If you experience foot pain in the morning, you’re not alone. More than a few patients have come into my office asking why their feet tend to hurt when they take their first steps out of bed each morning. So why does this occur, and what foot condition is in play? Today, we explain why your feet may hurt in the morning.
When you wake up in the morning, it takes a little bit for your body to get adjusted, and your feet are no different. After a long night’s rest, your foot muscles and ligaments are generally tight and contracted, and they need to be stretched. Now, you can try to stretch your foot muscles while you’re in bed, but most people simply start their day and let their feet stretch as they walk. The pain you feel when you step are your tightened muscles and ligaments expanding from a contracted, rested position.
Now you’re probably thinking, “my body shouldn’t hurt just because I’m moving after being sedentary for a while,” and you’re right. There’s still an underlying condition causing the pain. More often then not, when you experience pain in your foot during your first steps of the morning or after sitting for a while, it’s because you are dealing with plantar fasciitis in your foot.
Plantar fasciitis is a condition caused by inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs from the bottom of your feet and connects your heel to your toes. Many people with plantar fasciitis complain of pain in their heel during their first steps after a restful period.
Thankfully, plantar fasciitis can be treated with a few non-invasive modifications. Since plantar fasciitis is categorized by tissue inflammation, it makes sense that one course of treatment involves anti-inflammatory medications. Aside from pills, a foot specialist will likely recommend wearing a shoe with extra padding in the heel or custom orthotic insoles. Plantar fasciitis symptoms are also controlled by eating a healthy diet and regular exercise, which can help you lose weight and decrease the load on your feet.
If you have foot pain in the morning, don’t just tolerate it. You may be dealing with plantar fasciitis, or another condition altogether, but you’ll never know unless you visit an expert.