Foot Pain in the Morning

Why Do the Balls of My Feet Hurt in the Morning?

Sharp and achy pains in the bottom of the foot early in the morning are signs of possible inflammation or arthritis. A common diagnosis related to these symptoms is plantar fasciitis, which is an overuse injury of the band of ligament that connects your heel to your toes and supports the arch of your foot.  When you sleep at night, your feet are in a relaxed or plantarflexed position.  This position causes the plantar fascia to shorten while you sleep.  When you first step on your foot it hurts because the tendon is tight!  Please watch this video by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Turner Vosseller on why you should not wait to see a doctor if you have foot pain.

Foot highlighted red to show pain in the bottom of the foot. JOI RehabPatient Holding Foot in Pain

Why do the Balls of My Feet Hurt? Is it my Plantar Fascia? 

Common causes of developing plantar fasciitis include daily activities that require prolonged standing or walking which can cause repetitive strain to the ligament, poor footwear, and tight muscles, and or excessive pronation - which is the inward roll of your foot with walking. Each of these causes can be treated and may provide you with the relief you need to get rid of the discomfort early in the morning. If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of plantar fasciitis, which include foot pain in the morning, click here to read more or watch this VIDEO.

x-Ray image showing the bones on the foot suffering from pain at the bottom of foot. JOI RehabBall of Foot Sore

Treatment of Foot Pain and Pain in Arches in the Morning

Orthotics can provide you with sufficient arch support if you have flat feet or can help prevent excessive pronation when you walk. Stretching of proper muscles which include gastrocnemius/soleus can reduce stress through the foot in weight-bearing positions and can reduce foot pain in the morning. Depending on how long you may have been experiencing these symptoms whether it is a chronic issue or acute can determine the length of recovery. 

Exercises for When Ball of Foot Sore

A few excellent ways of helping deal with foot pain in the morning are by performing these specific exercises: towel/sitting/kneeling stretches or rolling a frozen water bottle or ball underneath the foot which helps reduce ligament restriction/tightness and increase circulation to the involved areas. Changing or modifying how you perform certain activities can help result in a speedier recovery process; if you begin to experience discomfort or irritation in the foot make sure you stop that activity before you exacerbate your symptoms. Wearing a stretching sock or night splint may also help while you are sleeping.  Stretching your calf is definitely recommended to increase flexibility and the shortening of the plantar fascia.  

Calf Stretch for Plantar Fasciitis also known as bottom of foot pain. JOI RehabCalf Stretch for Foot Pain in the Morning.

If you are experiencing foot pain in the morning that you can pinpoint the pain to the heel area of your foot, be sure to read more here about heel pain.  You may also want to read about home remedies for foot pain. JOI Rehab clinicians can also help with sesamoiditis treatment and Achilles tendonitis. 

How do you Relieve Foot Pain Symptoms?

Here are some options to help relieve pain in the ball of the foot.

  • Ice
  • Looser shoes
  • Pads or inserts under the balls or the foot
  • Stretching for the calf muscles

By: Genesis Villanueva, PT

Related articles:

When to See a Foot Doctor for Pain in Your Feet

To schedule an in-person or Telehealth appointment, please call 904-JOI-2000 or click below.  JOI MD's also have ASAP appointments available for acute injuries and fractures.

Whether you are suffering from foot issues or injuries resulting from any type of activity, JOI has 12 physical therapy clinics conveniently located in Jacksonville and Northeast FL that specialize in orthopedic rehab.

If you are interested in scheduling an appointment at JOI Rehab for physical therapy, call (904) 858-7045. Come see us!

You can also complete all of your new patient paperwork from home. To request registration paperwork electronically click HERE.



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