What's Causing Your Arch Pain?

The components in your foot, which include muscles, bones, joints, and connective tissue, give it the flexibility you need to walk, run, and jump. Your arch runs along the bottom of your foot from your heel to the ball of your foot and helps bear some of the weight of your body. It also acts as a shock absorber for every step you take. 

Whether it’s due to an injury or a structural problem within your foot, arch pain is common and can make walking, running, jumping, and many other activities that require fancy footwork unpleasant. At Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine, we want you to know what may be causing your arch pain so you can take the necessary steps to get relief from your discomfort.

Pain in my arch

High-impact activities and overuse are common causes of arch pain, which is why runners and athletes are at risk. However, aging and weight gain can also affect the mechanics of your foot, resulting in pain. 

The type of pain you experience may depend on the underlying cause and may be felt in the heel or ball of your foot. Your arch pain may also travel to the top of your foot or your ankle, as well as your knees, hips, and back. 

Common causes of arch pain

Any injury or alteration in the structure of your foot can lead to arch pain. Some of the most common causes include:

Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the plantar fascia, causes a stinging pain in the arch or heel of your foot that’s usually worse when you first wake up in the morning or after sitting for a long period of time. Your plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs from the back of your heel to the ball of your foot. Too much stress on the tissue, often caused by running, leads to inflammation and swelling of the tissue that causes arch pain.

Flat feet

If the arch of your foot touches against the floor when you’re standing up, then it’s possible that you have flat feet. This condition can occur in childhood if your arch never fully developed. However, it’s also possible for your arches to fall as an adult due to injury, overuse, or excess body weight. 

Flat feet don’t always cause pain, but you can experience aching in the heel or ball of your feet, especially after activity. 

Abnormal pronation

Pronation refers to the natural movement of your foot as you walk or run. Normally, when you take a step your foot rolls slightly inward, which improves shock absorption, as well as proper alignment of your ankles and knees. If your foot rolls inward too far (overpronation) or outward (underpronation) when you walk, it throws off the biomechanics within your foot and may be responsible for your arch pain.

Sprains, strains, and fractures can also cause arch pain. Due to the many possible causes, if  you’re experiencing arch pain, you should have it evaluated so you get the right treatment.

Getting relief for arch pain

Getting relief for your arch pain may depend on the underlying cause. Our podiatric experts conduct comprehensive examinations so we can identify the cause and provide the most effective treatment, which may include:

For issues related to pronation, we offer gait analysis, which breaks down each element of your gait to assess how the biomechanics within your foot may be contributing to your arch pain. 

No matter the cause, arch pain isn’t something you simply have to live with. In fact, not taking care of the underlying cause of your pain may lead to more foot problems. For comprehensive podiatric care, call our office in Kirkland, Washington, at 425-243-4957.

WFASM Staff writer Staff writer

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