretching exercises should create a pulling
feeling. They should not cause pain. Ask your physical therapist or doctor which
exercises will work best for you.
Stretching and strengthening exercises will help reduce plantar
It's best to do each exercise 2 or 3
times a day, but you do not need to do them all at once.1
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and American Academy of Pediatrics (2010). Plantar fasciitis. In JF Sarwark, ed., Essentials of Musculoskeletal Care, 4th ed., pp. 839–844. Rosemont, IL: American
Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Other Works Consulted
Digiovanni BF, et al. (2006). Plantar fascia-specific stretching exercise improves outcomes in patients with chronic plantar fasciitis. A prospective clinical trial with two-year follow-up. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, 88(6): 1775–1781.
Pasquina PF, Foster LS (2008). Plantar fasciitis. In WR Frontera et al., eds., Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation, 2nd ed., pp. 469–473. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier.
July 9, 2013
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
& Gavin W.G. Chalmers, DPM - Podiatry and Podiatric Surgery
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