I’ve been teaching yoga for over 15 years. Long ago, I noticed that the students in my classes would ask me some of the same questions over and over again. One of the things that they asked me frequently was ‘Why do my feet hurt in the morning?‘
For a long time, I didn’t really know what to tell them. As I learned more about yoga and participated in more trainings, I began to understand what was going on with my students’ feet.
What I also began to notice was that many of these same people had something in common. They often would tell me that they had plantar fasciitis and that it created so much pain in their feet. I’ve had my own bouts with plantar fasciitis and I can say that my students were right. It hurts!
What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the fascia in the bottom of your feet from your heels to your toes. It can cause intense pain! You know it when you have it. The pain is often worse first thing in the morning after you’ve been resting all night long but it can be intense throughout the day. You might have it on one foot or both of your feet. It can come and go but once you’ve had it, you know it.
There are 2 simple reasons why your feet hurt in the morning when you have plantar fasciitis.
Those reasons are pretty basic actually. They are the same reasons why so many injuries in your body happen. When your body is tight and/or weak, then you’re going to be prone to having injuries.
That’s just what is happening in your feet. They’re weak and they’re tight. This creates excess strain on the fascia in the bottom of your foot. When this happens you end up with inflammation and pain. Your feet hurt in the morning even more because they’ve gotten even tighter while you slept.
Really simple right. Tight and weak. Let’s look at these a bit closer.
1 – Your feet are weak
How much time do you spend in shoes?
If you’re like most people, the answer is going to be most of the time. After all, that’s what society expects of us. We’ve all seen the signs that say ‘No shirts, No shoes, No service’. If we don’t wear shoes then we can’t participate in polite society right?
I know it’s not normal nowadays to walk around barefoot, but it’s all of these shoes that are making your feet weaker.
Look at your foot. Look at all of those joints. Your feet were designed to move in many, many ways. Not be stiff and immobile.
Shoes limit all of the movement of the individual joints. When you can’t use them the way they were intended, the muscles in the foot become weaker. Your shoes provide support (sometimes helpful and sometimes not so much) and this support begins to take away from the need for your foot to perform optimally.
As your feet lose the natural strength that they were meant to have, you wear more supportive shoes. Those more supportive shoes can make your feet even weaker. It can be an endless cycle!
2 – Your feet are tight
Again, let’s think about all of those joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons in your feet. I always find it amazing that so much fits in such a small space!
I’m going to say it again. Your feet were really meant to move. When they do, all of that connective tissue in your feet (this includes the fascia) gets to move as well.
When you twist and turn your back, it gets stretched. The same can be said of your feet. All of the natural movements of your feet contribute to naturally stretching your feet. However, when you immobilize your feet in ill-fitting shoes all day long, they don’t get to move naturally anymore. This lack of movement leads to tighter fascia, ligaments, tendons and muscles.
Again, it’s an endless cycle where you wear shoes that limit the natural movement of your feet. They become less flexible from lack of natural movement & hurt more, so you then wear more shoes.
There’s good news!
You’re feet don’t have to stay tight and weak. This is what I’ve learned through all of my training.
While I can’t get rid of the need for you to wear shoes in polite society, I’ve learned so many tips and tricks on how to help your feet get stronger and more flexible again. Yes, you’ll still need to wear shoes in order to get service in most stores, but the difference is that your feet won’t be relying on those shoes quite so much. Plus, when they’re stronger and more flexible they’ll feel better too.
If you want to learn more about these tips and tricks I have a couple of resources for you to check out.
First, I created a video with some simple foot stretches for you to try. They’re easy to do and can provide almost immediate relief to a hurting foot. Check out the foot stretches here!
Second, if you want even more, then you need to check out my book Foot Yoga. It’s a simple guide to helping your feet to heal from all the past years of neglect. You don’t have to walk around with foot pain. This book will give you the knowledge of how to make your feet stronger and more flexible. You CAN help them to feel better.
Third, if you feel that you need some individual help in implementing these foot exercises, then set up a private session with me. Together, we’ll come up with a plan to help your feet feel better than they ever have before.
If your feet hurt in the morning, then they don’t have to anymore. You can take action to help them feel better.
I believe in these exercises that I’ve put together because I’ve seen them help over and over again. In fact, I’ve used them myself. More importantly, I’ve had countless students come back to me and tell me how much better they feel. Now, it’s your turn!
And, remember… it’s never too late to live healthier and happier! The best day to start changing is today.