Why Do My Feet Hurt When I Wake up in the Morning?

When you rest your feet are most relaxed. The soft tissues tighten in this relaxed position. When you start to move again, and in the morning it’s often very suddenly, these tissues need time to stretch and get moving again. It’s like starting to exercise without a proper warm up. The complaint of morning pain or pain after rest is most common in plantar fasciitis, arthritis, and tendinitis.

Table of Contents

5 Stretches To Relieve Your Morning Foot Pain

It’s actually very easy to improve…you don’t have to wake up another morning in pain! We have a few stretches you can try before getting out of bed in the morning. If you have no improvement doing these every morning then it may be time to schedule your appointment with one of our doctors.

Foot Extension

Foot Extension StretchIf you have heel pain, perform this stretch as you wake up and place your feet on the floor. This can also be performed while sitting in the office or on the couch.

  • Sit on a chair and place your ankle over the opposite knee.
  • Grip toes and gently pull them back towards the knee, while holding the ankle to prevent it from moving.
  • Feel the stretch in the sole of the foot all the way to the heel.
  • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat three times for each foot.

Towel Stretch

Towel Foot StretchSit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. Loop a towel around the top of the injured foot. Slowly pull the towel towards to keeping your body straight. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds then relax – repeat 10 times.

Heel and Achilles Tendon Stretch

  • Heel-and-Achilles-Tendon-StretchWhen out for a walk, find a wall to lean against. Even a tree will do.
  • Stand an arm’s length from the wall.
  • Place the leg to be stretched about 12-18 inches behind you.
  • Keep your toes pointed forward and slightly inward.
  • Bend your arms and gradually lean towards the wall.
  • Make sure your leg is straight and the heel of your back leg is pressed to the floor.
  • Feel the stretch in the calf and heel of the back leg.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds and return to starting position.
  • Repeat three times for each leg.

Heel Drop

Loose calf muscles will help prevent Achilles tendonitis and take some of the burden away from your shins as you bring your trailing leg forward when running. Stand on a curb or step and drop your heels just to the point of discomfort and relax your calves. Your heels will move closer to the ground as your calves stretch. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds each side. Your calves, Achilles tendon and shins will thank you for this stretch.

Frozen TheraBand Foot Roller

Roll your bare injured foot back and forth from the tip of the toes to the heel over frozen TheraBand foot roller for 10 minutes. This is a good exercise after activity because not only stretches the plantar fascia but provides cold therapy to the injured area. If you do not have a foot roller, use a frozen water bottle or can of juice concentrate.

*For maximum results apply Biofreeze before stretching

We also have a few favorite products to help combat plantar fasciitis, arthritis and tendinitis:

  • Spencos Total Support Sandals (we recommend these as your daily sandal or “house shoes”)
  • Powersteps over-the-counter orthotics
  • Biofreeze topical pain relieving gel

These products are available for purchase in our office without an appointment. If you feel you need an appointment with one of our doctors you can call our office.

Here is a printable PDF document of these stretches.

Meet Weil Foot & Ankle Institute

Weil Foot & Ankle Institute was founded in 1965, by Dr. Lowell Weil Sr, who was inspired by a need to progress the Foot & Ankle Care category into the future through innovation. As one of the first Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), Dr. Weil…

By: Weil Foot & Ankle Institute, Published: Jan 22nd, 2022
Review By: Kristin Abruscato DPT – Jan 19th, 2023