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What is Arch Pain?

by MASS4D® Insoles

Arch pain is a common foot complaint that can typically be treated at an early stage. It is essential to note that pain in the arch can be felt either on its own, or along with pain in any other area of the foot.

Before investigating arch pain, it is helpful to know where the arch of your foot is located.

Your foot arch runs from the heel to the forefoot and should ideally be curved. Its primary function is to support the weight of your body during activities such as standing, walking, running or jumping.

You can experience pain in this region due to a number of factors; a few of which we will be looking into here. This might help you consider the right treatment for your condition.

Arch Pain
Pain in the arches are common in flat or high-arched feet.

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Arch Pain Causes

Flat feet

This is a condition in which the arch flattens anytime you put weight on the foot. It is easy to identify a flatfoot posture – simply, stand in front of a mirror and check if there’s space between your arches and the ground.

If no gap exists, then you have flat feet; consider getting your feet examined by a foot specialist or podiatrist who can determine the extent and severity of your condition.

A healthy arch helps absorb shock forces that are created upon foot contact with the ground. These forces are transferred through the arch structure to minimise impact on the foot and lessen the likelihood of injury.

If a person has flat feet, the feet may not be able to absorb these shock forces properly. For example, with flat feet, the plantar fascia ligament, which is responsible for stabilising the foot arch, stretches excessively.

This causes the arch to flatten completely or almost completely onto the ground, which leads to improper distribution of weight in the feet. As a result, the feet are not able to absorb shock forces from the ground properly, which may cause pain along the bottom of the foot.

Flat Feet

Your flat feet could have been passed down from family, or caused as an effect of ageing, obesity, arthritis, pregnancy or diabetes.

While it is possible not to experience any problems immediately, flat arches can become painful over time especially after performing physically intense activities or standing for long hours.

A flatfoot posture is often responsible for the development of other foot conditions that produce arch or heel pain.

This also has to do with the improper movement of the feet which leads to an uneven distribution of weight across the bottom of the feet.

Plantar fasciitis 

Your foot arch is supported by a ligament called plantar fascia that runs across the bottom of the foot, from the heel bone to the ball of the foot.

This ligament helps the arch of your foot sufficiently absorb upward pressure that is created as your foot hits the ground. Because of this, there is less impact on your foot especially while running or jogging.

Foot posture problems such as flat arches can make you vulnerable to a condition called plantar fasciitis. In simple terms, this means your ligament has become inflamed or damaged.

Such damage results from the ligament stretching beyond its normal capacity, each time your foot flattens on to the ground.

You may experience pain in your heel as well as your foot arch, usually as you take the first few steps out of bed in the morning or after having rested for a while.

The same factors that cause flat arches – ageing, arthritis, obesity and pregnancy – can also lead to plantar fasciitis.

Plantar Fasciitis

Additionally, wearing uncomfortable shoes while standing long hours or performing activities that repeatedly stress the foot (such as long-distance running) can also contribute to the slow development of the condition.

Another reason why people have plantar fasciitis is because of spending too much time on their feet. As is the case with waiters or sales professionals who are required to constantly walk or stand for long hours.

Hard flooring made out of tile, wood or concrete can take a toll on flat feet as it only raises the pressure placed on both feet. It is not uncommon for people with standing jobs to also complain of muscle fatigue, back pain, and leg swelling.

If you’re actively involved in long-distance running which repeatedly puts pressure on the heel, you may start feeling pain in your heel and arch over a period of time especially if you have weak foot posture.

High arches

Having arches that are unusually high can also cause painful arches. In a manner that is opposite to a flatfoot condition.

When you have high arches that barely touch the ground, your heel, the outside edge and the front part of your foot (forefoot) make ground contact. This causes weight to be distributed unevenly, with more pressure directed towards these regions.

Since your foot is unable to extend completely under the weight of your body, the plantar fascia ligament remains in a state of stress throughout movement. As a result of this, there is more pressure placed on the ligament, which eventually may cause plantar fasciitis.

Another problem with having high arches is an unequal distribution of weight across the bottom of the foot. This leads to concentration of weight or ‘pockets of stress’ in certain areas of the foot, including the arch, which can become painful.

High Arch

With a high arch, it is possible to also feel pain in the ball of the foot because of the excess strain that is constantly placed on the forefoot, slowly producing pain and swelling in the area.

High arches could be inherited from family, or can happen as a secondary effect of conditions that affect the muscles or the nerves and as a result, limit movement.

It is important to note that, similar to a flatfoot condition, you may have a high arch in only one foot or both feet.

You might have a hard time shopping for shoes because of the unnatural shape of the foot; most types of footwear may seem uncomfortable to wear because of shoe friction with the top of the foot.

Other causes

Two other factors that can cause pain in the arches are – stress fractures of the foot and arthritis.

Stress fractures occur when your bones are repeatedly exposed to stress over time. In the foot, these could develop due to a sudden increase in intense physical activity. For example, doubling your running distance only a week into training.

While commonly found in runners and athletes engaged in high-impact sports such as basketball and football, stress fractures can also occur with poor nutrition and lifestyle habits such as smoking or drinking too much.

When coupled with a short recovery time and poor technique, the bones take on more stress than their usual capacity, possibly leading to tiny cracks.

Stress Fractures

If a stress fracture happens in one of the bones near the heel bone, you may feel pain that radiates in the arch as you train. This pain could disappear upon resting for a while, only to return when you begin training.

Arch pain can also be experienced by those suffering from arthritis. The weakening of joints over time may lead to the development of foot posture issues such as flat feet; this further triggers all the problems that are normally associated with a flatfoot condition.

There is a high risk of foot damage associated with arthritis; it is essential to get an early diagnosis so that appropriate treatment can be provided to protect the joints from any further damage.

Foot Pain Relief, Injury Prevention, Better Posture and Sports Performance in One Insole     buy now

Arch pain treatment 

Arch pain is usually an indication of a deeper foot problem that needs to be managed for long-term relief. While treatment programmes may differ according to condition, it would be difficult to achieve true results without fixing the root cause of the problem.

A treatment programme that combines the therapeutic benefits of arch strengthening exercises and insoles will result in improvements not only in your foot, but in your overall posture too.

MASS4D® Insoles can help arch pain 

The use of MASS4D® Insoles is encouraged for arch pain, only because of the support provided to a weakened or flattened arch. By enhancing the strength of the arch and promoting healthy foot movement, MASS4D® helps to minimise the main stressors contributing to pain in your arch.

There is a balanced distribution in weight that is achieved with the use of MASS4D® Insoles which helps to reduce pain and lets you stay on your feet longer.

Orthotic Benefits

Additionally, it would be a good idea to practice arch strengthening exercises such as towel scrunches. You can perform a towel scrunch by placing a towel under one foot and grabbing it by the toes until you reach the edge. This simple exercise can help reduce pain in your arches while building strength.

Order your pair of MASS4D® Insoles for a long-term solution to arch pain and foot posture problems.

Foot Pain Relief, Injury Prevention, Better Posture and Sports Performance in One Insole     buy now

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