Definition of Foot Arch Pain
Arch pain, better known in the scientific community as plantar fasciitis, is the term used to describe the burning sensation under the long arches of the feet (arch strain).
The arch is a very important part of the foot. It facilitates the transfer of weight from the toes to the heel, among other things. When arch strain is severe, even the simplest foot movements can be extremely painful.
This foot pain is caused by the swelling of the plantar arch, which is a group of mid-foot tissues that connects the toes to the heel bone. Arch pain also develops when the nerves at the ankle are pinched, causing pain to the arch (a condition known as tarsal tunnel syndrome).
What are the symptoms of arch strain?
How do you know if you or someone you know is suffering from foot arch pain? Here are some signs and symptoms:
1. Difficulty standing on tiptoe
A person suffering from pain in arch of foot usually feels increased discomfort when tiptoeing.
2. Burning pain in the arch of foot
Those with arch pain often feel a burning sensation on their soles either after a foot activity (walking a distance or being on their feet for a while) or when they get up in the morning, after their feet have rested.
3. Tenderness of the inner soles
What causes arch pain?
A number of things may contribute to the development of arch pain. Below are some of the most common:
Too much weight can cause constant strain and fatigue to the arch membranes.
2. Structural imbalances
Some people whose feet roll inwards at the ankles are more prone to arch pain. The abnormality, called ‘foot pronation,’ is in itself not enough to cause arch pain, but predisposes a person to arch pain when combined with other factors like running, walking, and standing all day.
3. Rapid changes in foot activity
People who suddenly lengthen their jogging sessions, hike on steep hills without proper warm up, etc. are also prone to arch pain.
4. Wrong shoes
Improper footwear – especially those that do not offer adequate support to the arch – can also cause arch pain over time.
How to diagnose arch strain?
Diagnosis is usually made based on the patient’s symptoms. A person suffering from arch pain will usually feel tenderness in his inner heel when our doctor applies gentle pressure on the area.
Some podiatrists require those suffering from severe arch pain to get an X-Ray of the area. The results will determine if there are atypical bone growths on the heel.
What treatment are available for arch pain?
Arch pain must be diagnosed early, because it can worsen and become harder to manage. Treatment options available vary depending on the severity of the pain.
Treatment for mild arch pain
If the pain is bearable and does not impede the patient from performing basic foot movement, the doctor may require him to go through simple stretching exercises for the calf and arch. The patient will also be advised to wear only well-fitted footwear. Foot orthotics may also be prescribed.
Treatment for severe arch pain
Patients suffering from acute arch pain may be asked to rest their feet for a while. The doctor or healthcare provider usually puts tape on the painful area to support the arch and restrict foot movement. In some cases, anti-inflammatory medications may be administered.
Treatment for advanced arch pain
If the patient does not respond to initial treatment, more investigative analysis may be required to check for other foot-related problems, such as pinched nerves or foot arthritis.