Arch Pain

Definitions:

Arch pain is distinguishable as a pain or aching felt at any point across the bottom of the footbetween the heel and the ball of the foot.  Arch pain is quite common, especially among people with high arches.  Arch pain is usually due to strain or inflammation of the plantar fascia.  The plantar fascia is a long ligament on the bottom of the foot.  The straining and inflammation of the plantar fascia is known as “plantar fasciitis”.  The condition is sometimes associated with a heel spur, a bony-like growth on the bottom of the foot bone.  People who are overweight are also more susceptible to arch pain, and in particular, more susceptible to developing plantar fascia.  The additional weight can cause a “falling of the arch” which puts extra strain on the plantar fascia.

Signs and Symptoms:

Arch pain can be especially intense in the morning when weight is first put on the feet.  With plantar fascia, the pain normally decreases some throughout the day.  Arch pain usually develops from overuse, overweight, improper fitting shoes (poor arch support), weight gain, or acute (sudden) injury.  If arch pain persists beyond a few days, a foot and ankle surgeon should be seen and treatment prescribedfor the condition to prevent it from becoming worse.

Diagnosis:

Diagnosis involves a thorough examination of the foot. The doctor will assess the pain symptoms with both physical examination of the foot andasking questions concerning the severity, frequency, times of the day when the pain is manifest, and any physical activities that may be contributing to the condition.

Treatment:

The doctor will recommend the best treatment method. Treatment could include exercises and stretches for the plantar fascia, custom fitting shoe inserts to provide better support to the arch, help with a weight loss plan, and a number of other treatment plans.