3 Simple Stretches to Soothe Your Morning Heel Pain
Early in the morning, you’re greeted by your buzzing alarm. You’re tired, you’re imagining the long list of tasks ahead of you, and you’re struggling not to hit “snooze”. Add to these feelings a burning, stabbing, or aching pain in your heel, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed before you even get out of bed.
Thankfully, there are plenty of heel pain relieving stretches you can do as soon as you wake up. Many can even be done from the comfort of your bed.
1. Stretch the arches of your feet.
This is a great stretch to begin your day because you can do it while flat on your back. First, wrap a towel around the front of your foot like a sling, leaving plenty of material to grip on either side. Lift your leg straight in the air, pulling the towel with both hands. Use the tension of the towel to stretch the ball of your foot and ankle.
In addition to exercising your feet, arch stretches stimulate your calf muscles and plantar fascia, or the flat band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes. The plantar fascia supports the arch of your foot, and a swollen or irritated band is often the cause of morning heel pain.
2. Curl your toes.
For this easy foot stretch, simply curl your toes downward as though you were trying to pick up a pencil with them. Repeat this stretch until you feel less tightness in your muscles, and the burning, stabbing, or aching pain begins to fade.
3. Roll a water bottle under your feet.
While sitting down, place a water bottle sideways on the floor, and slowly roll the bottle beneath your feet for 1-2 minutes. This exercise can be done with other rolling household items such as a rolling pin or tennis ball, but a water bottle works extra nicely because it can be frozen ahead of time. The cold from the bottle is great for swelling and inflammation.
While these simple stretches provide temporary relief, morning heel pain is often one of the first signs of plantar fasciitis. Heel pain may also be a sign of arthritis or tendonitis. Thus, it is important to schedule an appointment with a licensed foot doctor to diagnose and professionally treat your symptoms.
At Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC, our board certified podiatrists Dr. Greg Khaimov, Dr. Daniel Pollack, Dr. Walter Majdanski, and Dr. Yakov Haimof are dedicated to treating heel problems. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!