The truth about high arches

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High arches: what are they?

Usually, along the inside of the foot, there is a space between the ground and the foot. This is known as your bow. When standing, some people have high arches, some normal arches, some have low arches or no arches. This article is primarily about high arches, also known as pes cavus in the medical community. Supination or supinated feet are generally associated with a higher arch and the terms will be used interchangeably for the purposes of this article.

When people with supinated feet stand or walk, their ankles tend to roll slightly outward. This can give them the appearance of bowed legs. This disturbed alignment and altered mechanical approach to walking can cause painful problems.

What problems can high arches cause?

People with high arches often discover this problem when they go to the doctor for arch pain, heel pain, or ball of foot pain. They may find it difficult to find shoes that fit well on the instep or top of the foot. Ankle sprains are common, and hardness and hardness can develop under the bases of the first and fifth toes (heads of the fifth and first metatarsals) and on the heels.

People with high arches can develop plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the plantar fascia. In these cases, higher arched feet often hurt with the first step on the ground in the morning. The foot has been resting all night and the tissue across the arch, the plantar fascia, is usually in a shorter position and becomes tight, especially in these supinated foot types. When weight is placed on the foot, the fascia is stretched and can cause a lot of pain through the arches and heels where it attaches. This can also occur when stretching the arches when climbing stairs or in any other situation that applies pressure or pull on the arch. Heel spurs can also develop at the plantar fascia insertion.

People who have high arches are at higher risk for stress fractures in the bones in their feet. This is true because supination and higher arches are associated with poor shock absorption when the foot hits the ground. This force, when running, is equal to approximately three times your body weight and can break bones or damage muscles, nerves and tendons.

What Causes High Arches?

Some people are simply born with high arches due to the shape and alignment of the bones in their feet. Many begin to feel their first foot pain in adolescence because body weight increases at this stage and flexibility begins to decrease. Although rarer, major trauma can also cause altered arch position.

What can we do with high arches?

Your doctor will look at your feet to determine the correct course of action. In most cases, foot orthotics or arch supports will be prescribed. Arch supports for this problem are designed to cushion the heel of the foot and help absorb shock. They also work to distribute your weight more evenly as you walk.

Proper footwear is always an important step to position your feet correctly. Make sure your shoes fit well, have a shock-absorbing sole, and are deep enough to fit a foot orthotic or arch support. Running shoes are usually better for arched feet.

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