High Arches And Foot Pain

June 26th, 2017 by LOC Team


What are high arches?

Your arch is made up of the metatarsal and tarsal bones which are held in place by supporting ligaments and tendons. They run the entire length of your foot and form the contouring shape of your foot. High arches refer to the arch being raised more than normal. Basically, the condition is the opposite of flat feet. High arches are rarer than flat feet and the causes are slightly different too.

The common causes of high arches

The most likely cause of high arches is either a bone or nerve condition. Because of the causes, high arches are typically more painful than flat feet. The pain is also due to more stress being put on other areas of the feet. Other areas need to take more stress because the usual sections of the foot are not in contact with the floor. The sections of the feet that are most likely to be affected by extra stress are the toes and the ankle.

High arches can make it very difficult to find shoes that fit and wearing ill-fitting footwear can cause even more foot pain. Most people with high arches need to have extra foot support fitted into their shoes. If the condition is left untreated, it can cause disability.

Symptoms of high arches

The symptoms of high arches vary between person and person, but some common symptoms are:

  • Difficulty finding shoes that fit
  • Shortened foot length
  • Foot pain when standing, walking and running (some people with the condition won’t have this symptom)

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, get your feet checked out by your GP or podiatrist.

Diagnosing high arches

Diagnosing high arches usually starts with a physical examination. Your doctor will look at your feet and see whether your instep looks hollow when you’re standing, this is a tell-tale sign of high arches. They will also check to see whether the arch is flexible.

After these physical examinations, your doctor will likely send you for further tests to try and find the cause of high arches. These tests include:

  • X-rays of the feet
  • X-rays of the back and spine
  • MRI of the spine
  • Electromyography
  • Nerve conduction studies

Treatment of high arches

Well cared for and flexible high arches may not need any treatment, as long as the condition is not affecting your daily life. If the condition is causing you issues, corrective shoes may be used to improve walking, standing and running and relieve pain. This treatment can include:

  • Changing the types of shoes you wear
  • Arch inserts
  • Supportive insoles

In some cases, surgery may be needed to flatten the feet. This is only done in extreme cases of high arches where they are affecting your daily life. If your high arches are caused by nerve issues, a specialist will be called in to treat nerve problems.

We hope this article about high arches has been useful to you. If you think that you have high arches and would like help with solving the issue, please contact your GP or make an appointment with a local podiatrist. To find out more about common foot problems, please explore our website further.