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Why Do My Feet Hurt When I Wake Up?

Why Do My Feet Hurt When I Wake Up?

It’s understandable if your dogs are barking after a long day. But first thing in the morning?

In reality, people often feel more aches and pains when they first wake up. It occurs because all of your soft tissues and joints can get tight when you’re not moving around, especially in your feet.

And it becomes a bigger issue when you have a specific problem, and those morning symptoms offer clues to what’s going on.

Our talented experts at Premier Foot and Ankle Center in Worcester and Webster, Massachusetts, can put the spring back in your step, even first thing in the morning. 

If your feet are bothering you when you wake up, here’s what could be causing your symptoms.

Plantar fasciitis

Do you have a sharp pain in your heel when you jump out of bed? Does it seem to go away as soon as you walk around a bit? You likely have plantar fasciitis.

This painful foot problem affects approximately 10% of the population, including 83% of working adults ages 25-65.

While your heel may be the area that hurts, the source of your symptoms actually comes from the ligament running from your heel to your toes. This tissue — the plantar fascia — supports the arch of your foot and helps absorb pressure when you walk or run.

If the plantar fascia becomes irritated or damaged, it can trigger pain and inflammation, or plantar fasciitis.

Achilles tendonitis

If your heel bothers you each morning, but the pain occurs on the back of your foot, ankle, or lower leg, it could be Achilles tendonitis.

Your Achilles tendon connects your heel bone to your calf muscles. It’s also prone to overuse injuries in runners and weekend warriors, especially those in middle age.

In many cases, Achilles tendonitis starts as a mild ache above the heel or in the back of the calf after activity. This often progresses to more severe pain after prolonged exercise.

It’s also common to have stiffness or tenderness in the morning that improves with modest activity.


When pain affects the top of your foot or ankles in the morning, the culprit could be arthritis.

There are different kinds of arthritis that can trigger foot pain, especially upon waking. 

For instance, osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage cushioning your bones starts to wear away, causing joints to rub together. This issue typically occurs from natural wear-and-tear on the body associated with age. 

But rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis develop because of inflammation.

Flat feet

Finally, another common problem of tender tootsies in the morning involves flat feet, an issue that affects 2 in 10 people.

When you have flat feet, the tendon in your foot that supports your body weight either falls or doesn’t develop. This causes instability in the foot, including pain in the arch or heel. 

Having flat feet can also aggravate other foot problems, like Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.

Finding relief for morning foot pain

These are just a few common causes of morning foot pain. 

Fortunately, our team can eliminate the guesswork so you don’t have to let the discomfort slow you down any longer.

We can get to the source of your foot issues with a comprehensive exam. Then we create a personalized treatment strategy so you can start your day ready to jump out of bed again — pain-free.

Treatment for foot pain varies based on the cause but might include:

Don’t assume that sore feet are a normal part of life. We can provide strategies that keep your dogs happy and in peak condition no matter what you have in store for them.

Contact us today at Premier Foot and Ankle Center to schedule a visit with our talented team in Worcester or Webster, Massachusetts.

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