Arch pain affects thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds. It commonly affects athletes, particularly runners, but can impact anyone, even people who aren’t very active. The foot arch stretches from the base of the toes to the heel. It helps us balance, it absorbs shock, bears weight and stabilizes movements. Arch pain minimizes the activities we can complete each day. The pain can be pretty severe, especially for untreated chronic conditions.
Arch pain is common in the ball and heel of the foot, although some people also experience pain on top of their foot. It usually occurs in one foot only. Pain in the ankles, back, legs, knees, and hips are also possible. Many people experience pain that comes and goes from day-to-day or even week-to-week. The pain is often worse when walking or standing or after participating in other activities. Many sufferers feel the pain is worse during the early morning hours, especially shortly after they wake.
Arch pain occurs after an injury to the tendons, ligament, bones, or muscles that form the foot arch. This is why athletes are so commonly affected by arch pain. Structural issues also contribute to pain, especially if the issues are compounded by age, weight gain, stress or neurological problems. High arches and flat feet are two common structural issues that cause arch pain.
Occasional arch pain isn’t a cause for concern. Most people take a couple of ibuprofen to ease the discomfort and assume normal activities shortly after the problem. Other people use home remedies to treat arch pain. A foot soak is one tactic that can ease aches and pains associated with arch pain. The soak may also ease swelling and inflammation. Massage and avoiding overuse of the foot are additional ways to minimize arch pain without doctor intervention.
Types of arch pain treatment for recurring conditions include specialty shoes, prescription medications, surgery, and several others. It is best to schedule an appointment with your doctor or with a foot care specialist to treat recurring pain or for occasional pain that gets worse over time. A doctor can determine the cause of the arch pain and recommend the best course of treatment for that specific cause.
Possible arch pain treatment options include:
- Over-the-Counter Medications: Doctors recommend patients use OTC NSAIDs to treat the pain associated with arch pain. Use an alternative if current medications prevent NASIADs use. In the event OTC pain relievers do not ease the pain, prescription alternatives may be available.
- Heat/Cold Compress: Rotating heat and cold on the heel of the foot can ease swelling, pain, and reduce some of the inflammation in the tendons that leads to swelling.
- Physical Therapy: Patients treating severe arch pain may benefit from physical therapy.
- Support Shoes: One of the most common arch pain treatments, support shoes are customized with special arches specially designed for the patient’s foot. The shoes are available for men and women and come in assorted styles and colors.
Many types of arch pain treatment exist to help those afflicted with this painful condition. This is a partial list of treatments available. If OTC solutions do not ease arch pain if you are searching for more than what they offer, do not hesitate to schedule a doctor’s appointment. Medical professionals can use any number of medical services to determine and treat arch pain. The sooner you make the call, the faster you can enjoy life without arch pain once again.