Foot pain comes in a variety of types. One of the most common is pain in the arch of the foot.
Arch pain is defined by inflammation and burning in the arch of the foot. The arch extends the whole length of your foot and gives it that characteristic shape.
What Causes Arch Pain?
Arch Sprains and Fractures. This is straightforward in its causes. Sprains and fractures often result from excessive stress to the foot either through strenuous exercise, impact, or flexing of the foot.
You will more than likely notice when you fracture your foot, but if you do not then be on the lookout for bruising along your foot along with severe pain and possibly swelling.
There will be pain when pressure is applied along the midfoot area. Your doctor may do a variety of flexing and stress evaluations along with x-rays to determine the extent of the injury.
Plantar fasciitis. This is by far the most common cause of pain in the arch of the foot. It is caused by excessive stretching of the plantar fascia, a ligament that connects your heel to your toes.
This ligament is not meant to stretch and when it does it can cause considerable pain and burning.
Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include increased pain when you wake up in the morning or after any extended rest. If left untreated this condition can lead to bone spurs.
Overuse. Simply put if you run or walk extensively during your day this could lead to excessive wear and tear on your arches, tendons, and ligaments.
Muscle Strains. The muscles that support your arch and foot can get strained like any other muscle in the body. This often ties into overuse and strenuous activities.
Arthritis. Inflammation from arthritis can cause burning, swelling, and pain in just about all your joints. Your feet are no exception.
Besides the fact that these conditions are uncomfortable and impact your activities, it is also important to treat arch pain as it can lead to other conditions if ignored.
Conditions such as flat feet, lower back and hip pain, knee pain, bunions, hammertoes, Achilles tendonitis, and more can result if arch pain is left untreated.
Treatments For Pain In Arch Of The Foot
Cold Therapy. Wraps, compresses, or even the tried-and-true plastic bag of ice wrapped in a cloth can help relieve the pain and swelling.
This is important to do when you first notice the discomfort and is something that is easily done from your own home. Simply apply the RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate.
Wear Comfortable Shoes. Avoid high heels. Wear shoes that support your arch and are good for the activity that you will be doing such as running, walking, and so on.
This alone can reduce pain in the arch of the foot and other common foot aches.
Orthopedic Inserts. You can also find orthopedic shoes as well. These will support your tendons and stabilize your heel which will help with foot pain in general along with pain in arch of foot.
Arch Support. Specialized arch supports, think ACE bandages for your feet, are available in most all pharmacies.
Make sure that you are aware of your arch type, aka high, low, medium, as this will affect which support you will need.
Night Splints. You can wear these supports at night to alleviate some of the stress and pressure that your heels and arches are under by keeping everything properly aligned while you sleep.
Proper Exercise. Strengthening your muscles is important for your overall bone health because your muscles keep everything aligned.
If you want to work specifically on the muscles that will help your arches then target your tibialis posterior muscle, which is the central leg muscle, and the Achilles tendon.
Avoid Excessive Overuse: While you heal it is important to know your limits. Running, for example, is high impact and could be traded for walking.
If the pain persists, your doctor may direct you to do physical therapy which will help you through manual manipulation and directed exercises to strengthen your muscles.
While most of these treatments can be done at home, if the pain persists, there is excessive bruising, or you cannot bear any weight on the foot then you should seek medical attention right away.