Foot pain is a very common ailment of the foot, let alone the entire body. People develop foot pain for various reasons, though they usually develop foot pain when they hurt their foot in some way.
Stress and overuse often causes the feet to wear down over time. That often leads to various degrees of foot pain.
While some foot pain is known to manifest in the entire foot, most instances of foot pain are isolated to one part of the foot that’s usually tender to the touch.
Foot pain typically originates from injuries. But, if you have severe foot pain, it may be a fault of the structure of your feet, rather than a mere injury.
And, sometimes, the structure of your feet wear down enough to make you feel mild to severe pain in the morning. But, where does this pain come from?
Why You Might Feel Foot Pain In The Morning
Are you one of millions of people who experience foot pain in the morning? You probably are.
Foot pain in the morning typically occurs as soon as you get out of the bed, and place your foot or feet on the floor.
It’s usually the pressure of the weight shifting on the foot that causes that foot pain to return.
Sometimes, this pain is mild, though some people experience unbearable foot pain in the morning.
Even though morning foot pain seems like an oddly specific condition, it’s commonly associated with a foot-related condition best known as plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is a type of condition that causes persistent and, sometimes chronic foot pain.
This condition is best characterized by persistent and localized pain in the heel that eventually spreads to the entire foot.
And, it’s also characterized by the onset of ‘morning foot pain’ when you wake up in the morning.
Foot Pain In The Morning ~ Behind Plantar Fasciitis
If you have persistent heel pain in the morning, you might have plantar fasciitis, though it’s best to check with your doctor to see if you do or not.
Plantar fasciitis is a condition that affects the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a flat band of tissue or ligament that links the heel bones to the toes, while supporting the arch of the foot.
This thick, fibrous band of tissue runs from underneath the heel and all the way to the front of the foot, where the toes reside.
Plantar fasciitis was believed to be a type of inflammatory condition, but that was debunked, since no inflammatory cells are known to exist in the fascia.
The actual cause of pain originates from the degeneration of collagen fibers that reside close to where the plantar fascia attaches to the heel bone.
The Symptoms Of Plantar Fasciitis
The condition known as plantar fasciitis is best known for its characteristic heel pain, specifically the heel pain that occurs after getting out of bed in the early morning hours. It also occurs after sitting for prolonged periods of time.
Many people with plantar fasciitis often feel similar symptoms, but the symptoms themselves manifest in different ways, depending on the person.
The most common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:
- Stiffness and pain in the foot during morning hours, particularly when you get out of bed.
- Stiffness and pain that subsides after morning hours, but worsens as the day progresses.
- Pain that builds after standing for long periods of time.
- Pain that occurs at the start of exercise, but gets better or goes away after the exercise is completed.
Sometimes, the symptoms of plantar fasciitis get confused with symptoms from other similar conditions, such as arthritis or other nerve-related problems like tarsal tunnel syndrome.
The symptoms of plantar fasciitis generally manifest over a period of time. The pain that manifests underneath the heel often radiates into the rest of the foot.
In most cases, people with the condition feel tenderness on the inside and underneath their foot.
This pain feels ‘worse’ in the morning, and sometimes returns during other parts of the day when you engage in heavy activity like exercise.
Even stretching the part of the foot where the plantar fascia resides makes the pain worsen.
The Causes Of Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis can happen when the plantar fascia becomes strained, and then later inflamed, weakened and swollen.
This causes the heel and the rest of the foot to hurt if you stand or walk around. This condition typically develops in middle-aged people, though active younger people are known to develop this condition, too. It usually occurs in one foot or both feet.
Plantar fasciitis has one known cause: the excessive straining of the ligament that supports the foot’s arch. Continuous strain causes the thick ligament to tear and wear down over time, causing it to develop inflammation and, subsequently, pain.
Some of the most common causes of that characteristic degradation include:
- Excessive pronation, which occurs when the feet roll inward too much when walking
- Having high foot arches or flat feet
- Walking, standing or running for prolonged periods of time, especially on too soft or too hard surfaces
- Wearing poorly fitting or worn down shoes
- Having a high Achilles tendon or calf muscles
Putting pressure directly on the heel causes the symptoms to worsen. The symptoms seem to worsen in the morning, since the person who gets out of bed has been resting their feet for a long period of time.
While the pain is known to subside well after the morning, it often returns if they stand around for long periods of time.
Foot Pain In The Morning ~ Managing Your Symptoms
Besides plantar fasciitis, other conditions are known to cause foot pain in the morning. Foot pain in the heel can be caused by bruising, stress fractures or the aforementioned tarsal tunnel syndrome, a condition where the foot’s largest nerve becomes more or less sprained.
If you’re experiencing foot pain in the morning, it’s advised to seek medical attention, so you can understand what treatment options to use in order to subside or completely eliminate your pain.