Podiatrist Toronto, ON Sheldon H. Nadal D.P.M.
586 Eglinton Avenue E. Suite 501 Toronto, Ontario M4P1P2
Local: 416-486-9917 Toll free: (877) 456-3338

Why Does My Heel Pain at Night?

Why Does My Heel Pain at Night?

Heel pain affects two million people each year and accounts for about fifteen percent of all foot problems. Although heel pain primarily affects people aged forty to sixty, most people experience heel pain.

Before getting a heel pain diagnosis from a foot doctor, most people experience nighttime heel pain, which can be pretty puzzling.

If you wonder why your heel pains at night, here are several probable causes.

Causes of Nighttime Heel Pain

Lifestyle Factors

Lifestyle factors like standing too long, walking too long, and high-impact sports and activities account for most nighttime heel pain cases. Too much strain on the heel can cause nighttime pain, which eases overnight and resolves by morning. However, repeated overuse or strain can lead to chronic heel pain due to micro-injuries.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is the most common non-lifestyle cause of nighttime heel pain. The condition is caused by the strained plantar fascia, which is a stretch of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toe bones. Although strain and overuse cause most cases of plantar fasciitis, it can develop into chronic pain that does not go with rest.

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton’s neuroma is the inflammation of the nerves around the toes. Although the pain is mainly felt around the toes, it can radiate to the heel, especially if the condition is advanced. People with Morton’s neuroma often have flat feet, high arches, hammer toe, or bunions which can worsen the condition.


Unmanaged diabetes causes nerve death, especially in the extremities, in a condition called peripheral neuropathy. If the nerves in the feet are thus affected, they can cause pain in the heel and other foot structures. Nighttime pain is made worse by accumulating body fluids overnight, putting pressure on affected nerves.

Pinched Nerves

Pinched nerves like ankle nerves or the sciatic nerve can cause pain in the heel, which can worsen at night due to pressure buildup. Pinched nerves can be caused by arthritis, injury, stress from repetitive work, obesity, or high-impact sports and activities.

Restless Leg Syndrome

RLS is linked to diabetes, iron deficiency, rheumatoid arthritis, and kidney failure. In this condition, a dopamine imbalance causes the continuous firing of nerves that, in turn, cause constant movement of the lower limbs throughout the night. The result is pain in the lower body, affecting the feet too.


Inflammation of the tendons in the foot, whether the Achilles or any other, can lead to tendonitis, a painful condition that can flare up at night when left untreated. Since overuse is the leading cause of tendonitis, continuously participating in high-impact sports and activities can cause severe nighttime heel pain.

Last Words

Nighttime heel pain can have multiple causes, but they are all linked to injury or overuse of the foot structures. Resting, wearing comfortable shoes, and reducing overuse can help resolve nighttime heel pain without further treatment. If it persists, it may be necessary to visit a podiatrist who will examine your feet and offer an accurate diagnosis and a course of treatment.

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