There's nothing worse than being in bed resting comfortably only to be jolted awake by foot pain. Yes, it can happen out of the blue. Foot pain suddenly hits. What causes foot pain that's going to keep you up at night? Hi, I'm Houston podiatrist, Dr. Andrew Schneider.

Three Serious conditions That Will Jolt You Awake in the Middle of the Night with Foot Pain

1. Gout

Gout is an increase of the concentration of uric acid in your bloodstream. Those uric acid crystals colonize joints, most commonly the great toe joint. Also could be in the ankle. And when that happens, it causes a sudden and severe inflammation. You end up with a very red, hot, swollen joint. Why it happens in the middle of the night, I can't tell you. But more often than not, it's going to jolt you awake in the middle of the night.

What do you do? You wait until the morning and you call me. I'll be able to prescribe some medication to take the edge away, and to get this back under control. If this is something that happens regularly, then there's medicine that can prevent it from happening in the future.

2. Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is an issue having to do with the nerves of your lower extremity. It happens a lot with diabetes. It happens after chemotherapy. It happens for a host of reasons, and sometimes we don't even know why it's happening. But some people will say that they feel like their feet are on fire. And there's nothing that will put that fire out. And they end up staying awake and dealing with this horrible, terrible foot pain.

Now, there are things that can be done to mitigate the pain of this. I often work hand in hand with my colleague who's a neurologist to see what the origin of the neuropathy is and how to best take care of it.

3. Peripheral Arterial Disease

Peripheral artery disease is when there's not enough blood getting down to your feet. And when your feet are up in bed at night, your arteries have to work harder to get that blood, to get that oxygen, down to the tissues.

Very often people with PAD find that they're jolted awake in the middle of the night with major pain in their toes. And that makes sense because if blood is not going to the farthest reaches of our body, it's our toes where it's not going to reach. Smallest arteries farthest away from our heart. If you find that that happens, that you get jolted awake with pain in your toes, and they feel better after you dangle your legs off the bed, that is a very serious situation. I need you to call me and I need you to call me right away. And what I'm going to do is have some circulation tests run to see what the circulation status is. The reason is if this is not treated, it can end up with gangrene and much worse situations such as amputation.

So if you're finding that you're being jolted awake in the middle of the night, don't stand for it. Give us a call at the office and we'll get you in for an immediate appointment. Thanks so much for watching and have a great day.


Dr. Andrew Schneider
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A podiatrist and foot surgeon in Houston, TX.