Feet aching at night: causes, treatments, and remedies

The following sections examine some of the possible causes of nighttime foot pain.

Lifestyle factors

People who have jobs that require them to be on their feet for long periods of time may find that their feet are sore at night.

This can be due to foot muscle fatigue. The muscle fibers contract and expand under stress and can become fatigued if overused.

Muscle fatigue means that the muscles may be more painful because there is less oxygen in the body and waste products build up. This can lead to cramps and cramps at night that can affect the feet.

Drinking plenty of water during the day can help stop cramps by helping the body get rid of excess waste products that contribute to pain and cramps.

Muscle cramps at night can also occur for the following reasons:

  • Sit for long periods of time during the day
  • sleep in certain positions
  • wear certain shoes

Regular stretches and exercises can help relieve the pain in your feet due to these problems. To train the foot muscles, the National Health Service (NHS) recommends stretching in sets of five repetitions three times a day.


The way the body processes calcium changes during pregnancy, which can cause feet to cramp during the night.

People can relieve foot cramps with gentle stretches, gentle movement, and flexing the foot during a cramp. Increasing the amount of calcium in the diet can also help.

Morton’s neuroma

Morton’s neuroma is a condition where the tissue around the nerves that lead to the toes becomes thickened. This happens when the bones in your toes become pinched and compress a nerve. This can cause pain that can get worse at night.

If a pinched nerve becomes infected, it can cause a burning or tingling sensation in your toes.

Wearing well-fitting shoes can prevent Morton’s neuroma. Make sure there is enough room in the shoes for the toes to be naturally positioned to prevent and reduce pain from Morton’s neuroma.

To relieve discomfort, a person can try:

  • Wear shoes with soft soles
  • Use of shoe insoles or orthopedic insoles
  • with massages to relieve pain
  • asking a doctor about steroid injections to relieve inflammation and pain
  • Avoid high heels
  • avoid tight shoes
  • Avoid shoes with narrow toes

Plantar fasciitis

People with plantar fasciitis have pain in the lower heel area. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, approximately 2 million people are treated for plantar fasciitis each year.

Plantar fasciitis develops when the tissue called plantar fascia that supports the arch of the foot becomes inflamed. It’s located at the bottom of the foot and starts at the heel and connects to the front of the foot. This fabric absorbs the stress on the feet.

If the plantar fascia is damaged by these loads, inflammation and pain occur.

A high arched foot, obesity, flat feet or tight calf muscles, or repetitive activities such as running can lead to the development of plantar fasciitis.

The symptoms of this condition include:

  • Pain in the sole of the foot, near the heel
  • Pain in the foot after getting up
  • Pain after exercise

People with plantar fasciitis may have sore feet at night after being on their feet all day.

Some treatment options include:

  • resting
  • Icing of the sole of the foot
  • are taking anti-inflammatory drugs
  • straighten the calf
  • Receive steroid injections
  • wear comfortable shoes
  • Use night splints to stretch the plantar fascia overnight
  • Try physiotherapy

Learn more about some stretches for plantar fasciitis here.


Sciatica develops due to a compressed sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs from the base of the spine over the back of the legs to the feet.

If the sciatic nerve becomes compressed or irritated, the pain can be severe. It can feel like a dull ache that can completely skip areas of the legs and be isolated to an area of ​​the nerve such as the feet.

Sciatica can result from a herniated disc in the spine, pregnancy, a degenerative joint problem, or muscle spasms.

Some treatment options for sciatica are:

  • Try physiotherapy
  • stretch
  • are taking anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Receive steroid injections
  • Try massage
  • to be operated on for a herniated disc

Learn more about some sciatica stretches here.


Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes widespread pain throughout the body and affects the central nervous system and musculoskeletal system. The pain can be more severe in frequently used parts of the body such as the feet.

A person with fibromyalgia can experience foot pain at night. Sore feet at night can be due to lower levels of the anti-inflammatory hormone cortisol while a person is sleeping. People with fibromyalgia can generally have lower levels of cortisol in their body.

While there is currently no cure for fibromyalgia, treatments can reduce the severity of symptoms. These include anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, and sleeping pills.


Diabetes can affect blood circulation. Blood carries oxygen around the body, and when blood flow is restricted in the feet, the muscles can be deprived of the oxygen they need.

This can lead to pain in the muscles of the feet.

There are many self-care strategies a person can use to try to manage aching feet due to decreased blood flow. For example, quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and eating healthy can help control diabetes and improve blood circulation.

In more severe cases, angioplasty, stenting, or surgical bypass may be needed to improve blood flow.

If a person has diabetes and is experiencing the following changes in their feet, they should seek medical advice:

  • a tingling or tingling sensation
  • a dull ache
  • Loss of sensation in the feet
  • Cramps when resting or walking

Diabetes can also cause nerve damage or peripheral neuropathy, which can lead to foot pain even at night.

Peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is the name for a number of diseases that involve damage to the peripheral nervous system. It often affects the feet and legs.

Neuropathy involves a disruption of signals from the nervous system, causing pain.

The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy depend on the type of nerve fibers affected and the extent of the damage.

Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy in the feet can be worse at night and develop over a period of days, weeks, or years.

They can include:

  • a tingling or tingling sensation in your feet
  • pain in the feet
  • Burning in the feet
  • stabbing or stabbing pain in the feet
  • deafness
  • weakness

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, people with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of developing peripheral neuropathy, with 60-70% of people causing mild to severe nerve damage with pain.

High blood sugar levels are linked to nerve damage and can cause a peripheral neuropathy also known as diabetic polyneuropathy.

Physical injuries, viral infections, and heavy drinking can also increase a person’s risk of developing peripheral neuropathy, according to the NHS.

Peripheral neuropathy treatments are aimed at relieving pain. Doctors can recommend anticonvulsants, antidepressants, and skin creams and patches. Physiotherapy can also help build strength in the affected area.