Fighting Plantar Fascitis


Ever get that pain in your arches – to the point where it hurts when you get out of bed in the morning? I have fallen to my knees in agony, praying for an answer to fix my pain.

Here is my story and what worked for me…

First, I had to understand what was causing it. My culprits: 1) how I was sleeping, 2) shoes I was wearing to workout

Changing my shoes was easy – I was able to rationalize the investment without hesitation. Changing my sleeping position on the other hand was no easy feat.

I was sleeping on my stomach. I knew this was bad for my back, but I was only motivated to consider shifting to my back when it started affecting my feet. My feet were forced into a point while I slept for 6-8 hours. When our feet are flexed (called dorsiflexion) we get length and stretch to our muscles and fascia in our arches, but the point position (called plantar flexion) causes them to shorten up. Getting out of bed with that initial stretch was still resulting in sharp pain and I needed a solution that was bigger than a change in my shoes.

Now, how I sleep is a big deal to me. If I didn’t sleep well, I would get sick and when I got sick I would get behind with everything. I actually tried staying on my stomach and sticking my feet out off the end of the bed first. That actually worked! My pain lessened considerably. Eventually I decided to help my back out – I bit the bullet and tried to sleep on my back. It took some time, but eventually I became a back sleeper. I placed pillows on either side of me & they helped to train me to stay put & not flip while I slept. My feet and back were so relieved!

Winter came and darn it my feet were bothering me again? Then I realized – it was because of all the heavy quilts I was using, forcing my foot into that plantar flexion while I slept. Gah! My solution: comfy sleep socks so that I could stick my feet out from under the heavy covers and let my feet have their freedom.

All was good until I joined forces with a sleeper who prefers tightly tucked sheets. Oh boy. That was not gonna work for me and my side with my feet. I freed both the sheets and my feet and have solved my arch pain without expensive orthotics. Thank goodness!

If you are suffering from some of the same symptoms, it may be worth a try to change your sleeping habits.