Morning Foot Pain


One of the most common questions when it comes to discomfort of the feet is this:

“When I get out of bed in the morning I’m experiencing morning foot pain. The first few steps that I take are very, very painful. This has been happening for the last few weeks, what could be causing this?”

Morning foot pain is one the primary symptoms of an inflammatory condition of the foot called plantar fasciitis, and the pain is usually most acute first thing in the morning when you get out of bed, though the discomfort may last throughout the day. If it isn’t properly treated symptoms can worsen, the inflammation can intensify, and the condition can become debilitating.

Although the plantar fascia runs through the arch of the foot pain is most often felt in the heel, and heel spurs may be present as well, although they do not actually cause pain themselves.

Why Do I Have Morning Foot Pain caused by Plantar Fasciitis?

One of the most common causes of morning foot pain is the wearing of flip-flops or inexpensive shoes. In fact, plantar fasciitis has often been referred to as ‘flip-flop disease’ since wearing shoes with inadequate arch a support or heel cup is a primary cause in the development of this affliction. Modifying your footwear is one of the first—and easiest—changes that a doctor or podiatrist will recommend.

If you are really devoted to your flip-flops then investing in a pair of high quality, well structured shoes may be your only option. One company, Dr Foot, makes a great line of sandals that are designed so that the orthoses are built right into the shoe. This is a great choice for people who want to wear both sandals and orthotic devices because these two things are generally not compatible.

Another issue with morning foot pain is that going without shoes is not recommended, so having a pair of orthotic sandals to slip into when you’re getting out of bed is a great solution, because frankly, no one wants to struggle with putting on socks and lacing up shoes before they’ve even had the chance to brush their teeth.

Wearing orthotic sandals from the moment you begin your day will alleviate the amount of pressure placed on your plantar fascia and will thereby reduce your morning pain.

Occupational Causes of Morning Foot Pain

How you go about your workday may be a major contributor to the development of morning foot pain. The following two conditions are primary causes of plantar fasciitis and the resulting discomfort:

• Standing for long periods of time, especially on hard surfaces such as cement floors; this is especially prevalent in people who work in retail.
• A sudden increase in physical activity

If your job requires you to stand for long periods of time having proper arch support will help to reduce discomfort and foot pain. Wearing well constructed footwear with adequate support is absolutely essential, especially as we age.

An affordable way of finding out if better arch support is sufficient enough action to reduce your morning foot pain is to try an orthotic insert. There are several different types that you can try depending on the type of shoe you are wearing:

• Regular orhtotic insoles designed for most shoes
• Orthotic insoles designed to be worn with high heels
• Orthotic insoles designed to be used with work shoes or boots
• Orthotic insoles specially constructed to alleviate heel pain

Could My Desk Job be Causing Morning Foot Pain?

As surprising as it may be, standing on your feet all day is not the only occupational hazard when it comes to morning foot pain; having a sedentary lifestyle and being even slightly overweight can both cause the calf muscles to become tight and inflexible.
Tight calf muscles are one of the most frequent causes of foot pronation, which then increases pressures on the bottom on the plantar fascia, and it may even overstretch the fascia, which then leads to inflammation and excessive thickening of these tissues. If the fascia thickens too much it can lead to diminished strength and flexibility.

Using a properly fitting orthotic device can help keep the foot in proper alignment thus alleviating discomfort and preventing the condition from progressing.

Foot Pain Caused by Physical Activity

Regular physical activity is great for our health and well-being, but it can occasionally be the source of morning foot pain as well.
Repetitive motions and constant impact with the ground in sports like tennis, volleyball, and even golf and running, can cause inflammation and tenderness in the feet, particularly in the heel and the arch. If your morning pain may be caused by repetition or over-use than choosing an orthotic device that is designed for your specific activity might be a great option for reducing your level of discomfort.

Some of the most popular orthotic devices include:

• Orthotic insoles designed for golfers
• Orthotic insoles designed for runners
• Orthotic insoles designed for general sports use

Standard orthotic inserts are affordable and easy to find at most pharmacies.

What about Custom Orthotic Insoles?

You may be wondering by people turn to custom orthotic insoles when standard insoles are widely available. The problem with standard insoles is that they are generically designed to fit as many people as possible, and thus run the risk of fitting no one perfectly!

If you find that you are not experiencing as much pain relief as you would like after wearing standard orthotics for 15-18 days you can try returning them and finding a chiropractor or podiatrist who can offer you custom insoles that can be heat melded to fit your feet more precisely. This is an extremely cost effective approach to getting customized foot orthotic that best fits your foot.

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