You Have Flat Feet Or High Arches
Foot mechanics and the way you walk affect the amount of stress placed on your plantar fascia with each step. Flat feet and high arches change the way your feet bear your weight, and both can put extra stress on your plantar fascia.
Wearing flat shoes or footwear that lacks support can increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis, even if you have an average arch. Dr. Rambacher works with you to decide if shoe inserts or customized orthotics can help distribute your weight to take pressure off your plantar fascia.
Foot Arch Pain That Doesnt Point To Plantar Fasciitis
Foot pain is debilitating, so its no wonder that so many people want answers quickly. However, if you rely on internet searches, you will probably assume that your pain is caused by plantar fasciitis. However, just because there are a lot of articles on the condition doesnt mean thats whats hurting you.
Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that causes terrible irritation, inflammation, and stabbing pain in the foot. It can affect the arch, heel, or both. But its not the only condition
While plantar fasciitis is common, other conditions can mimic this condition with the same symptoms. Overuse, bone spurs, and other issues can lead to pain in the foot arch, or heel. Unfortunately, people often self-diagnose with plantar fasciitis instead of getting the help they need. Without a real diagnosis and correct treatment, the problem can get worse.
Explore common conditions that cause foot arch pain but are not Plantar Fasciitis below. For professional diagnosis and treatment, contact the doctors at Arizona Foot Doctors in Scottsdale.
How Is Plantar Fasciitis Diagnosed
A healthcare provider will diagnose plantar fasciitis with a physical exam. Theyll ask you about your symptoms and look at your foot. They might lightly press on your plantar fascia to feel for inflammation and check your level of pain.
Tell your provider about the pain youre experiencing in your daily routine. Tell them where on your foot it hurts and when its the most painful throughout the day.
What tests do healthcare providers use to diagnose plantar fasciitis?
A healthcare provider usually wont need any tests to diagnose plantar fasciitis. They might use imaging tests to take pictures of your foot if they think another issue or condition is causing the pain. Some imaging tests you might need include:
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Fractures Caused By Stress
Stress fractures are caused by continuous overloading of particular bones in the foot, which commonly occurs as a result of activities such as leaping or running. This is especially true when you raise your activity levels quickly any bone fractures will most likely be minor, but they can be quite painful.
Stress fractures of the metatarsal and navicular bones can produce mild to severe discomfort in the foot arch. A stress fracture will have some edema in the fracture that develops with activity and diminishes with rest.
Rest, ice to minimize pain and inflammation, elevation to reduce swelling, and supporting equipment like as braces or crutches to aid recovery are common treatments. Pain medication can be administered, and if the fracture does not heal, surgery may be required.
How To Keep Your Feet Problem
There are also many other tendons, as well as muscles and ligaments, within your foot. The bones, ligaments and tendons within your foot form the foot arches. These arches are called the longitudinal and transverse arches. It is your foot arches that allow your foot to hold up the weight of your body. Nerves provide sensation to the skin of your foot.
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Arch Pain And Heel Pain: Causes Diagnosis And Treatment
If arch pain or heel pain makes you miserable, you want answers. And our Louetta Foot and Ankle specialists are here to help. That was the case for our patient Rev. Frieda K., who recently shared: I visited Dr. Anum Dhukani My visit with her was excellent. She told me what to do to have healthier feet. Albeit, the recommendation is not easy, yet worthwhile as in the long run it will help my arch support, which is needed. So again I rate my visit as excellent with Dr. Anum. She has a great bedside manner and explains things easily and thoroughly.
We love hearing about your in-office experience. And we love offering you pain relief solutions. But we also want you to better understand the cause of your discomfort. So keep reading to learn more about common causes of heel and arch pain. Then well explain how you can find lasting relief!
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Common Causes Of Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is caused by straining the part of your foot that connects your heel bone to your toes .
It’s not always clear why this happens.
You may be more likely to get plantar fasciitis if you:
- are 40 to 60 years of age
- recently started exercising on hard surfaces
- exercise with a tight calf or heel
- overstretch the sole of your foot during exercise
- recently started doing a lot more walking, running or standing up
- wear shoes with poor cushioning or support
- are very overweight
Page last reviewed: 07 February 2022 Next review due: 07 February 2025
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What You Need To Know
- Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia, tissue in the foot used during walking and foot movement.
- Plantar fasciitis can be caused by a number of factors, including type of shoes, foot structure, overuse and types of walking surfaces.
- The main symptom of plantar fasciitis is heel pain.
- Treatment for plantar fasciitis usually does not require surgery.
How Can I Treat Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis can often be treated without the need to see a healthcare professional.
Paracetamol and ibuprofen can help reduce your pain.
There are some simple self-care tips, known as RICE therapy, that should help it heal:
- Rest try to avoid putting weight on your heel. Do not exercise, instead try gently moving it from time to time to stop the area getting stiff.
- Ice put an ice pack or frozen vegetables, covered in a damp cloth, on it for 20 minutes every 23 hours.
- Compression wrap a bandage around the painful area. It should be tight enough to support it, but not so tight that it restricts the blood flow.
- Elevate your foot to reduce swelling.
When it’s painful, rolling a cold drink can over the base of your foot for about 20 minutes should help. Gently massaging and stretching your calf, ankle and foot when you’re resting can also make it easier to get moving again.
You can reduce the pressure on the bottom of your foot by wearing wide-fitting, comfortable shoes with a supportive sole and cushioned insole. They should fasten with a lace or strap and have a heel that is slightly raised by about 23cm, such as a good sports shoe.
Try to avoid walking on hard surfaces with bare feet, wearing tight pointy shoes, high-heels, backless slippers, flip-flops, or flat shoes.
Ask your pharmacist about insoles, heel pads and other pain relief. There is no proof that costly magnetic insoles are any better than regular cushioned insoles.
They may recommend:
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Changes In The Shape Of Your Arch
The arch is the inside mid-section of your foot. It determines how your bodyweight is spread and carried by the bones and joints of your feet.
For your foot to function at its best the arch should form a smooth arc from the ball of the foot to the heel.
The height of your arch may never cause you any kind of problems. Some people are born with arches that are higher or lower than average and their bodies adapt to them.
Other people may find their arch shape alters because of complications such as arthritis, weight, pregnancy, or injury. These changes can make you more likely to develop further problems in other parts of your foot, ankle, knee, hip and back.
If you are in pain and think your arch shape has changed speak to a healthcare professional about treatments. Insoles or supports made specially for your foot shape by an orthotist could improve pain caused by high or low arches.
Bursitis In The Foot Or Ankle
Bursitis causes pain and inflammation, commonly around hard-working joints such as in the big toe, ball of the foot, heel, or ankle. It can also affect any part of the body.
It is caused by swelling in a small pocket of fluid, known as a bursa, or bursae if more than one is affected. Normally these small pouches cushion and protect your bones, joints, and tendons from impact, rubbing or pressure.
However, repeated rubbing, friction, excessive pressure, or injury can cause the fluid inside to increase making the affected bursa inflamed and tender.
For example, you can get bursitis between your ankle and heel if you keep wearing shoes that rub, pinch, or press down on the area. Shoes that are too tight and high heels regularly cause bursitis.
It often appears as a red, painful, swollen lump. However, it can also cause general swelling that you only notice because of the pain, for instance on the bottom of your heel.
People with bunions or irritated joints can be prone to bursitis. Rheumatoid arthritis can also cause bursitis, particularly in the ball of the foot.
The self-care tips recommended earlier should help relieve your pain and inflammation. However, instead of bandaging the area, try using adhesive padding on the swelling to protect it from further friction and pressure. Resting it on a cushion can also help.
If you find self-care treatments are not helping speak to a healthcare professional.
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What Are The Risk Factors For Heel Pain
Anything that puts a lot of pressure and strain on your foot can cause heel pain. The way you walk and your foot’s shape are also factors.
You may be more likely to develop heel pain if you:
- Are overweight .
- Have foot and ankle arthritis, flat feet or high foot arches.
- Run or jump a lot in sports or for exercise.
- Spend a lot of time standing, especially on concrete floors.
- Wear improperly fitted shoes without arch support and/or cushion.
When Should I See A Healthcare Professional About Foot Or Ankle Pain
Some foot pain can become more than a short-term problem. If you cannot treat the pain yourself or you have a condition that could affect the joints or soft tissue, it may need further investigation.
You should speak to your doctor or a footcare specialist if:
- your pain does not improve in the first few days
- your pain is getting worse
- it is still causing problems after two weeks of self-care
- you have sores that are not healing
- your skin has changed colour especially if its turned dark blue or black
- your foot has changed shape or is really swollen
- you have a high temperature or feel hot and shivery
- it is red, warm, or swollen as you may have an infection
- the problem keeps coming back or lasts longer than three months
- you have an inflammatory condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis or scleroderma
- you have diabetes
- you are taking steroids, biologics or other drugs that affect your immune system.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Plantar Fasciitis
When you have plantar fasciitis, you usually feel pain in the bottom of the heel or the arch of the foot. Some people describe the pain as feeling like a bruise or an ache. The pain tends to gradually go away once you begin walking around. With continued walking, the pain may return, but usually goes away after rest. If the swollen plantar fascia irritated a nerve in the foot, pain may radiate into the ankle.
In the early stages of plantar fasciitis, the pain may go away quickly once you take weight off the foot. Over time, however, it may take longer and longer for the pain to go away. Without treatment, the plantar fascia will eventually tear partially away from the heel. The body fills the torn area in with calcium. This eventually becomes a bone and is called a heel spur.
Some Groups Are At Increased Risk Of Heel Pain
- Middle-aged men and women
- People who are overweight or obese
- People who are on their feet for long periods of time
- Children aged between eight and 13 years
- Women during pregnancy.
- Abnormal walking style , such as rolling the feet inwards
- Standing, running or jumping on hard surfaces
- Injury to the heel, such as stress fractures
- Certain disorders, including diabetes and arthritis.
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Rest Activity Modification And Orthotics
It helps to keep the weight and stress off your foot, at least partially, while your plantar fascia is healing. Your doctor may recommend a combination of the following:
- Changing to a more shock-absorbing exercise surface
- Switching to shoes with arch support or trying heel cups or other orthotics to cushion the heel
- Applying athletic tape to your foot to support muscles and ligaments
- Wearing night splints to continue stretching your foot while you sleep
- Switching from jumping or running to swimming or cycling
Foot Pain What Pain In Your Arch Ball Heel Or Toes Could Mean
Your foot is comprised of a number of bones, nerves and tendons, so its no surprise that there are a wide variety of foot injuries. A lot of times it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly whats going on with your foot, but the location of the injury, be it in your heel, arch, ball or your toes, oftentimes gives us clues as to what may be bothering you. Today, we take a look at some foot conditions you may be dealing with based on the location of your pain.
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What Causes Pain Beneath The Heel
Problems that cause pain underneath the heel include:
- Bone bruise : Stepping on a hard, sharp object can bruise the fat padding underneath the heel. You might not see discoloration, but your heel will feel tender when you walk. A stress fracture, as well as Severs disease, may cause pain all along the back of the heel on the bottom, side and back of the heel.
- Plantar fasciitis:Plantar fasciitis is by far the leading cause of heel pain. It occurs when the fascia, connective tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, tears or stretches. People who run and jump a lot are more likely to develop this painful condition. Treadmills and hard surfaces for exercise or work are common irritants.
- Heel spurs: Chronic plantar fasciitis can cause a bony growth to form on the heel bone. Heel spurs arent usually painful, although some people have pain.
Pain On The Foot’s Outer Edge
The outer edge of your foot, the fifth metatarsal bone, is a commonly broken bone in the foot. Pain, swelling, and bruising along the outer foot edge after an injury are symptoms. If you think you may have broken a bone, see a doctor and have an X-ray.
To treat it:
- Rest, ice, and elevate your foot.
- Donât walk on it.
- Ask your doctor if surgery is necessary.
- A cast may be necessary in some circumstances.
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How Can You Prevent Pain In Arch Of Foot
Many of the arch pain home treatments may also be utilized to keep the pain from coming again.
- Avoid walking barefoot or wearing unsupported shoes like flip-flops by wearing shoes with insoles or arch supports. Many of the issues that cause arch discomfort are caused by wearing unsupported shoes on hard surfaces for lengthy periods of time.
- Stretches: Start doing stretching exercises on a regular basis. Dont forget to stretch your calves and the rest of your legs, since they can aid your feet as well. Anti-fatigue mats are a good investment.
- These mats might help you avoid foot pain if you often stand in the same place for long periods of time. If you spend a lot of time doing dishes, consider putting one on the floor in front of your kitchen sink. Get a standing desk for work if you already have one.
Roller Or Ball Foot Massage
A person can use a tennis ball or a small foam roller to perform a massaging stretch on the foot. This technique is easiest to do while sitting.
To use this technique, a person should do the following:
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Treatment For Plantar Fasciitis From A Foot Specialist
If plantar fasciitis does not get better, a GP might refer you to a physiotherapist or foot specialist .
A physiotherapist can show you exercises to help ease your symptoms. A podiatrist can recommend things like insoles and the right shoes to wear.
Physiotherapy is available free of charge on the NHS throughout the UK but waiting times can sometimes be long.
Depending on where you live, you may be able to self-refer or you may need to visit a GP or consultant first.
Podiatry may not be available for free on the NHS everywhere and waiting times can sometimes be long.
You can also pay to see a podiatrist or physiotherapist privately.
Read more about accessing physiotherapy.