Foot Arch Pain
Foot Arch Pain
Pain in the arch of the foot is a common issue that affects many people. Foot arch pain frequently affects athletes, especially runners or joggers. The pain may begin suddenly, but oftentimes begins gradually and worsens over time. There are several conditions that can cause foot arch pain, and these are often exacerbated by improperly fitted footwear, and when physical stress is repeatedly applied to an area of the foot, as in running or jogging. Forceful, repeated impacts to the feet can also cause foot arch pain to develop for a variety of reasons.
What is foot arch pain?
The arch of the foot contains a complex network of small bones, and connective tissues, called fascia. The fascia may become irritated and inflamed, and may tear or rupture in certain cases. Issues with the bones of the foot may also cause pain, or irritate nerves.
Foot arch pain is typically felt along the medial longitudinal arch, which is where the arch of your foot is typically most pronounced, toward the inside of your foot. It may also be located along the lateral longitudinal arch, along the outside of the sole of your foot. The pain may range from a sharp pain, to a deep, dull ache, and may have either a sudden, or gradual onset. You may note that the pain is worse after waking in the morning, or during repetitive movements, such as running, walking, or standing on your toes.
Causes of Foot Arch Pain
Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of pain in the arch of the foot, which is caused by irritation to the fascia in the arch due to repetitive motion. This condition frequently affects athletes and runners. Rest, reducing inflammation in the area, and certain stretches can help alleviate plantar fasciitis.
Bone spurs are also often the cause of arch pain. You may have a tiny piece of bone that protrudes from your heel, which irritates the surrounding tissues, causing pain.
Muscle and Tendon Strains
Muscles and tendons that are prone to strains in the foot include the tibialis posterior, and the abductor hallucis. Both of these attach near the arch of the foot, and strain to these muscles and tendons may cause pain in the area.
There are many small bones in the foot, which can be prone to fractures. Those involved in sports which cause repeated heavy impact to the feet, such as sprinting, or jumping, are especially prone to stress fractures, such as a fracture of the navicular bone, which may cause pain near the arch of the foot.
Physiotherapy Treatments for Foot Arch Pain
There are many methods that your physiotherapist may use to help correct the problem causing your foot arch pain, depending on their assessment of your biomechanics and symptoms:
Biomechanics assessment: to determine an appropriate exercise plan, including strength training, and stretches.
Manual therapy: moving and stretching the muscles and connective tissue of the foot to alleviate pain and help correct the cause.
Shockwave therapy: this therapy is a method of using sound waves to stimulate your body to heal itself in specific areas. This therapy is particularly helpful for plantar fasciitis, and muscle and tendon strains.
Laser therapy: used to reduce inflammation and pain, while promoting healing
Orthotics: to help correct biomechanics and give additional support in the arch of the foot.