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5 Reasons You May be Experiencing Foot Pain in the Morning

Last updated: Dec 18, 2022 Post in Podiatry in Brooklyn by Century Medical & Dental Clinic.

Intense, throbbing, or stabbing pain as you get up is not the best way to wake up in the morning and start your day. If you dread getting out of the bed due to foot or heel pain that affects your normal routine, it is time to get it checked by a podiatrist. Consult an experienced and board-certified doctor at the Century Medical and Dental Center to have your condition diagnosed and get expert advice on why you are suffering this pain. The top-rated doctors provide a full range of medical procedures and treatments to prevent the foot pain from slowing you down and causing significant discomfort.

If your feet hurt in the morning or after sitting for long periods, it is a sign that something is wrong somewhere. The frequent, excruciating pain that leaves you unable to do anything requires immediate medical attention.

By knowing why your feet stiffen up uncomfortably and make it so difficult to move, you can take the right steps to keep them flexible and pain-free.

Listed here are some common causes of foot pain in the early hours after you get up.

Plantar Fasciitis

This painful condition is highly likely the source of your foot pain if it strikes immediately as you get out of the bed. It is more common among runners and athletes due to the stress on their feet and heels. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia ligament that connects your toes to your heels becomes painfully inflamed or irritated. It causes considerable stabbing pain around the heel when you wake up and take the first step of the day. It can cause pain at other times too, but most people suffering from it report its peak first thing as the day begins.

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis are more notable right after waking because the blood supply to the heel area and foot is reduced when you are asleep. If you have plantar fasciitis, a few minutes of walking can help to warm up and relieve the pain as you go about and resume activity.

Doctors usually recommend anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the swelling and alleviate the pain. The pain can be managed by rolling the painful area with a tennis ball along the arch, the bottom of the feet, or stretching the feet to restore blood circulation. Using shoes that properly support the foot arch can also help with the pain.
Plantar Fasciitis


If you notice your feet are painfully stiff and the soles of your feet are so tender that you cannot walk on them after walking up, rheumatoid arthritis may be the reason behind it. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder that can cause joint pain and even deformity. With arthritis, the body fights against itself, attacking the fluid within the lining of the joints and the joints themselves, which leads to inflammation and pain.

This condition usually affects the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joints, which can cause an eventual shift in the toes. It can also cause pain on the ball of the foot and affect the talonavicular and ankle joints. It results in inflammation, swelling, and pain in the wrists, hands, and feet. Other types of arthritis can result in foot pain that is at its peak in the early hours of the day. Osteoarthritis is the most common form, which is also called wear and tear arthritis due to its degenerative and age-related problems.

There are no treatments to cure arthritis, especially RA, but there are measures to limit the symptoms and slow its effects. Doctors often recommend anti-inflammatory medications, arch supports, and braces to provide relief and reduce its severity.

Flat Feet

Also known as a fallen arch, it is a condition in which the foot has an arch that is lower than usual or has no arch at all. The arches on the inside of the feet are flattened, allowing the entire soles of the feet to touch the floor when you stand up, instead of just the heel and front pad of the foot.

It is a common condition that occurs when the arches are not developed during childhood. In some cases, flat feet develop after an injury or some wear and tear and stresses of age.

Flat feet often contribute to problems in ankles and knees as it alters the alignment of the legs. It might not cause pain in itself, but it can lead to painful swelling in the arch and heel. The pain comes from the lack of support for the ligament and foot muscles that cause strain. Foot pain caused by flat feet requires medical attention. The doctor may recommend therapy, stretches, and proper footwear to mitigate your pain.

Bone Spurs

Bone spurs, also called osteophytes, are smooth, hard bumps of extra bone that form on the edges of the bones. They are an abnormal growth of bone and often pop up in the joints, the places where two bones meet. These bone spurs rub against other bones or press on nerves and tissues, resulting in pain and stiffness.

The primary cause of bone spurs is the joint damage associated with osteoarthritis. When you have a bone spur in your foot, it is often located in the heel area and causes intense pain, particularly first thing after you get up. Bone spurs may also form after an injury to a joint or tendon. When the body thinks a bone is damaged, it tries to fix it by adding bone to the injured area.

Most people who suffer bone or heel spur are more likely to experience plantar fasciitis as it is a by-product of the condition. Proper screening and imaging are required to accurately diagnose the reasons behind this pain.

Ill-Fitting Shoes

Ill-fitting shoes may be one of the reasons you experience foot pain first thing as you step down from the bed. You should always wear shoes that fit perfectly and provide adequate arch support, especially if you already have a food condition that requires the use of special footwear.

According to health experts, many foot pains and disorders are directly related to incorrect choice of footwear that can further aggravate the problems if not addressed in time. Most of the people diagnosed with foot-related issues are found to be wearing badly fitting shoes.

How to Prevent Foot Pain – What to Do?

There are a variety of treatments, including therapeutic remedies that prevent the need for more invasive procedures and help you get back on your feet as quickly as possible.

The foot experts recommend the following steps to prevent foot or heel pain:

  • Strive to maintain a healthy weight to avoid putting additional stress on the foot and heel area
  • Work towards a healthier lifestyle that includes a physical activity to keep your body active
  • Wear sturdy, supportive footwear that is comfortable
  • Avoid wearing high heeled shoes, especially on rough terrain or for long walks
  • Try low impact activities such as cycling and swimming for better blood flow
  • Learn stretching as it can help your muscles and joints

Without proper treatment, you risk developing heel spurs or chronic heel pain. With time, this pain can even change the way you move, leading to further pain or impairment in other parts of your feet, back, or hips.

If you are experiencing pain as you take your first steps, it is time to get yourself checked by a doctor. Do not wait until the pain is severe and it limits your movements. The expert foot doctors at the Century Medical & Dental Center help you walk, run and live a pain-free life with the most effective treatment and preventative options. Timely diagnosis and treatment can prevent complete dysfunction and help you heal over time, and get back to the activities you enjoy with your loved ones. The top podiatrist will determine why your feet are so painful in the morning and recommend the best therapies to manage your condition and control its progress.

SHARE THIS POST Page Updated on Dec 18, 2022 by Dr. Dvorkina (Primary Care Doctor) of Century Medical & Dental Center
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