Pain in Arch of Foot | Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

The arch of the human foot provides strength to the foot to allow us to take part in activities such as walking running jumping, lifting and so on. Unfortunately, pain in the arch of the foot can get in the way of weight-bearing activities like running and walking. For some people, the pain might be a minor niggle but for others, arch pain can be crippling. In our latest blog post, we provide an overview of the causes, symptoms and treatment considerations for arch pain.

What Causes Arch Pain?

Given that the arch has many structures that can be injured, a sore foot arch may be the result of one or a combination of different conditions that affect the foot. For example, arch pain can occur due to conditions such as:

Each of these conditions can occur individually with distinct symptom profiles but they can also overlap. Similarly they may share a common cause or result from unique triggers. This means working out the most likely cause of arch pain starts with sound knowledge of foot anatomy and an in depth understanding of how the arch can be injured, both of which your podiatrist would have received university training in.

Possible reasons for arch pain can stem from damage to the bones or the joints, strained ligaments and tendons, overstretched or overworked muscles and even irritated nerves. Injury to these structures can occur for a number of reasons. For example a sudden injury like landing awkwardly after jumping can jar the bone structure and joints and overstretch muscles and ligaments. In other cases, the arch can become chronically strained due to the way the foot works. For example, both collapsed arch/fallen arches and high arches can strain the main ligament (plantar fascia) that supports the arch. In other cases, some of the small muscles in the foot can be overworked and strained if the foot isn’t working as well as it should. A less common cause of a sore foot arch can be nerve irritation where the pain shoots or feels like it is burning.

Arch Pain Symptoms

You should see your podiatrist for an assessment if you experience arch pain, especially if you notice any of the following:

  1. Your pain is worse in the morning but gets better after walking around;
  2. Your pain increases as the day progresses;
  3. You experience a sharp pain in the arch when weight-bearing;
  4. You notice a burning pain or shooting pain;
  5. Regular cramps in the arch of your foot;
  6. You have high arches or collapsed/fallen arches (flat feet).

Foot Arch Pain Treatment

When it comes to sore arch treatment, although there are a number of possible options not all of them will necessarily be suited to your particular condition. Potential treatments range from initial injury management (e.g. RICER) and padding/strapping to foot arch supports and shoes that are more supportive. Stretches and strengthening may be relevant in some cases but not in all cases therefore, caution should be exercised to avoid aggravating the injury.

If you have arch pain, our podiatrists can offer their professional advice and support. They can assess and diagnose your pain and work with you to select a treatment option that is best suited to your specific needs. To discuss your arch pain and treatment options, contact Instep Podiatry Brisbane for an appointment.

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