Are you having trouble getting a great night of sleep because of foot pain? It may sometimes feel like a normal effect of your daily routine and, thus, seem unalarming. However, foot pain at night can be a symptom of several health problems that need immediate medical assistance. In some cases, these medical conditions may lead to further complications if left untreated.
So, what may be causing your foot pain at night? Here are some health conditions that may be contributing to your pain.
Tiny cracks may develop on your bones due to repetitive force and overuse. Regular movements can also cause these fractures in people with osteoporosis. This condition is known as a stress fracture, and it commonly happens in the lower leg or foot. Athletes and active military personnel are at the highest risk for this condition. However, you may also develop stress fractures with sudden increased activity at your job or in a hobby.
Initially, stress fractures have barely noticeable pain, but it worsens over time. When pain does begin, it starts mildly and gets better at rest. However, foot pain at night and during rest may occur if your condition becomes more severe.
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
Narrowed arteries in your limbs cause PAD and result in reduced blood flow in these parts. PAD is commonly due to a buildup of fatty deposits on artery walls leading to reduced blood flow (arteriosclerosis). But, in rare cases, it may also be caused by:
- Blood vessel inflammation
- Limb injuries
- Radiation exposure
Typically, symptoms may appear after certain activities like walking and climbing stairs. Cramping or weakness may accompany foot pain, and you may also feel some coldness in the affected limb. However, as your condition worsens, foot pain may occur even when you are sleeping. It may also intensify, making you feel restless at night.
When you feel these symptoms, consult with your orthopedist immediately. While it feels like a typical aging sign, PAD can put you at risk for stroke and heart attack, and should be taken seriously.
Different health problems, such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, can cause peripheral neuropathy. Nerve dysfunction or damage affecting one or more nerves characterizes this condition. The pain typically starts in your hands and feet, along with tingling and muscle weakness. Other symptoms include:
- Feet and hands weakness
- Loss of balance
- Swollen feet
- Decreased muscle tone in your hands and feet
The numbness and tingling sensation can spread upward to your arms and legs and may result in sharp, burning pain. It can also be triggered by activities that usually do not cause pain, like standing and lying under a blanket. When you start to experience these symptoms, seek immediate medical care. Early diagnosis and treatment may prevent further nerve damage and other complications like infection and skin trauma.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Tarsal tunnel syndrome is characterized by a painful, tingling sensation in the foot. Tibial nerve compression along the tarsal tunnel in your ankle causes the pain, and the compression may be due to:
- Flat feet
- Ankle sprain
- Varicose veins
- Swollen tendons
- Bone spur
- Diseases like arthritis and diabetes
Other symptoms of this condition include numbness and tingling that may worsen at night, especially after physical activity. In some cases, the burning pain does not get better with rest and may even disrupt your sleep.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder commonly confused with arthritis because it affects joints and muscles. Its exact cause is unknown, but some researchers think that the central nervous system has a problem processing pain. The main symptom is widespread pain in multiple body parts, including the head, arms, abdomen, spine, legs, and feet.
In some cases, affected people only experience pain at night that gets better in the morning. Others feel pain all day long. It may also worsen with physical activity, anxiety, stress, and during cold or damp weather. Because pain can worsen at night, those with fibromyalgia also report sleeping problems and fatigue.
Foot Pain Diagnosis And Treatment in Dover, NJ
Some people may easily dismiss foot pain at night as merely the result of a whole day’s activity. But recurring pain that does not get better with rest is a call for concern. Some medical problems that cause this symptom can worsen and lead to more severe complications if left untreated.
Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons at Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey can help diagnose and treat the cause of your foot pain. They are also highly trained and well-experienced in dealing with orthopedic problems. You may consult with them in our clinic in Dover, New Jersey, or contact us for your inquiries at (973) 989-0888. You may also use our secure and convenient online portal for appointment schedules.
We look forward to helping you become pain-free and get a good night’s rest once again!