Why Your Foot Hurts at Night – And How to Stop It

September 13, 2023
Why Your Foot Hurts at Night – And How to Stop It

Here are 8 reasons you may have nighttime foot pain, even if your feet don't hurt during the day.

Did you ever wonder why your feet sometimes hurt more at night when you're resting than they do during the day when you're on the go? If that has been your experience, you're certainly not alone. Many people have foot pain when they get into bed or while they're relaxing on the couch. In addition to pain, you may also feel tingling, burning or numbness.

Why do your feet hurt at night when you're not even on them?

There can be many reasons you experience pain and discomfort in your feet at night, including:

  • Your shoes. If you wear shoes that don't fit well or that don't have much support, it can cause painful foot conditions, such as blisters, bunions, plantar fasciitis or other foot-related issues.
  • Your weight. If you are overweight or obese, it puts extra pressure on your feet and ankles, straining your muscles, ligaments and joints. This can cause chronic pain or injury.
  • Your lifestyle. If you are on your feet a lot, whether for work or play, it can lead to overuse injuries such as heel pain, shin splints, weak ankles or stress fractures.
  • Plantar fasciitis. This common foot condition affects the band of tissue running along the bottom edge of your foot. When it becomes inflamed, it can be painful. Standing or walking for long periods of time and not wearing supportive footwear aggravates the condition.
  • Arthritis. Inflammation in your joints may be felt more at night, especially when you lie down.
  • Peripheral neuropathy. The nerves in your extremities may be damaged, especially in your legs, which causes pain, numbness and difficulty walking. Symptoms of this disorder are usually worse at night.
  • Peripheral artery disease. This is a condition in which the blood vessels in your legs are blocked or narrowed, reducing blood flow to your feet and legs. This may cause pain, numbness or difficulty walking.
  • Pregnancy. Changes to your body during pregnancy may cause your feet to swell and ache and may also lead to leg cramps at night.

What can you do to ease nighttime foot pain?

The first thing you should do if your feet often hurt at night, or at any time of day, is to see a doctor for an evaluation. Figuring out what is causing the discomfort can help you determine the best way to alleviate pain, numbness or tingling.

Other remedies that may help include:

  • Stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Practicing the RICE method (rest, ice, compression and elevation)
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medication
  • Wearing a splint
  • Wearing compression socks
  • Going for physical therapy
  • Having surgery if needed

Other tips for helping to prevent foot pain include:

  • Wearing well-fitting supportive footwear
  • Regularly performing stretching and strengthening exercises for your feet and ankles
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Staying well hydrated
  • Managing chronic health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes

Speak with a Foot and Ankle Specialist

Our dedicated musculoskeletal team is here for you at all stages of life, with the most advanced treatments and therapies available in the area. From arthritis and osteoporosis to trauma care, joint replacement and more, you can be sure that our providers are highly experienced in their chosen specialty to provide you with the best treatment available.

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Date Last Reviewed: June 16, 2023

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD

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