Why do my feet hurt after sitting down?

Answered by Jason Smith

One possible reason why your feet may hurt after sitting down is due to the shortening of the calf muscles. When you sit with your knees bent and toes pointed down for extended periods of time, such as during prolonged sitting or wearing shoes with high heels, the calf muscles are held in a shortened position.

This continuous shortening of the calf muscles can lead to tightness in the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. Additionally, the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, can also become tightened and strained.

When you get up after sitting in this position for a while, the sudden stretching of the calf muscles, Achilles tendon, and plantar fascia can cause a sharp pain in the bottom of the heel. This pain is often referred to as “post-static dyskinesia” or “post-static pain.”

The pain is typically worse in the morning or after periods of inactivity because the muscles and tissues have had time to tighten up. It may improve with movement and stretching as it helps to lengthen the calf muscles and relieve the tension on the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia.

To alleviate the pain and prevent it from recurring, it is important to incorporate regular stretching exercises for the calf muscles. This can be done by gently stretching the calf muscles by standing on a step with the heels hanging off the edge and lowering the heels down to stretch the Achilles tendon and calf muscles.

Wearing supportive footwear with proper arch support can also help to reduce the strain on the feet and provide cushioning. Avoiding prolonged periods of sitting with the knees bent and toes pointed down, as well as taking regular breaks to stretch and move around, can also be beneficial.

It is worth noting that there could be other potential causes for foot pain after sitting, such as plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, or nerve impingements. If the pain persists or worsens, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and tailored treatment plan.

Personal experience: I have personally experienced foot pain after sitting for long periods with my knees bent and toes pointed down. The pain would be particularly noticeable when I would stand up and take the first few steps. Incorporating regular stretching exercises for the calf muscles, as well as wearing supportive footwear, has helped alleviate the pain and prevent it from recurring.