Ouch! Why does my foot hurt in the morning?

Posted on May 17th, 2016

It could be because you have plantar fasciitis – an inflammatory condition of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is a very common condition that affects many people yearly. Generally only one foot is affected, however it can affect both. Research has shown that approximately 1 in 10 people will develop plantar fasciitis in their life. Plantar fasciitis is more common in young male athletes and middle aged obese females. It can be a very painful condition, however your physiotherapist will provide you with advice and education on how to manage and treat your condition.

The plantar fascia is a band of connective tissue that originates from the bottom of your heel and extends out towards your toes. The plantar fascia is made up of three segments and plays an important role in foot biomechanics. It provides support for the arch and also assists in shock absorption. It also helps to stabilise the foot and to reduce the tension on the ligaments and the neural structures of the foot.

Features:
• Gradual onset of pain
• Generally worse in the morning and decreases with movement
• Can ache after weight bearing activities e.g. walking
• Can become present during weight bearing if the condition has worsened

Your physiotherapist will assess your gait pattern, palpate the joints and muscles of the foot, and will assess your ability to control the muscles of the lower limb with a biomechanical assessment. This will enable us to determine if there is a weakness in any of the supporting muscles of the foot and ankle. From your assessment, your physiotherapist will be able to provide treatment and recommend a home exercise program tailored specifically for you.

Reference:
Brukner, Peter., & Khan, Karim. (2012). Clinical Sports Medicine. NSW, Australia: McGraw –Hill Australia