Arch pain is often felt as a burning
sensation under the long arch of the foot. There are a number of
causes of this, but the most common is plantar
, but can also be due to the strain of any structure
in the arch of the foot.
There are a number of possible
causes for arch pain, but the most common are structural imbalances
of the foot, such a pronated foot
(rolls inward at the ankles). This is often not enough in isolation
to cause the problem, but in combination with other factors arch
pain may develop. These other factors are usually associated with
overuse - running, walking, hard surfaces and/or OFAD (on
feet all day
usually combined with inadequate or non-supportive footwear.
common specific causes of arch pain can be:
fasciitis (strain of the plantar fascia - a strong ligament
that supports the arch)
tunnel syndrome (a pinched nerve at the ankle that refers pain
to the arch)
* foot strain from a pronated
foot or flat foot
can be osteoarthritis of the joints in the midfoot that can cause
of arch pain
initial treatment for arch pain, especially if it is of sudden onset
is the use of ice to reduce the swelling. Later heat and anti-inflammatory
gels can be a big help.
should be modified - if you stand a lot at work, see if you can
using seating more; if you run a lot, consider swimming or cycling
for a while.
that is supportive in the midfoot and heel area.
An accurate diagnosis
from a health professional is important early in the management
of arch pain.
If the symptoms are
mild, management will generally just consist of advice about fitting
footwear, stretching exercises for the calf muscles and arch
and if indicated, the use of foot
If the symptoms
are more severe, tape can be used to restrict motion and support
the arch; anti-inflammatory medication can be used to give some
relief. Orthotics are usually indicated.
If there is no initial
response to treatment, further investigations may be necessary to
check for conditions such as arthritis or a pinched nerve.
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. Foot orthoses
should be used if structural imbalances are present. Activity levels
and types of activities (occupational and sporting) need to be considered
and modified accordingly.
relevance to arch pain
problems: plantar fasciitis,
heel pain, arch
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a source of information on foot arch pain and should at no time
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We recommend seeking professional advice for foot arch pain and
all foot problems before embarking on any form of self treatment
or management. Neither the content or any other service provided
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