arch-painFoot arch pain is a common type of foot pain. Its symptoms include pain when getting up in the morning, and pain during long walks or long periods of standing.

The most common cause of arch pain is Plantar Fasciitis. Plantar Fasciitis is Latin for inflammation of the Plantar Fascia – the fibrous band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. Someone with arch pain usually has inflammation of the tissues within the mid-foot. The arch of the foot is formed by the Plantar Fascia, which tighten and relax during the different phases of gait. The Plantar Fascia plays an important role in proper foot mechanics and transfer of weight from the heel to the toes. When inflamed, even simple movements can be quite painful.

Plantar Fasciitis is caused by over-stretching of the Plantar Fascia. Repeated strain can cause tiny tears in the ligament. These can lead to inflammation, irritation, pain and swelling. Arch pain is more likely to happen when:

  • your feet roll inward too much (over-pronation)
  • you walk, stand, or run for long periods of time, especially on hard surfaces
  • you are overweight
  • you have tight Achilles tendons and/or calf muscles
  • Overweight and/or Weight gain
  • Use of flip flop shoes or non-lace up footwear
  • Tight gasctrocnemius/ soleus muscles
  • High heels
  • Change in training
  • Decreased flexibility due to normal aging process
  • Common in people between the ages of 30-60

Treatments

An accurate diagnosis from a Podiatrist is important early in the management of arch pain. Early in the treatment of arch pain, consideration needs to be given to the cause and strategies put in place to prevent it happening again. Advice should be sought on the adequacy of footwear. Stretching exercises should be continued long after the symptoms are gone. A proper gait assessment should be carried out and where indicated foot orthoses should be used if structural imbalances are present. Activity levels and types of activities including occupational and sporting activities need to be considered and modified accordingly.