We most often notice foot pain during the day while moving around on our feet. However. there are some conditions that can cause us pain and discomfort at night, while we are trying to sleep. Here are some of the more common problems that can cause nighttime foot and leg pain along with some tips for how to manage it.
Restless Leg Syndrome
Do you feel an overwhelming urge to move your legs, or find yourself unconsciously doing so? This may be a sign that you have Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), also called Willis Ekbom disease. This syndrome causes uncomfortable feelings in the legs, such as itching, prickling, pulling, or crawling. These sensations are what create the overwhelming urge to move the legs.
People with RLS may walk, stretch, or shake their legs often to achieve relief. Symptoms tend to be worse when inactive, including when relaxing or lying down. As a result, the symptoms of RLS often disrupts our sleep.
RLS affects 5 to 10% of adults and 2 to 4% of children in the U.S. and it is found in women more often than men. People of all ages can develop RLS, but the most severe symptoms tend to occur in older adults.
RLS can be caused by other health issues like iron deficiency, late stage kidney disease or neuropathy or occur temporarily during pregnancy. However the cause of most RLS cases are unknown.
Exercise, stretching, hot baths and self-massage can all be helpful methods in dealing with RLS.
If you are experiencing burning or tingling sensations or even cramping and numbness you may have a condition known as Morton's neuroma. This condition causes a thickening of the tissue around the nerves leading to the toes.
Sometimes called interdigital neuroma, the condition often develops when the bones in the third and fourth toes become pinched and then compress a nerve. The pain, which can worsen at night, can be aggravated by a long day on your feet, improperly fitting shoes as well as by foot problems such as hammertoes, mallet toes and bunions.
Cortisone injections or shoe modifications help about 50 percent of patients. While others need surgery to have the problem fully addressed.
Peripheral neuropathy is a range of conditions that impacts the peripheral nervous systems and in many cases effects the nerves in the feet and legs. This ailment is more common in patients who have diabetes, immune system issues, vitamin deficiencies, or have undergone chemotherapy, but it can affect healthy individuals as well. The disorder occurs when nerves become damaged, destroyed or disrupted, and sensory signals are affected.
Sometimes the damaged nerves send pain signals when nothing is actually causing pain. Pain can flare up when your feet are in a prolonged resting state, like when you’re sleeping, and many who deal with the condition say their pain is worst at night.
Exercise, targeted physical therapy, diet modifications and a consultation with a foot and ankle specialist can help treat and manage symptoms.
Are you experience pain in the bottom of your heel often? This may be an indication of Plantar Fasciitis. Plantar Fasciitis is the most common cause of foot pain in adults. Actually, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, around 2 million people receive treatment for plantar fasciitis every year.
Plantar fasciitis develops when the tissue called the plantar fascia, which supports the arch of the foot, becomes inflamed. It is located on the bottom of the foot, and it starts at the heel and connects to the front of the foot. This tissue absorbs strain from the feet. If the plantar fascia becomes damaged from these strains, this causes inflammation and pain.
Having a high arch, obesity, flat feet, tight calf muscles or engaging in repetitive activities such as running can cause plantar fasciitis to develop.
The symptoms of this condition include: pain at the bottom of the foot, near the heel
pain in the foot after getting out of bed, and pain after exercise. Many people with plantar fasciitis experience aching feet at night after being on their feet all day.
Treatment options include:
· icing the bottom of the foot
· anti-inflammatory medications
· stretching the calf
· myofascial release
· steroid injections
· night splints to stretch the plantar fascia overnight
· physical therapy
Do you have any concerns about your foot health? Visit us at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Specialists of Clifton for a consultation. Dr. Jefferey Miller and his experienced team work with patients to find a proper diagnosis and once that’s done, they will develop an effective treatment plan.
Call (973) 365-2208 to reach our Clifton, NJ office or schedule a consultation online.