The arches of the feet help to support a persons body weight when standing, walking and running. When foot arches are lower or higher than normal, pain, discomfort and mobility issues may be experienced. An injury or structural abnormality of the foot can potentially cause pain and inflammation in the foot, toes, ankle, knee, hip and lower back.
Flat Feet (Fallen Arch)
A common foot condition, a person with flat feet has little to no arch. The lack of arch allows the entire bottom of the foot to touch the floor. This condition may or may not cause pain. It’s commonly related to the arches not developing during childhood. Flat feet can also develop after childhood as the result of an injury, obesity, arthritis, and diabetes. It’s also possible that over time the posterior tibital tendon, which runs along the inside of your ankle and helps support your arch can weaken and cause foot arches to drop.
Side Effect of Flat Feet
Most people with flat feet don’t experience any pain or symptoms. The lack of arch support can cause issues with the distribution of body weight. This lack of support can lead to pain and the development of other conditions, including but not limited to:
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction
- Shin Splints
Flat feet and overpronation can lead to alignment issues that cause pain in the lower back, hips, knee and lower legs.
Treatment for Flat Feet
A dropped arched can’t be reversed, but the condition can be managed.
Conservative Treatment includes different stretching exercises, rest, activity modification, weight loss, ankle brace, anti-inflammatory medication, fitted insoles, or custom orthotics.
Surgery is only recommended if a patient has a significant deformity or pain can’t be resolved using a combination of conservative treatments.
Cavus Foot (High Arch)
A high foot arch causes an excessive amount of weight to be placed on the heel and ball of the foot when standing or walking. This condition can lead to instability and can develop at any age. This condition is usually the result of a medical issue and typically gets worse over time. If the condition is the result of a structural abnormality, it is not likely to change in appearance.
Besides pain and stability issues, a person with a high foot arch may also have hammertoes and calluses on the heel ball or side of the foot.
Treating Cavus Foot
A podiatrist may recommend a custom orthotic device to provide stability and cushioning, bracing and shoes that support the ankle and provide better stability to the foot. Treatment will depend on a diagnosis and evaluation. X-rays may be used to assess the condition. A neurological evaluation might also be recommended.
Surgery may be recommended if a patient is still experiencing pain after using non-operative methods to reduce pain.
When To See A Podiatrist
If you are experiencing foot pain or discomfort, early treatment is highly recommended to help reduce pain and to manage an arch disorder or other disorder of the foot. The majority of patients who are experiencing foot pain due to an arch disorder or other condition will benefit from non-operative treatments.
Schedule an appointment with one of our highly experienced Podiatrist at The Center For Musculoskeletal Disorders.