Do you have pain in the arch of your foot? Is it a sharp pain? Dull pain? Constant pain? Any type of foot pain is an indication that your foot care needs improvement. This might involve changing your shoes, getting custom insoles, adjusting your gait, or a variety of other medical or alternative treatments to reduce pain and promote foot wellness.
If you are experiencing pain in the arch of your foot, this article is for you. We’re going to cover some of the main causes of arch pain, as well as providing some effective treatments to alleviate your pain and get you feeling back to normal! Let’s get started.
Shop our custom collections
The anatomy of the arch of the foot
Before we get into the cause of pain in the arch of the foot, let’s quickly cover some anatomy to make sure you’re identifying the right concern. The arch of the foot is in between the toes and the heel, in the area that is naturally elevated from the ground in an arch shape. It is made up of three separate arches - made from tarsal and metatarsal bones, ligaments and tendons - that form a triangle arched up away from the ground.
The arch acts similarly to a spring: it upholds the weight of the body while absorbing the shock of the body against the hard surface of the ground. The flexible and durable structure of the feet allow the vast range of movement of humans; from jumping to sprinting to changing direction.
But there are issues that come with this design: a high arch or flat feet can cause problems. This may manifest as pain in the arch of the foot or secondary issues like ankle pain, tight hips, back pain, or issues while in motion.
What is the cause of pain in the arch of the foot?
There are a number of potential causes of pain in the arch of the foot:
- A naturally high arch
- Flat feet
- Plantar fasciitis
- Weight gain
- Overuse injury
- Improper footwear
Natural foot shape
A high arch or flat feet are common causes of pain in the arch of the feet. This is likely something you have been born with, but there are incidences of these conditions occurring in adult life. For example, posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, also known as adult-acquired flatfoot, happens as a result of injury to the posterior tibial tendon that affects the structure of the arch. Similarly, wearing improper footwear can cause flat feet, which we will come to later.
The plantar fascia is a fibrous tissue that runs along the bottom of the feet, connecting the heel to the toes. Plantar fasciitis is often caused by a repetitive strain injury and is particularly common among athletes or individuals who spend a lot of time on their feet, like restaurant servers. According to research, plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of pain in the foot arch. It can feel like a bruise or an ache, and is often worse in the mornings or after periods of being sedentary.
Studies show that excess weight damages the joints, particularly the weight-bearing joints of the foot and ankle. The extra weight puts pressure on the ligaments and bones in the feet and can affect weight distribution and cause the foot’s natural arch to flatten - ultimately causing arch pain.
Overpronation is when the ankle rolls inward with each step. If you are wondering whether you have this condition, the best way to tell is to take a picture of your feet from behind, which should show whether your ankle is rolling inwards or if it's neutral.
This condition can be caused from the collapse of the foot arch, hyper-mobility in the feet, obesity, pregnancy, or overuse. It affects the body's natural alignment and weight distribution, preventing shock absorption, and causing pain in the arch of the foot.
Overuse or repetitive strain injury refer to an injury caused by repeated impact. As mentioned earlier, this is common in athletes and industrial athletes, such as servers, bartenders and people who spend a lot of time on their feet. Plantar fasciitis is a common overuse injury, but there are many more possible conditions relating to overuse.
Your feet are a naturally stable structure, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need to be supported! Every day our feet are affected by the impact of walking, running, jumping, and more. Wearing footwear that doesn’t fit right, is flat, tight, restrictive, or without cushioning can cause pain in the arch of the feet. Unfortunately, the majority of us are wearing the wrong footwear and are at risk for foot arch pain, or worse.
One or more of these conditions may be causing the pain in the arch of your foot. So what can you do about it?
The best treatment for pain in the arch of the foot
If you are looking for a solution to your foot pain, we are here to help! Here at FitMyFoot, we create custom insoles that have been specially designed to support your feet during locomotion to absorb shock, uphold the arch, and feel comfortable. These custom insoles can be easily inserted into any shoe, transforming the way your feet move and helping you alleviate pain in the arch of the foot once and for all.
When was the last time you had your feet measured? FitMyFoot’s Foot.Science app digitally maps your feet with over 200 points to create a 3D-printable file that is unique to each of your feet. From this, your custom insoles will be created and delivered to your door. Click here to learn more about the process.
Once you are wearing your custom insoles, it’s also a good idea to adjust some of your diet and lifestyle habits to reduce inflammation and feet swelling naturally - two of the root symptoms associated with arch pain. Check out this blog post that covers the top holistic methods for this.
It’s time to take care of your feet and practice foot wellness. Don’t let the pain in the arch of your foot stop you from living your life to the fullest.