Foot Arch Pain: Common Causes and Treatments

September 07, 2009

Arch pain and overpronation can cause difficulties for people in every stage of life, and can even distress an athlete’s performance during many types of activities. Most of the causes are avoidable, whereas several can be inherited.  Three of the avoidable causes for foot arch pain include pointed-toe heels, shoes that are too snug, and insufficient arch support . These poor decisions can all cause painful foot problems like bunions, hammertoes, and plantar fasciitis. The Mayo Clinic cites that 2 of the genetic foot conditions that can cause overpronation and arch pain include flat feet or arches that are markedly high. Here we explain some foot procedures that help these problems, and how each of them can be healed.

Arch support Can Prevent a Host of Serious Foot Problems

Some of the inherited foot problems include either low arches or excessively high arches. Arch malformations such as these affect normal and active people alike. The result of a low arch can be arch pain and overpronation because this flattened part of the foot is not working as it should. When this structure is not formed properly, overpronation, occurs which can cause a heel spur, which a bony protuberance in the heel. Surgery is sometimes needed to remove the bone outgrowth and relieve the irritation. The specialist will use a bone saw to cut away the superfluous bone,  which eliminates the irritation, tearing, and swelling it had been causing. The best solution for treating both types of arch problems so heel spurs can be prevented is by providing the foot with appropriate arch support through arch lifting shoes.

When Bunion Removal Procedures are Necessary

Bunion removal, or a bunionectomy, is the process whereby the bony bump just above the arch is severed to achieve a more natural foot form and width. In more severe cases where the big toe has begun to turn under the other toes, the podiatrist cuts a triangle-shaped wedge out of the big toe’s bone to reset it to its original state. One screw is used to hold the bone’s new position. After about 6 months, the screw is taken out of the bone. Despite the fact that this problem can be brought on by pointed shoes, some bunion occurrences are hereditary. Surgeons concur that shoes with little space force the toes into a crowded position can lead to bunions.

Without Proper Shoes, Painful Hammertoes Can Occur

Shoes that crowd the foot, including pointed-toe shoes, can result in development of hammertoes. This problem can affect active people that wear snug shoes during exercise as well. Hammertoes are, sadly, difficult to treat without surgery. First, a podiatrist can try to splint the affected toe to try to move it into a more appropriate position. However, the patient must use shoes with a wider toe box in order for this method to succeed. Hammertoes can recur if the same type of shoes are worn again. If splinting the toe is unsuccessful, surgery is the lone alternative. The affected toe must have a section of the bone removed to reduce its bend. The recovery period is vital, as patients who do not remain off the affected foot as suggested will fail to mend properly. The prevention for this condition is to wear roomy shoes.

Regardless of type of activity level, age, or heredity, foot disorders can affect a large percentage of people. Though foot procedures can surgically alleviate these problems, most of the time they are preventable through proper shoes and proper arch support .

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