Pain in the arch of the foot is a common cause of consultation in general medicine, and it is usually more frequent in children and the elderly. The sole of the foot is made up of an extensive group of small muscles covered by a tissue called the plantar fascia . The arch of the foot is responsible for absorbing the shock that occurs when walking or running, maintaining balance, stabilizing movement and allowing the foot to adapt to changes in the terrain where we wander.
Any of these muscle groups, the bones of the foot or the fascia itself can be involved in these movements and, therefore, cause pain at that level. Next, in FastlyHeal , we will see what are the causes of pain in the arch of the foot and how to relieve it.
Table of Contents
Inflammatory causes of pain in the arch of the foot
Four are the causes of inflammatory type that can cause pain in the arch of the foot. In order of frequency and importance, they would be:
The plantar fascia runs from the base of the toes to the heel , and its inflammation is the most common cause of arch pain.
Characteristically, plantar fasciitis pain occurs predominantly in the morning and after long walks, and may be accompanied by plantar cramps at night. If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, this other article on Exercises to treat plantar fasciitis may be helpful .
Two large tendons of leg muscles pass through the arch of the foot : the tibialis posterior muscle tendon and the peroneal tendons. Both originate on the back of the leg, pass behind the ankle and then the arch of the foot, and are essential for extension and abduction movements (putting the foot out).
The inflammation of any of them due to trauma or other causes is also a reason for pain at this level. If you want to know more, here is another article about Tendonitis in the foot: symptoms and treatment .
Each foot has 26 bones, not counting that there may be natural anatomical alterations. All of these bones are linked by a network of ligaments and tendons that turns out to be extremely intricate.
The sudden turn of the foot or the inappropriate landing when falling can cause the production of sprains of any of them, with the consequent pain, which will be greater the greater the activity. In this other article we tell you how long does it take to heal a sprain?
Stress fractures of the foot
The foot, like the hand, is made up of a large group of small bones that can be affected by excessive activity.
In the case of the foot bones, the so-called metatarsals and some other small bones (the navicular, cuboid and cuneiform) can suffer so-called stress fractures, causing pain in the arch of the foot.
Non-inflammatory causes of arch pain
There are two causes that are added to the previous ones, but that do not have an inflammatory component in their production mechanism.
It is the most common cause of arch pain in children. The arch is flattened or completely absent, so its functions are affected.
The final consequence of flat feet is an overload of work on the muscle groups and the fascia that eventually manifests itself in frequent falls and pain.
It is a rare cause, but one that must be considered. There is an alteration in the normal axis of the foot and, as a consequence, the big toe turns inwards when walking, also altering the normal work of the arch, with the consequent production of pain and anatomical modification of the rest of the foot to compensate for the deficiency.
How to relieve pain in the arch of the foot
The treatment of pain in the arch of the foot is relatively simple and can be started at home, as long as the painful situation is not aggravated.
- Rest : the main principle for the relief of any condition of the foot is to put it at rest and limit its use (ambulation). This measure, alone, may be sufficient to correct minor conditions that were beginning.
- Local ice: local ice reduces inflammation of the tissues that may be compromised at the level of the arch of the foot and contributes to the reduction of pain.
- Analgesics or anti-inflammatories : these fulfill the function of complementing the two previous measures, accelerating the recovery process.
- Modifications in footwear : it is essential to use footwear that has an anatomical arch and that it is padded, to facilitate the function of the arch of the foot and prevent injuries at that level.
- Medical treatments : in rare cases, surgery (fasciotomy, tenotomy, etc.) should be considered to correct pain in the arch of the foot.
If despite the above measures, the pain persists or increases, you should immediately consult your doctor to carry out the corresponding studies and decide if you need additional measures to eliminate this annoying problem.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Pain in the arch of the foot: causes and how to relieve it , we recommend that you enter our category of Bones, joints and muscles .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.