If you suffer from heel pain due to plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, or Achilles tendinitis, then morning is likely the most painful time for you. In the long run, you will want to look into professional, podiatric treatments such as cortisone injections and surgery. But in the meantime, the following morning routine can help ease your heel pain so you can go about your day with less discomfort.
Massage Your Foot and Heel
Massage helps get the blood flowing to the area you're working on. This is really helpful with heel pain since it is often caused by tendons and ligaments, which don't have a lot of blood supply. Getting the blood flowing to the sore area helps loosen the muscles so they don't pull on your sore tendons and ligaments as strongly, which thereby reduces your heel pain.
You should massage your foot before even getting out of bed, if possible. Use your hands to gently make circular motions in your arch, and then moving back towards your heel. Then, go over the area again, using more pressure. Go over the area a third time, applying even more pressure. Keep massaging until you can feel the tension in your heel area release.
Take NSAID Pain Relievers
Taking a dose of NSAID pain relievers first thing in the morning will help reduce your heel inflammation and pain early on so it does not keep building and getting worse. Ibuprofen will last about 4 - 6 hours. Naproxen will last between 8 and 12 hours. Naproxen is often the better choice since it lasts longer, but if you only have ibuprofen on hand, take that. Also, make sure you take the medication with a glass of water, and eat breakfast soon afterward to reduce stomach irritation.
When you get out of bed, the area should already feel a bit loosened up and limber. That makes this a good time to stretch. A simple stretch involves placing your toe against the wall, about 6 inches up, and then sinking your weight into your heel. Press your toe into the wall at the same time. You should feel the stretch through your arch and heel. Hold it for 5 seconds, pause, and then repeat.
If you do these three things in the morning, your heel pain should be more bearable. If the pain persists, contact a podiatrist group in your area, such as Atlantic Foot & Ankle Specialists.