Pain In The Arch Of The Foot What Does It Mean
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 careneedsimprovement. This might involve changing your shoes,gettingcustom 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. Were 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! Lets get started.
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How Long Will I Have Plantar Fasciitis
More than 90% of plantar fasciitis patients improve within 10 months just by using at-home remedies.
If the underlying reason for your plantar fasciitis is something you cant help, like the fact that your foot is flat, permanent recovery is difficult. Continue to fight the symptoms with at-home remedies and recommendations from your healthcare provider.
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How Do You Treat Foot Pain
Since foot pain is a symptom, the treatment depends on the underlying cause and the severity of the pain. The treatment goals include relieving the pain and correcting any underlying physical problem. Most often, doctors start with conservative treatments including:
- Immobilization with a medical walking shoe or boot or a cast
- Crutches to keep weight off the foot if necessary
- Medications to relieve pain and swelling, including NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen and naproxen , and corticosteroid joint injections
- Orthotics, pads or shoe inserts to improve foot alignment and comfort
- Rest, ice and elevation to relieve pain and reduce swelling due to minor injuries
Physical therapy can be useful for treating foot pain. It is especially helpful for overuse injuries and soft tissue problems, such as plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendon injuries. It also helps relieve overly tight muscles in the feet. Physical therapists will teach you specific exercises for your type of foot pain.
For some types of foot pain, doctors may ultimately recommend surgery.
How Can I Prevent Arch Pain From Happening
There are several things you can do to prevent pain on the bottom of the foot. Here are some tips to help you avoid this condition:
- Do simple stretches each day .
- Wear good shoes that fit properly and are appropriate for the activity you are participating in.
- Lose excess weight if possible.
- Build your stamina slowly, especially with new exercises.
- Rest and elevate your feet, whenever possible, keeping them at least twelve inches above your heart.
- Always follow your doctors instructions for treatment
- Each day do a different activity. For example: one day ride your bike, and swim the next day.
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Common Treatments For Arch Pain
If the bottom of your foot hurts at the end of a busy day, or if you notice discomfort in your foot arch after exercise, some home remedies for arch pain might work:
- Rest to prevent further damage
- Apply an ice pack to reduce inflammation
- Wear shoes with good arch support to reduce stress on your arch
- Use textured insoles in your shoes to reduce foot fatigue and pain
- Consider taking over-the-counter medicines to ease pain and reduce inflammation
Oftentimes its wise to seek medical assistance. Treatment for arch pain depends on its cause. If the culprit is plantar fasciitis or flatfoot, your doctor may prescribe a nonsurgical treatment. In some cases, surgery may be needed.
Theres no doubt, however, that the best treatment for arch pain is prevention.
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Causes And Treatments For Pain In The Arch Of The Foot
The arch of the foot is an area along the bottom of the foot between the ball and the heel. Pain in the arch of the foot is a common problem, especially among athletes. The arch is made up of three separate arches that form a triangle. Each arch is made up of bones, ligaments, and tendons.
There are many potential causes of pain in the arch of the foot. Keep reading for more information on these causes, as well as the possible treatments.
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When To Contact A Doctor
For occasional pain, resting, ice, and stretching are usually sufficient. However, if the pain does not go away after a few days, is severe, or frequently comes back, a person should consult a doctor.
A doctor may refer a person to an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in the feet and ankles or a podiatrist, who is a foot specialist. They can examine the persons foot, how they walk, and other factors to determine the underlying cause.
An examination may include:
- looking for inflammation, tenderness, swelling, and deformities
- checking balance, coordination, reflexes, sensation, and muscle tone
The Link Between Abnormal Pronation And Foot Pain
Pronation refers to the natural movement of your foot as you walk or run. With proper pronation, the foot and ankle absorb shock and keep your ankles and knees aligned. When you walk, if your foot rolls too far to the inside or outside, it can alter the biomechanics of your foot and cause arch pain.
Overpronation occurs when the outer edge of the heel hits the ground first, before the foot rolls inward onto the arch. Over time, this flattens the foot and can damage muscles, tendons, and ligaments, which can lead to arch pain. If you overpronate, you may notice extra wear on the inside of the sole of your shoe, near the heel and ball of your foot.
Supination occurs when the foot rolls to the outside edge and is more common in people with high arch feet.
A podiatrist can analyze each element of your gait to assess how the biomechanics of your foot may be causing you pain.
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Diagnosis Of Muscle Knot In Your Foot
It is relatively easy to get a plantar fibroma diagnosis, and you may need to see a foot specialist who will rule out any other conditions and determine if the lump on your foot is benign. You will need to visit a foot and ankle surgeon to get a diagnosis, and they will examine your foot and press the affected area where sometimes the pain may reach the toes and provide medical advice. By assessing the consistency of the fibrous knot, a podiatrist can be able to tell whether its a true nodule.
You might need to take an X-ray or MRI, and on very rare occasions, you might be needed to get a biopsy of the lump to examine the lump further. This is because the nodule on your feet most likely will have redness, no swelling, or have an increased warmth, and during the examination, they might be looking for signs of other conditions.
Other reasons that may cause soft tissue masses may include fatty tumors, cysts, nerve tumors, or tendons. The specialists may also rule out foreign body reactions to shin splints that may cause an infection or a swelling.
Foot Pain That’s Anywhere Or Everywhere
Neuropathy, or nerve damage in the feet, is most often caused by diabetes. The pain can be burning, stinging, or feel like electricity. It can happen anywhere in the feet. Ask your doctor about pain relief options and ways to prevent further worsening.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease that can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints throughout your body. Almost everyone with RA gets symptoms in their feet and ankles. RA can affect the areas around your heels, the top of your feet, and the toes and the balls of your feet. Rest, ice, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen and naproxen may ease your symptoms. Shoe inserts can relieve pressure from the bone in your feet.
Osteoarthritis is when the cushioning cartilage in your joints wear out. Most often, the cause is aging. But osteoarthritis also can happen from injury or if you have flat feet or very high arches. You may have trouble walking, and your joints may feel stiff and painful.
To treat it, your doctor may recommend:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Custom shoe inserts
- Braces, a cast, or a boot to keep your foot immobile until the inflammation goes down
- Physical therapy to strengthen your muscles
- Steroid shots for more severe cases
Tendinitis is inflammation and irritation of tendons, the bands attaching muscles to bones. Tendons run along all the surfaces of the foot and can cause foot pain in many different locations.
To treat it:
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What Is The Difference Between A Plantar Fibroma And A Plantar Fasciitis
Most people, especially runners, are familiar with plantar fasciitis, and before seeking treatment, many people would like to know the difference between the two. Plantar Fasciitis is an inflamed tissue not associated with the presence of a mass, and it is more connected to heel pain, while Plantar Fibroma is pain felt in the middle part of the foot.
A plantar fibroma is also the name of the growth, knot, nodule, or trigger point found on the plantar fascia on the bottom of your foot. In contrast, a plantar fascia is the band of tissue under the bottom of your foot that extends from the toes to your heel.
The Plantar fibroma condition results from plantar fascia tightening up, and they are not that common as most runners are affected by plantar fasciitis more than fibromas. Notably, you can experience Plantar pain without experiencing or developing a plantar fibroma because most people who experience plantar fasciitis dont develop a plantar fibroma.
What Else Can Help
If none of these is sound quite like your foot arch pain and you want some help working out what is wrong, visit the foot pain diagnosis section.
Alternatively, if you have other symptoms as well as pain, such as foot swelling, a rash or numbness, in the foot pain symptoms section we’ll help you to identify what is going on and what you can do about it. Or if you have any lumps or bumps under your foot, check out the Bump On Bottom Of Foot article.
So don’t let foot arch pain get you down, take back control today.
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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
- Improper footwear
Natural foot shape
A high arch or flat feetarecommon 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 cometo later.
The plantar fascia is a fibrous tissue that runs along the bottom of the feet, connecting the heel to the toes. Plantar fasciitis isoftencaused byarepetitive strain injuryandis particularly common among athletes or individuals who spend a lot of time on their feet, like restaurant servers. According toresearch, plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of pain in the foot arch. It can feel like abruise 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 thefeet and can affect weight distribution and cause the foots natural archto flatten – ultimately causing arch pain.
OverpronationOveruse injuryImproper footwear
Arch And Ball Of The Foot Conditions
Every part of your foot is necessary for normal movement. All of the structures work together to distribute your body weight and balance it so you stay upright. They also work in unison for you to be able to push off the ground whenever you take a step. Two of those all-important areas for pushing off the ground are the arch and the ball of the foot. When you have pain in the middle or front of your feet, these are the structures that are affected.
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What Are The Arches Of The Foot
There are twenty-six bones in the foot.
The tarsal and metatarsal bones fit together in the middle of the foot and are supported by various ligaments, muscles and tendons to form the foot arches.
The arches of the foot support the foot and control how the forces associated with activities like walking are transferred up and down the leg.
There are two main arches in the foot, the longitudinal arch which runs down the length of the foot , and the transverse arch which runs across the width of the foot.
Thelongitudinal arch can be split into two:
- Medial Longitudinal Arch: the higher of the two found in the inner side of the foot
- Lateral Longitudinal Arch: found on the outer side of the foot
Anything which affects the position of the arches can lead to foot arch pain and discomfort on the bottom of the foot.
What Causes Arch Pain
Arch pain, or strain, is most often felt as a burning sensation along the long arch of the foot. There are a number of possible causes for this pain, but the most common are structural problems of the foot and stretching of the plantar fascia that supports the foot.
The latter is a common condition suffered by many athletes called plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis results when the arch is excessively stretched, sometimes due to the condition known as flat feet. The resulting inflammation often leads to considerable pain in the arch and heel areas. The pain can be extreme after prolonged periods of rest such as after a good nights sleep.
If the strain on the arch continues over a period of time and left untreated, a bony protrusion may develop. This is called a bone spur and it is important to have it treated.
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Home Remedies For Arch Pain
When you first notice arch pain, take a break from activity that puts stress on your feet, and avoid walking barefoot or wearing unsupportive shoes, like flip-flops. Use ice packs for about 20 minutes, three times a day, to reduce pain and swelling in the heel and arch of your foot.
Over-the-counter pain relievers or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen, may also help reduce inflammation and pain. Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure pain relievers wont have adverse reactions with other medications you take.
Home Remedies And Stretches
While undergoing treatment, a person should still consider home remedies and stretches to help alleviate the pain. A person should not attempt these if a doctor advises them not to move the foot.
Some home remedies include:
- Resting: Stop or significantly reduce doing any activity that aggravates the arch.
- Applying ice: Apply an ice pack wrapped in a cloth to the arch and other tender areas to help reduce swelling.
- Wearing socks: Avoid walking around in bare feet.
- Using support: Consider using cushions, inserts, and support shoes.
- Splinting: Ask a doctor about splinting the foot at night to help keep it supported while sleeping.
- Using medication: Try over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen.
In addition, there are a few different techniques a person can do to help alleviate pain and make the arch less prone to injury. These include:
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Ways To Prevent Arch Pain
The best way to prevent arch pain is to love your feet! Recognize them as the foundation of a healthy body, and do something special for them on a regular basis such as a foot massage, or an Epsom salt soak. Your feet will appreciate the TLC.
On a day-to-day basis, you can avoid arch pain by taking smart steps to maintain healthy feet:
Wear shoes in good condition that have arch support
Invest in arch support insoles that are designed to support all four arches of the foot
Stretch before and after exercise to relieve tightness and help relax your arches
Don’t exercise with an injury! Allow time to heal.