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the arch of foot pain

Causes, Symptoms, Prevention and Cure of the Arch of Foot Pain

, by Edmond Elsina, 11 min reading time

Arch of the foot pain is one of the major problems that affect approximately 70 percent of people around the world at a certain point in their life. A larger percentage of these individuals suffer from the recurring and constant pain that affects their day to day activities.

Our feet are the most important part of the body since they carry the entire weight of your body, give you balance, act as shock absorbers when walking and for this reason, they are therefore prone to injury and damage thus causing arch pain. When walking feet acquire pressure that is approximately 50 percent greater than the weight of the entire body.

Since our feet consist of different types of bones (consisting of 26 bones), joints, and ligaments, it, therefore, becomes the most complex part of our body, and dealing with the foot becomes difficult too. Arch of foot pain can affect one or more parts of the foot that is, the toes, Achilles tendon, and at the of your heel. Foot pain can come as a result of damage to one or more of the following parts of the foot; arch, heel, arch, sole, ligaments, toes, and joints.

The good news is that you don't have to suffer from chronic foot arch pain. If you can know and understand what is causing the arch pain, you will have the necessary tool to successfully eradicate the arch pain. Some lifestyles can greatly affect our feet but also body functions greatly play a great role in the development of foot pain.

The Causes for Most Types of Arch Pain 

The following are underlying causes for most arch types of the arch pain: 

a) Arthritis 

Arthritis is the most common cause of arch of the foot pain. Arthritis occurs as a result of damage of cartilage that protects the joint while moving so as to smoothly absorb shock when pressure is pressed on the joint during walking or strainers activities. When you have insufficient cartilage in your joints, the bones grind on one another causing inflammation, stiffness, and arch of the foot pain.


  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Wear and tear
  • Infections

Types of arthritis

  • Osteoarthritis - this type mostly affects the metatarsophalangeal joint. The joint that connects the big toe to the foot. It is the major cause of chronic arthritis that causes stiffness and reduced joint movement;
  • Gout - this type of arthritis affects the feet mostly the big toe. A buildup of uric acid around the joint of the big toe blocking the flow of blood to the toe is the main motivation for gout;
  • Rheumatoid arthritis - it usually affects both feet at the same foot joint;
  • Psoriatic arthritis - this type causes swelling of the toes. The swelled toes exhibit the shape of a sausage. This type can also cause swelling on the joints that connect heel and toes and spurs causing pain when pressed or touched;
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis - this causes pain and swelling at the Achilles tendon.

b) Morton's Neuroma (MN)

These conditions result when bunion tissue develops between the long bones of the foot, this causes the nerve to swell. It is most common in older women. The definite cause of the condition is not clear but experts suggest that excess weight, tight or high-heeled shoes, and strainers activities may highly lead to the development of MN. This condition normally occurs between the third and fourth toe of a foot and can occur arch pains on both feet or just one foot.


  • Tingling in the space between the affected toes;
  • Toe cramps;
  • The ball of the foot feels a sharp or burning sensation or pain.

Treatment option 

The treatment of arch pain usually involves two major steps, that is; by removing swollen nerve using cortisone and anesthetic this will then dissolve the tissue around the nerve and number two by taking pressure off the nerve. The orthotics will then realign the foot and prevent the foot bone from grinding on the nerve. Taking anti-inflammatory medications and ice massage can greatly help to manage foot pain.

c) Plantar Fasciitis

This condition comes as a result of inflammation due to strain injury of the ligament found at the sole of the foot. When the plantar fascia is overused or overstretched this condition arises and this causes heel pain and walking becomes nearly impossible. This condition is most common in people who participate in athletics but can also occur in other individuals who subject their feet to more straining activities such as jumping.

This condition is common in men and women but it is more common in men of the older age of 50 to 70 years. People with excess weight and those with tight Achilles are more prone to have this condition.


This condition usually causes a stabbing pain at the bottom of the foot near the heel. The pain usually worsens after few seconds of straining activity such as fast awakening, jumping, or splinting. The pain usually worsens on the onset or after exercise and not during it.


Practices such as heel and foot stretching exercises, wearing splints at night, adequate rest, and wearing shoes with adequate support and cushioning can improve the pain. It can take several months to several years to cure this condition however some people may opt a surgery to relieve the pain.

d) Hammer Toe

This is a condition that causes a joint of the toe to bend downward. The second toe usually affected by the condition. The most common cause is wearing tight and narrow shoes, high-heeled shoes, injuries, age, and genetics. The problem commonly found in women than in men but can also occur in children who wear tight and narrow shoes.

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms often are visible and they include;

  • Pain in the toe especially when trying to move it and wearing shoes.
  • Swelling and redness which makes you have a burning feeling
  • straightening the hammertoe becomes difficult
  • Formation of corns and calluses on the top of the middle joint of the that toe.

Treatment option

The hammertoe is treated while the toe is still flexible. Treatments involve the following exercises;

  • Exercises such as walking
  • Switching a high heel shoe to low heels
  • Stretching the affected toe ones in a while
  • A shoe insert can be customized that can help reduce pain and stop the toe from bending further.
  • Medication such as cortisone may still be an option to go for.

f) Flat feet

This occurs when the foot cannot assume the normal shape while standing. This is a common problem with infants and toddlers. At birth, they usually have flat feet but at the age of 2 to 3 years, the joints join themselves together to form an arch. However, sometimes the joints fail to join, and the arch never forms this leads to flat feet. Flat feet can be painful while other feet flat are generally painless, such feet flat do not require medication.


Involves the use of arch supports such as orthotic devices. They help relieve pain caused by flat feet. Supportive shoes can also be an option. They structurally support the arch and minimizes the pain. Stretch exercise may help relieve pain.

g) Ankle sprains

The ligaments encircle the joints which helps them move smoothly and absorb shock. Ligaments can sometimes be hurt especially because of straining the joint, for example trying to pose in an unnatural position like twisting the ankle in an impossible direction can cause an ankle sprain.


Symptoms include; joint stiffness, muscle swelling, discoloration of the skin after bruising, and joint pain.

Prevention and treatment

  • Wearing protective shoes during strainers activities of joints
  • Make sure the shoes you wear fit you properly
  • Avoid high-heeled shoes
  • Warm up before you start your exercise

h) Plantar Warts

Noncancerous skin may grow on the sole of the foot due to a viral infection known as the human papillomavirus (HPV). This viral strain affects children more than adults. Plantar warts can also occur on the palm of the hand and are usually a little raised than the ones that occur on the sole of the foot. Plantar is not a serious health concern, in most cases, they usually go on their own without any necessary treatment. However plantar warts can become complicated and can cause pain and that could affect your posture.

i) Broken Bones

When excessive pressure is placed on any bone of the foot, the foot will break. Symptoms of a fractured bone include; bruise extreme pain, swelling, inability to move, and numbness.

j) Stone Bruise

This happens when a hard surface hits a bony region of the foot. Using home remedies can heal stone bruises, like rest, applying ice, and taking pain medication.

K) Bursitis

Bursa is a fluid that cushions our body and protects the joints and helps them absorb shock from the outside. When bursa gets injured they cause pain and inflammation. The use of pain medication can help relieve foot pain.

Prevention and treatment

Avoid contact with warts and if you happen to touch your warts wash your hand and avoid scratching warts. You may also clean your feet regularly and keep them dry by wearing clean socks, socks help in absorbing sweat and keeping your feet warm and dry.

Peeling and freezing medicine can help dissolve the wart. Physicians usually prescribe salicylic acid that gradually dissolves the wart and they usually apply cryotherapy.

How to Cure The Condition of Causing Arch Pain

The following strategies can be used to ease the pain, swelling, and stiffness caused by arthritis:

Proper footwear

Invest in proper footwear, buy shoes that are more comfortable and that does not hurt you. Look at the brands of shoes that will give your arch support, for example, a shoe with a thick sole will cushion your feet and absorb shocks. Individuals with osteoarthritis can wear a type of shoe with a thicker and relatively curved sole so as to reduce pressure under the big toe.

Use Pain Killers

Medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen are best known for reducing pain and swelling caused by arthritis.

Take a walk

It is a difficult task to maintain exercise goals especially for those with joint pain. But research has shown that there is a benefit of exercise for those people with arthritis. Apart from burning calories, exercise can help ease joint pain and relieving fatigue and swelling.

Lose weight

Obesity is one of the major predisposing factors of arthritis. Research has shown that overweight individuals suffer arthritis at an early age. This makes sense considering feet are weight-bearing joints, so excessive weight gain can make arthritis even worse. It is difficult to lose weight when you have swelling and painful joints but aim at reducing weight through non-vigorous exercise such as walking.

Use of Inserts

The use of custom-made orthotics can help in reducing arthritic foot pain. The advantage of orthotics is that they can be individualized and customized to change the mechanics of the arch of foot. For example, an individual with osteoarthritis can use orthotics that limit the big toe mobility while you are walking.

Since the severity of arthritis can vary between the right and left foot the customization of orthotics usually varies to accommodate each foot and its condition. Research has shown that shoe-stiffening inserts to treat foot arthritis has been found clinically important in relieving arch of the foot pain.

Steroid injections

Physicians often use cortisone to help with the inflammatory effect of arthritis. Cortisone inhibits the inflammation process by reducing immune system response thus reducing swelling and inflammation.

Visit physiotherapist

Anything physical therapy will reduce arthritis pain therefore a visit to a physiotherapist will greatly help in reducing the arch of foot pain. It is better to go early when your feet are still flexible as this will enhance physical therapy thereby restoring balance.


Pain in the arch of the foot can be caused by various conditions. In most cases, home remedies and stretches can help reduce pain. Prevention involves measures that can be adopted to prevent problems and pain. For example, narrow-toed shoes and high heels should not be worn. Roomy and well-fitting shoes with good chock absorbance quality should be worn.

When exercising it important to start by warming up when finishing your exercise finish with a cool-down exercise. When you want to increase the amount of exercise, it is highly recommended to increase gradually to avoid foot strain. Finally, weight loss should be everyone's aim for healthier feet.


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