10 Causes of Foot Pain at Night - Brace Direct

10 Causes of Foot Pain at Night

Did you know approximately 1 in 5 people experience foot pain? Foot pain can make walking, running, and even standing difficult. Injuries, arthritis, and nerve problems can all lead to foot pain.

There are many types of foot pain, but one of the most common is heel pain. This pain is common among runners but can affect anyone.

Keep reading to learn more about the causes of foot pain at night.

10 Causes of Foot Pain at Night

Many doctors and healthcare professionals believe that nighttime foot pain is a normal part of aging. However, nighttime foot pain is a common complaint among many young people. 

Here are the ten most common causes of foot pain at night.

1. Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common conditions leading to foot pain. It is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue on the bottom of your feet. The tissue connects your toes and your heel bone. 

Plantar fasciitis is often caused by overuse of this tissue, and it can be very frustrating to deal with as it does not seem to go away. A common reason for plantar fasciitis is repetitive stress injury (RSI). 

RSI is when you repeat specific movements or postures over time that put a strain on an area of muscle or connective tissue. For example, if you have trouble standing up straight all day long, eventually, this may lead to overuse injuries like plantar fasciitis.

Treating this condition can quickly mitigate severe foot pain. You can use a Brace Direct Plantar Fasciitis Posterior Night Splint to improve good leg positioning. The device can enhance faster healing of the stress injury and solve your foot pain problem. 


2. Morton's Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a disorder that causes painful nerve swelling at the base of the big toe. The condition is more common in adults than children, and most cases occur in people over 50 years. Morton's neuroma occurs when the big toe becomes inflamed and swollen. 

Inflammation can lead to problems with balance, walking, and even sensation within your foot. Morton's neuroma is a hereditary disease that appears to run in families. Medical experts explain that if one of your parents or siblings has it, you may have an increased risk of developing this condition. 

Morton's neuroma develops slowly over time without any symptoms until it reaches its full size, which can take months or years before symptoms become apparent.

3. Pregnancy

pregnant woman touching belly

Pregnancy is a time of change and growth for your body, especially your feet. During pregnancy, the ligaments supporting your feet stretch and relax. Extra weight stresses the ligaments, leading to problems like plantar fasciitis or heel spurs. If you are already experiencing foot pain pregnancy will exacerbate it. 

Due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, you can experience foot pain during the day, but it tends to be more acute at night when you sleep. The pain becomes frustrating as your body tries to rest and heal from the day's activities. 

4. Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia causes pain and inflammation in your body's muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments. It often affects people who are in their 50s or 60s. 

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease that can take a long time to develop. After development, the pain can be mild or severe and usually lasts more than three months.

When treating this condition, your doctor may use an imaging test called an MRI scan. The test uses magnets that produce images of your organs on a computer screen.

The images can showcase any signs of fibromyalgia that necessitates proper diagnosis. Doctors can also use tests like X-rays or blood tests to diagnose fibromyalgia.

5. Sciatica

feet on a bed with slippers

Sciatica is a condition that causes pain in the lower back, hips, and legs. The pain is caused by a problem with the sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in the body. Sciatica can be caused by a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, pregnancy, and other conditions.

The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back down the back of your leg. It can be compressed by a herniated disc, pinched by a tumor, or pulled taut by a muscle spasm. The sciatic nerve carries motor information to muscles in your legs. 

When it becomes irritated, pain occurs in the inner thigh, just above where the nerve exits your body. The pain can radiate down into the foot, ankle, or calf.

If you have sciatica caused by a herniated disc, your symptoms may start at night when you lie down and worsen as you get up in the morning. The pain increases because lying down adds pressure on the disc, causing it to bulge through a tear in the outer sheath of the skin surrounding it. 

Standing up again causes further irritation to the nerve, which travels along its length into the legs.

6. Diabetes

Did you know that more than 463 million individuals in the world population have diabetes? Diabetes strains your feet, making them work harder to maintain balance and control blood sugar. The extra stress puts pressure on nerves in your feet, which affects the small muscles responsible for walking, running, and jumping. 

Straining these muscles can lead to severe foot pain, mostly at night. If you have preexisting foot pain diabetes will intensify the pain. Talk to your doctor to help prevent your foot problems from worsening. You can also try wearing socks with lower heels and thicker socks for support at night.

7. Lifestyle Habits

bare feet walking on green grass

Your feet are involved in numerous movements during your active hours of the day and require resting at night. These movements include walking, standing on your feet, and sleeping. 

Some life habits such as walking long distances, standing for long hours, lifting heavy weights, and having low levels of sleep can facilitate foot pain at night.

You can regulate your day’s activities from demanding too much engagement of your feet. Reducing movements will translate to less muscle stress, ensuring your foot muscles have enough rest when you nap at night.  

8. Peripheral Neuropathy

The peripheral neuropathy nerve to your foot comprises many parts that can become damaged over time. Damaging these parts leads to an interruption in the flow of information between the brain and your foot. 

Miscalculated transfer of information can cause you to experience pain or numbness in your feet.

Peripheral neuropathy symptoms can be mild or severe, depending on the extent of damage to your nerve. Typically, the symptoms are felt on one side of your lower leg but can also be felt in other areas. 

There is usually no swelling or redness associated with peripheral neuropathy; however, discoloration or pressure can occur if nerves are compressed by something like a bunion or hammertoe deformity.

9. Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy

Reflex sympathetic dystrophy is a condition that causes pain and swelling in the feet, hands, arms, and legs. It's caused by nerve damage and can affect anyone regardless of age or sex. Reflex sympathetic dystrophy is an autoimmune disorder that causes the body to attack itself.

The attack usually starts with inflammation of the nerves that run through your feet and hands. Inflammation of your feet and hands is mostly noticed at night after a long day at work. 

The inflammation increases pain signals sent to your brain, which can cause symptoms such as burning pain in your skin, numbness, and tingling, muscle weakness, or cramping in your arms and legs. 

10. Arthritis

older woman rubbing her foot

Arthritis is a common cause of foot pain. There are many different types of arthritis, but the most common type is osteoarthritis. It is a degenerative disease that causes the cartilage in the joints to break down, leading to pain, swelling, and stiffness.

Arthritis can cause pain in the heel, arch, and ball of the foot. The pain is usually worse at night or in the morning. It can make walking or standing difficult. Treatment for arthritis includes pain relief medication, physical therapy, and surgery.

Foot Anatomy

Foot anatomy is a very important factor in understanding foot pain. The foot is divided into five regions: the heel, midfoot, arches, ball, and toes. Each region has its unique function and structure.

The heel is the part of your foot that supports most of your body weight. It's also where you connect with the rest of your body through your ankle joint. The midfoot contains essential muscles that help you walk and run and support your arch when standing or walking. 

The arches are located directly behind your toes and connect to the arch. The metatarsal head connects with the toes at their bases while still attached to their bones; this area also includes the metatarsal bones. Finally, the toes themselves include all five digits.

The foot parts work in coordination with each other and will fail upon injuring any of the parts. Straining any of the foot anatomy parts, you can experience foot pains. You should take care of your foot regularly to mitigate foot pain during the night.

How To Prevent Foot Pain at Night

Foot pain at night can be very frustrating. With the different natures and causes of foot pain, it can be challenging to diagnose the problem. However, you can take specific approaches to prevent the illness. Here are some of the measures you can use to prevent foot pain:

Wear Comfortable Shoes

woman in sneakers walking close up of feet

Shoes that are too tight or have high heels can cause foot pain. Wearing shoes that are comfortable and fit well can help prevent foot pain.

Also, at night, avoid wearing constricting shoes or high heels. Instead, opt for a pair of flats or sandals. Such shoes will not only be more comfortable but will also allow your feet to breathe.

When sleeping, if you must wear socks, try an extra-thick pair or one with a thick lining that provides warmth and support around the instep area of your foot. The instep area is where most people experience pain when they wake up during the night. 

Supporting this area can reduce the chances of getting foot pain during the night.

Get Up and Walk Around

Exercising your leg muscles might be the trick. You can easily stretch the numb muscles cramped up when you walk around. The cramped muscles are the major causes of foot pain. You have to walk on flat sandals or barefoot to reduce extra straining of the leg muscles.

If you are overweight, losing weight can also help reduce foot pain. Excess weight can put pressure on the feet and lead to pain.

Get Enough Rest

If you are constantly on your feet during the day, you may be more likely to experience foot pain at night. Getting enough rest can help reduce foot pain.

Try to elevate your feet when you are resting or sleeping. This can help reduce swelling and pain in the feet.

If you exercise regularly, ensure to warm up before and cool down after your workout. Avoid overstraining your muscles, as this can lead to pain. After a long session of exercise, give your feet a rest.

Poor sleep quality can also make your foot pain worse. You must get enough sleep every night to avoid this condition. A good rule of thumb is to go to bed by 10 pm, wake up by 8 am, and get 7 hours of sleep every night. 

Try Some Home Remedies

feet soaking in a tub of water

Several home remedies can help reduce foot pain at night. Soaking your feet in warm water for 20 minutes can help reduce pain and swelling.

You can also massage your feet with a mixture of one part vinegar and two parts olive oil. The mixture can help reduce pain and stiffness in the feet. It can also help improve circulation.

Other remedies like ice packs, heating pads, and stretching exercises can help reduce foot pain at night.

Proper Hydration

You are required to take about 6 cups of water a day. Medical experts advise that this amount of water intake can facilitate your body being fully hydrated and avoid dehydration at any particular time. 

Dehydration is the body's inability to retain water, which leads to poor circulation and swelling. Reduced water levels in the body can cause your feet to swell, which may cause you to wake up with foot pain or numbness.

Get Early Medical Assistance

Consulting a doctor in the early stages of your pain can solve your foot pain problem. The doctor can assess your condition and give a likely treatment. Taking early treatment for foot pain can reduce the risks of severe conditions.

Final Word

Now that you know the causes of foot pain at night, it's time to take action. If you are experiencing any of these conditions, consult a doctor immediately.

You can also implement preventive measures to avoid foot pain at night. Wearing comfortable shoes, stretching your muscles, and maintaining proper hydration can help reduce the chances of experiencing foot pain at night.

We hope this article was helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please share them in the comment section or contact us.