Your arches help absorb shock and transfer weight when you're on your feet. The arch of the foot is formed by the bones in the foot and strengthened by ligaments and tendons. These tissues are important when it comes to movement and shifting weight properly from your heels to your toes. When the tissues in the arch of the foot become inflamed it can cause pain and discomfort, even while performing simple tasks such as walking.
What causes Arch Pain?
The primary cause of arch pain is plantar fasciitis, which is inflammation of the plantar fascia. It's the main band of tissue that connects your heel to your toes. Arch pain can also be caused by direct trauma to the area, such as ligament sprains or bone fractures. Other conditions can also cause arch pain, such as arthritis or flat foot.
What are the symptoms of Arch Pain?
Most arch pain is felt on the bottom of the foot, especially if the patient has plantar fasciitis. Pain would be felt closer to the heel. This pain may be heightened in the morning, because the plantar fascia tends to tighten up overnight as we sleep. Trauma-related injuries may have tenderness to the touch and bruising. If you are suffering from arch pain, we recommend you see a medical professional for proper diagnosis.
Grades of Arch Pain
There are four grades to describe arch pain which your doctor may use to help diagnose the cause of your arch pain.
Grade I - Pain only during activity
Grade II - Pain before and after activity, which does not affect your performance
Grade III - Pain before, during, and after activity, which affects your performance
Grade IV - Pain at all times, which makes it difficult to perform any activity
Arch Pain Treatment
The type of treatment heavily depends on the cause of your arch pain. Often the first course of treatment is to rest your foot to allow the inflammation to go away. You may also use anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin to bring down the irritation. Once you begin to return to activity, a brace for arch pain or plantar fasciitis night splint may be suggested by your doctor. If your arch pain is caused high arches, arch and heel support such as the Aircast Airheel may help. If you are dealing with plantar fasciitis, try these basic home treatments for plantar fasciitis to relieve the arch pain.
You may also find relief by freezing a water bottle and rolling your foot over it for 5-10 minutes a day or applying cold therapy on it.
To prevent future arch pain, avoid wearing high heels and ensure that you have proper footwear with adequate cushioning and support. Your doctor may also recommend physical therapy so you can condition your foot against future arch pain using stretching and strengthening exercises.