A hurting foot arch is one complaint that I hear quite often at my clinic. Pain in the arch of the foot can affect both athletes and runners, as well as less physically active people.

The arch extends from the base of the toes all the way to the heel area. So, if you do experience pain, you might feel pain either in the heel area or at the top of the foot. In some people, the pain might extend to the ankles, legs, knees, hips, and possibly the back as well.

The pain might be more intense after waking up in the morning, or you could feel the pain while performing a physical task such as walking or exercising.

Common Factors that Can Cause Arch Pain

There can be several reasons why your foot arch might be hurting. These could include weight gain, injury or overuse of the muscles, bones, ligaments, or tendons of the arch. It could also be due to aging or neurological conditions. Structural factors, such as a high arch or flat feet, can also lead to pain in the arch of your foot.

In addition, here are some of the most common conditions that can cause arch pain.

Plantar Fasciitis

One of the most common reasons people suffer from arch pain is a condition known as plantar fasciitis. Injury to the planter fascia, which is the ligament connecting the front of your foot to the heel, can cause arch pain.

While the condition is more prevalent among runners, even those who are less physically active can suffer from planter fasciitis.

Common symptoms include:

  • Pain and stiffness in the heel and arch area.
  • Inflammation.
  • Pain is more intense after waking up in the morning.
  • The pain might become intense due to physical activity which includes standing or walking.

Overpronation

Common among joggers, overpronation is when the foot moves inwards towards the arch, causing excessive flattening of the foot. If left untreated, overpronation can cause substantial damage to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments, which leading to pain in the arch. 

Overpronation can also lead to pain in the knee, hip, or back, and can also cause hammer toe and corns. In people suffering from overpronation, the wear on the inside portion of the bottom of the shoe is usually more pronounced. 

Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction

Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD) or adult-acquired flatfoot as it is also known, is a result of an injury or inflammation caused to the posterior tibial tendon.

This tendon extends from the inner foot and connects to a muscle in the calf. If injury or any other factor impairs the ability of the posterior tibial tendon to support the arch, it can lead to pain in the arch area. 

Common symptoms include:

  • Pain along the back of the calf and along the inner portion of the ankle.
  • Swelling of the ankle.
  • Pain is felt during physical activities – but reduces or disappears once the activity is stopped.

Cavus Foot

A very high foot arch, or Cavus foot as it is formally known, is a condition that is caused either due to neurological conditions such as a stroke or cerebral palsy or it could be due to genetics.

People with very high foot arches will experience pain either while walking or standing. People with Cavus foot are also more prone to ankle sprains, calluses, hammer toe, and claw toe.

When should you see a podiatrist for arch pain?

In many cases, arch pain can be relieved with home remedies which include massaging the foot, soaking the affected foot in warm water and rest. This might provide relief and you might not necessarily need to consult with a doctor – especially if the pain is not a frequent occurrence.

If, however, you do experience frequent pain in the arch which does not subside with home remedies, or if the pain intensifies and impacts your quality of life, it is best to consult with a professional foot doctor. If left untreated, arch pain can lead to serious damage or even cause a serious foot condition.

Consult with Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle

Do you suffer from pain the arch of your foot? If yes, set up a consultation with Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle at the earliest. We can help. Connect with us here or give us a call today to set up an appointment!