Let’s be real, many of us dread waking up early in the morning. Likewise, ongoing foot pain that flares up in the morning can make this even more difficult. You may not want to leave bed at all when it’s something you’ve been tolerating for a while. You may notice pain as early as when you get out of bed and take your first steps, or during your early morning commute. Foot pain can be worse in the mornings because of low blood circulation to your legs and feet when your body is at rest. Additionally, foot pain that is worse in the morning can be caused by several foot conditions and lifestyle factors. We will cover some of those in this article, and also look to brighten your mornings by suggesting ways you can take action!
Conditions that Cause Morning Foot Pain
Common foot conditions often feel worse in the morning, and you may be experiencing symptoms of:
Pain associated with plantar fasciitis is often worse in the mornings and mainly affects the heel of the foot. The plantar fascia ligament is one of the driving forces behind your foot functionality, as the tissue connects your toes to the bone of the heel. If you have plantar fasciitis, this means that the ligament is inflamed as a result of too much pressure and overuse. Web MD states that women in their 40s-60s with flat feet or high arches, and who spend most of the day on their feet, are at a higher risk for developing plantar fasciitis. Wearing bad shoes that are ill-fitting or uncomfortable, or being overweight, can also be risk factors.
So, why is the pain worse in the morning? We’ve touched briefly on how our body is at rest during sleep and not functioning in the same way as when we are awake. The plantar fascia ligament is no exception, and it actually tightens while we are asleep, making the pain feel worse first thing in the morning.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment and Prevention
If you think you may have plantar fasciitis, you can see a qualified Foot Specialist. They will help you by creating a treatment plan that tackles the issue and improves your quality of life. They may recommend a pair of high quality and long-lasting Custom Orthotics, which will help diminish foot pain. If your plantar fasciitis is particularly bothersome in the mornings, you can incorporate Foot stretching and exercises into your morning routine. The key is to stretch the plantar fascia while massaging the bottom of your feet to minimize pain throughout the day. You should also do this in the evenings, so before and after rest. It may seem strange at first, but you can also put on a pair of comfortable shoes as soon as you wake up. Wearing shoes inside your home all morning can help ease foot pain.
Another condition caused by tissue inflammation is Achilles tendinitis, a foot condition that affects the Achilles tendon. Classified as pain just above the heel of the foot, Achilles tendinitis is caused by consistent, rigorous exercise, such as running or walking. While you sleep, there is very little blood circulation to your Achilles tendon. The pain is often worse in the morning as your feet and legs adjust after resting.
Achilles Tendinitis Treatment and Prevention
There are many ways to tend to Achilles tendinitis from home. You can rest with your foot elevated and avoid physical activity for a few days. If your condition gradually improves, you should stretch your calves daily to avoid flare-ups. Likewise, don’t exert yourself too much and slowly ease yourself into your next exercise routine. You can include lower impact activities, such as swimming, into your regimen. Sometimes at-home remedies can only go so far, and if the condition worsens you should see a qualified foot specialist who will provide Foot pain treatment.
If the morning foot pain you’re experiencing feels stiff and lasts for about 30 minutes, it’s possible you may have osteoarthritis in your feet. Your feet are comprised of several joints, and the cartilage in these joints may deteriorate over time and become inflamed. While most people experience arthritis after age 40, it is possible to have early onset osteoarthritis if the joints in your feet are particularly strained. There are direct and indirect causes of osteoarthritis in the feet, which include:
- General wear and tear (being on your feet all day)
- Impact with an heavy object
- Flat foot mechanics
- High arch mechanics
Osteoarthritis Treatment and Prevention
Over-the-counter pain medication can certainly help you, such as ibuprofen and Tylenol. You may also notice painful Bunions, which can coincide with osteoarthritis. Well-fitted shoes can help with these, and are also an absolute must in reducing foot pain and the dreaded morning stiffness. Those, along with custom orthotics, will help improve your quality of life and reduce pain. Despite these options, osteoarthritis can be concerning and difficult to deal with on your own, so you may want to ensure you’re tackling the problem correctly by seeing a Foot Specialist.
Everyday Lifestyle Factors That Contribute to Morning Foot Pain
- Wearing uncomfortable shoes — you don’t have to choose between fashion and foot heath, there are Fashionable shoe brands that keep both in mind.
- Working/standing on your feet all day
- Wearing ill-fitting footwear while exercising
- Aging — be sure to practice consistent self care!
- Overexertion without stretching your feet
- Weight gain — it’s important to maintain a healthy weight for various reasons, and foot health is no exception. Weight gain can cause excessive pressure on your feet and ankles.
At the end of the day, we are all responsible for our own foot health. You can be mindful about your daily activities and try your best to prevent the onset of foot conditions.
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