Foot Arch Pain And How To Manage It?

There are 26 bones in the foot. In that there are two arches. Along the length of the foot called Longitudinal arch and along the width of the foot called Transverse arch. The bones connected to each other through ligaments, muscles and plantar fascia.

There are also fat pads in the foot to help with weight bearing & absorbing impact. Arch pain can occur if something goes wrong with the function of any of these structures.

Supporting muscles for arch:

It is divided into 2 groups.

  1. The muscles on the top of the arch start on the front lower leg and help to lift the arch.
  2. The muscles that help pull the arch on the bottom of the foot are located on the back of the lower leg.

Causes of foot arch pain:

Foot Arch Pain

There are many causes of the foot arch pain which includes,

  • Ligament sprain
  • Muscle strain
  • Poor biomechanical alignment
  • Stress fracture
  • Overuse
  • Inflammation
  • More tightness or lack of tightness of the joints in the foot
  • Plantar fascial injury
  • Contusion due to any accident
  • Acute and chronic arthritis
  • Running on uneven surfaces or surfaces that are too hard or too soft
  • Vigorous exercise to the foot for a prolonged period of time

Symptoms of foot arch pain:

  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Bruises
  • Discoloration
  • Swelling

Grades of foot arch pain:

There are 4 grades to describe the foot arch pain,

  • Pain during activity only
  • Pain before and after activity, and not affecting performance
  • Pain before, during, and after athletic activity affecting performance
  • Pain so severe that performance is impossible

Some conditions include:

Plantar fasciitis – it is the common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a band of tough tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes, becomes irritated or inflamed. The foot arch pain is worse in the morning when getting out of bed.

Heel spurs – it is an abnormal growth of bone on the bottom of the heel bone that may be caused due to abnormal gait, posture or walking, inappropriate shoes, etc. Spurs can cause foot arch pain while walking or standing. Heel spurs can occur in people with plantar fasciitis, but it does not cause plantar fasciitis.

Stone bruise – it is a bruise of the fat pad of the heel. It can occur after stepping on a rock or other hard object.

Heel bone fracture – calcaneus is the most common fractures foot bone. It most commonly occurs due to any high impact in the heel. For example, if fallen from a height or in a car accident. Injuries range from a bone crack in a shattered bone.

Management for foot arch pain:

If any injuries occur immediately should give

  • Rest – it just puts the patient in a comfortable position
  • Icing – it is putting ice application or ice packs over the affected part
  • Compression – it is compressing against the affected region
  • Elevation – it is about elevating the affecting part to enhance blood supply to the heart, thereby to the affected part of arterial supply.

Giving pain relievers, Splinting or casting to protect the heel bone, Surgery (in rare cases) are some of the other treatment options.