These 10 things could be the reason the arch of your foot hurts

arch of foot hurts

If you’re experiencing discomfort or pain in the arch of your foot, you’re not alone. Nearly 1 in 4 people a year experience pain in the arch of their foot. Foot pain, especially in the arch area, can be caused by a variety of factors. Uncovering the underlying issue of your discomfort is a crucial first step in finding relief from your pain. 

Potential causes of your arch foot pain

Some common causes of why the arch of your foot causes you pain can include:

  • Plantar fasciitisOne of the leading causes of arch pain is plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is caused by the tissue connecting your heel to your toes becoming inflamed. It causes sharp, stabbing pain in the arch of the foot. This pain can be more prevalent in the morning.

  • Flat feet — People who have flat feet may experience arch pain. This is due to lacking a natural arch in their feet. Flat feet can lead to overpronation, where the foot rolls inward during walking, which leads to straining the arch and surrounding structure.

  • High arches — Conversely, high arches can also cause arch pain. High arches may result in increased pressure on the arch. This can lead to pain and fatigue.

  • Improper footwear — Wearing shoes that lack proper arch support or shoes improper for your activity choice can contribute to arch pain. High heels, flip-flops and unsupportive sneakers can all lead to straining the arch and lead to discomfort.

  • Overuse or excessive activityParticipating in high-impact activities like running or sports without proper conditioning can lead to straining the arch. Overuse injuries, like stress fractures or tendinitis, may result in you experiencing arch pain.

  • Weight gain — If you are carrying excess weight, it can lead to additional stress on your arches. This can lead you to experience chronic discomfort or even exacerbate existing conditions.

  • Tight Achilles tendon — A tight Achilles tendon can affect the way your foot works, leading to arch pain. Doing stretches and physical therapy can help alleviate an issue with a tight Achilles tendon.

  • Nerve issue — If you are dealing with conditions like tarsal tunnel syndrome or Morton’s neuroma, it can cause you to feel shooting or burning pain in the arch of your foot. This is due to the compression of nerves.

  • Arthritis — Inflammatory arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, can affect the joints in the foot, including the arch. Arthritis can cause you to have persistent pain and stiffness.

  • Injury or trauma — If you experience a sudden injury, such as a fall, it can cause damage to the structures in your arch and cause acute pain. 

What’s the next step for dealing with pain in the arch of your foot?

It’s essential to seek a proper diagnosis. Treatments may vary depending on the underlying issue causing your arch pain. Consulting with a podiatrist, orthopedic specialist or your primary care physician can determine the exact cause of your discomfort. They can then prescribe treatments. Treatment options may include:

  • Rest.
  • Orthotic inserts.
  • Physical therapy.
  • Medication. 
  • Footwear.
  • Injections. 
  • In rare cases, surgery.

Physical therapy for arch pain

Physical therapy is a valuable treatment option for those who are experiencing arch pain. A skilled physical therapist can help address any underlying issues causing your discomfort. This can be done after evaluating your condition. They will conduct a thorough evaluation to assess your foot structure, gait and range of motion. Once this evaluation is completed, they can then develop a customized treatment plan for your specific needs. Physical therapy treatments may include:

  • Stretching and strengthening exercises — Physical therapists often prescribe specific stretching and strengthening exercises in a treatment plan. Stretching exercises are intended to help improve flexibility in your calf muscles, Achilles tendon and plantar fascia. These stretches can help alleviate tension and reduce stress on your arch. Strengthening exercises are intended to help strengthen weak foot and ankle muscles that could be contributing to your pain. These stretches can help improve the stability of your foot.

  • Manual therapy — Physical therapists often use hands-on techniques like soft tissue mobilization and joint mobilization. These manual therapy techniques can help alleviate pain and improve the joint mobility in the foot and ankle.

  • Dry needlingDry needling is an effective treatment option for arch pain. This treatment involves a certified physical therapist inserting fine, sterile needles into specific trigger points within the affected area. This can help stimulate the natural healing process, reduce muscle tension and promote better circulation.

  • Myofascial releaseMyofascial release can be an effective physical therapy treatment option for arch pain, particularly when it is caused by tight or inflamed fascia in the foot. A physical therapist will manually apply targeted pressure and stretching to help release tension and knots in the fascia. This can help provide pain relief, boost circulation and promote healing.

  • Graston Technique® — The Graston Technique is a specialized form of manual therapy. This treatment uses specially designed stainless steel instruments to find and help treat soft tissue restrictions and scar tissue in the foot’s arch. This treatment can be particularly beneficial for plantar fasciitis. 

Physical therapy’s effectiveness can depend on the specific cause of your arch pain. Some people may find that physical therapy alone can help alleviate their pain. For others, it may need to be used in conjunction with other treatments to provide needed relief. Promptly addressing your arch pain can help lead you to finding long-term relief and enhanced mobility. 

Armor PT can help you find relief from your arch pain

Armor Physical Therapy can help you find effective relief from arch pain. Our team of skilled physical therapists is dedicated to helping address your specific needs and concerns. Under our expert guidance and customized personal care, we can help you take steps toward a better quality of life. Arch pain shouldn’t hold you back from doing the activities you love. 

Contact us today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.

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