Do you experience pain in arch of foot, especially while walking or after running? Discover the causes of pain in arch of foot, including severe or shooting pain. Also, get an insight into the signs and symptoms of such pain. Furthermore, explore the treatment options available for pain in arch of foot, including effective home remedies.
Summary of Page Contents
- Causes of Pain in Arch of Foot
- Symptoms of Pain in Arch of Foot
- Pain in Arch of Foot after Running
- Pain in Arch of Foot While Walking
- Shooting Pain in Arch of Foot
- Pain in Arch of Foot and Ankle
- Pain in Arch of Foot not Plantar Fasciitis
- Home Remedies for Pain in Arch of Foot
- Treatment for Pain in Arch of Foot
- Our Sources and References
Causes of Pain in Arch of Foot
There are so many issues that can cause pain in arch of foot. However, the common causes include:
1. Sprains and Strains
Sprains and strains, are common injuries which affect muscles and the ligaments (strong bands of tissue that exists around joints that connect a bone to another). They normally happen if you change direction or if you speed suddenly, fall and then land awkwardly, or even collide with an object or person, like while playing sports.
A sprain implies one or more of the ligaments have been stretched, twisted or even torn. A strain also implies muscle fibres have much stretched or even torn.
A sprain or strain can lead to a swelling, pain in arch of foot or tenderness, and might lead to a person being unable to put weight on foot.
Most sprains and strains are able to be managed at home by use of therapy (protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation) and painkillers.
Gout is a type of arthritis that is brought about by a build-up of the uric acid (which is usually a waste product) in joints. It leads to sudden bouts of severe pain in arch of foot, swelling and warmth in affected areas, even when a person is resting.
These attacks usually last for a period of a few days at a time and most often affects the big toe joint. It can at times be very difficult to tell the difference between gout and an inflamed bunion.
The pain which is brought about by gout can be treated by use of ice packs and by taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug painkillers. You might also require additional treatment so as to prevent further episodes.
Verrucas are normally small growths which develop on soles of feet. They can at times cause pain in arch of foot if you put weight on them while standing or walking.
Verrucas are fairly easy to identify. They appear like small, white circles of skin which normally have black dots at the center.
Most of the verrucas will clear up by themselves, but this might take a very long time. There are several over-the-counter verruca creams as well as plasters that might help.
4. Blisters, Corns and Calluses
Poorly-fitting shoes which rub on feet are able to damage the skin and might lead to:
- Blisters – which are small pockets of fluid that forms in upper layers of skin
- Corns – which are small circles of thick skin
- Calluses – hard, rough areas of skin that are normally yellowish in color
The conditions can lead to pain in arch of foot and discomfort when a person walks.
Most of the blisters heal naturally in a few days and don’t need any medical attention. Wearing comfortable, well-fitting shoes can greatly assist to stop them from returning.
Corns and calluses don’t improve on their own and you might require to see a chiropodist, who will advise you about the available treatment.
A bunion is a bony swelling that occurs at the base of big toe which can be very painful while wearing shoes and make the walking difficult.
Bunions are a very common foot problem, especially in women. The big toe points on the direction of the other toes and its joint sticks out, thus forming a bony lump.
Bunions can be worse if they’re left untreated, so it’s a good idea to see a doctor for advice. Non-surgical treatments are tried first, which includes wearing comfortable and wide shoes, orthotics, painkillers and bunion pads. Corrective surgery might sometimes be important.
6. Ingrown Toenails
Ingrown toenails happen when the sides of toenail grow into surrounding skin.
The toenail pierces through the skin, which may be red, swollen and very tender. It can lead to pain in arch of foot if pressure is placed on toe or if it is infected.
Cutting the toenails straight across and gently pushing the skin away from the nail by use of a cotton bud might help to improve an ingrown toenail. In some other cases, a procedure to get rid of part or all of affected nail might be necessary.
Symptoms of Pain in Arch of Foot
Depending on lower back diagnosis, specific types of foot pain symptoms may include:
1. Restricted Ability to Bring the Foot up.
This specific symptom is usually characterized by an inability to bring the foot upward and might as well be accompanied by numbness in middle lower leg and the foot. Heel walk can happen if one of spinal nerve roots in the lower back which innervates the sciatic nerve is affected.
2. Foot Heaviness or Weakness (Also Called Foot Drop).
Often originates from a spinal nerve root in lower back, foot drop refers to a weak or even heavy feeling which makes it very difficult to flex the ankle and thus bring the front of foot up. Foot drop because of a nerve root problem can as well lead to pain in arch of foot that radiates down the outside part of the calf and over the top of the foot to the big toe.
3. Difficulty Walking on Tiptoes.
Bottom of foot pain can happen if the sciatic nerve’s S1 spinal nerve root is severely affected. Typical symptoms of pain that occur in the bottom of foot might comprise of the weakness in gastrocnemius muscle, thus making it very hard to walk on tiptoes, raise the heel off the ground, or even complete the everyday activities such as walking or even driving.
Pain in Arch of Foot after Running
Pain in arch of foot after running may be a sign of:
1. Plantar Fasciitis
The arch is basically supported by the ligamentous tissue known as the plantar fascia. Running is able to irritate this structure, leading to a condition known as the plantar fasciitis. According to a study that was published in 2015 by “PLoS One,” this condition is the third most common injury amongst the runners. This condition usually leads to pain in arch of foot, close to the heel bone.
In addition to running, you can as well have the pain in arch of foot when getting out of bed or after sitting for a long period of time. Plantar fasciitis can normally be treated using a combination of rest, ice, activity modification, stretching and strengthening exercises, oral anti-inflammatory medications, like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen.
2. Stress Fracture
Stress fractures are thin cracks which are able to develop in bone especially with overuse activities like running. These injuries usually happen with excessive training, when the muscles are fatigued and are no longer effective in helping with shock absorption.
Running on hilly terrain also increases the risk of stress fractures. Stress fractures in metatarsal bones, which are the long bones that makes up the front half of the arch can lead to the pain in arch of foot.
3. Posterior Tibial Tendinopathy
Tendinopathy refers to a painful condition which involves one or more tendons, which are structures that used to connect muscles to bones. The posterior tibial tendon is prone to injury while running. The posterior tibial muscle in calf assists to propel you forward when you are running.
The tendon of the muscle runs underneath the foot, thus providing key support to the arch. Posterior tibial tendinopathy develops over time. But, injuries, like twisting the foot or even stepping in a hole, is able to increase the risk of developing the condition. PTT can be brought about by muscle weakness or even training which progresses quickly.
Pain in Arch of Foot While Walking
Pain is an indication to the brain that something is wrong in body. Foot pain might indicate several problems, from something that is as simple as improper footwear to a much serious arthritic condition. Consult a doctor if the feet begin to have pain on walking. A change in type or even severity of pain in a previously diagnosed foot condition is supposed to be investigated. Some of the causes of pain in arch of foot while walking include:
1. Improper Shoe and Sock Selection
Shoes are supposed to suit the physical activity. Walking or even running shoes are designed to offer different types of support for stress that is placed on foot during an activity. Old, worn shoes are supposed to be discarded and replaced with new shoes that have strong support. The American Podiatric Medical Association normally suggests working with “a specialist to help you select the shoes that you need.”
Arthritis is an inflammation of joints which creates pain while walking. There are no given cures for arthritis, but by working with a podiatrist, the walker is able to determine the proper walking motion and the length of stride that best suits the individual’s condition.
3. Corns and Calluses
Corns and calluses are created by skin or even the bones that are rubbing against an improperly fitted shoe or even the sock. The layers of the dead skin which form the conditions should be treated by a podiatrist as improper removal might make the pain in arch of foot to be worse. Treatment, when combined with properly fitting shoes, usually gets rid of such foot pain.
4. Bone Spurs
Bone spurs, also called the osteophytes and the heel spurs, are created when recurring stress is placed on the heel bone, thus creating osteoarthritis. The spurs are then created from growths on underside, forepart of heel bone, where the body deposits calcium so as to replace the lost and damaged cartilage.
Nerves, as well as the tissue, also is inflamed when the spur is rubbed, leading to intermittent or even continuous pain when walking. Medications or even surgery to get rid of the spurs might be necessary so as to halt this walking pain.
5. Flat Feet
Flat foot is a term that is used to describe loss of arch support on the inside of the foot. This condition does not lead to pain in arch of foot, for walkers, the lack of arch support is supposed to be replaced with proper footwear. If not, then the foot might push the shoe on the inward, thus ruining minor support, and shifting the leg into an unnatural position.
This then creates foot and the leg pain because of improper alignment. Lifts and inserts are important to avoid the problem.
6. Peripheral Arterial Disease
Perhaps the most deadly type of pain in arch of foot that is brought about when walking is associated with the peripheral arterial disease, a buildup of the plaque in leg arteries. The Society of Interventional Radiology normally states that “13 to 20 percent of all the Americans who are older than 60 suffer from the condition but only one-third are symptomatic.”
Symptoms usually include pain when walking. Walkers over 55 should be tested for the condition. The normal treatment usually involves diet and a formal exercise program. Surgery can be necessary for the severe conditions.
Shooting Pain in Arch of Foot
There are many causes of shooting pain in arch of foot. However, the common causes include:
1. Plantar Fasciitis
It is normally among the common causes of pain in arch of foot. It happens when a broadband of the fibrous tissue known as the plantar fascia is stretched excessively, usually because of flat feet. You are likely to have pain in heel when the plantar fascia is stretched away from the heel. The pain that you experience is the worst in the morning.
2. Stress Fractures
Tiny cracks in a bone, usually brought about by repetitive force, are known as the stress fractures. You might develop the fractures because of overuse, like repeatedly running long distances or even jumping up and down.
People who experience osteoporosis are at a higher risk of getting the condition. You are likely to have the foot arch pain when you have stress fractures of navicular or metatarsal bones.
3. Flat Feet
Flat feet or even the fallen arches implies that there is no space that is between the feet and the ground when walking or even standing. This can cause all sorts of foot problems, which includes sharp pain in arch of foot.
4. Posterior Tibial Tendonitis
The tibialis posterior muscle usually supports the medial arch of foot, but repetitive use might cause tendonitis and thus leading to a sharp pain in arch of foot. Being involved in high-impact sports like tennis also increases the risk of developing the condition.
Your pain might be worse while standing for longer periods. Not getting it treated might make the inner side of foot to completely collapse down. This causes flat feet that can lead to other foot-related problems.
5. Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Any compression on tibial nerve might lead to a condition known as the tarsal tunnel syndrome which makes a person to feel severe pain in arch of foot. You might as well have numbness in heel that can extend down to big toe and the three toes.
You develop the condition when something is narrowing down the space that is in the tarsal tunnel, which includes ganglions, swelling from ankle injuries, bone spurs and the tumors.
6. Trench Foot
You develop the condition when you expose the foot to damp conditions for long periods. With the condition, the color of sole of your foot can turn white or even gray. You might as well develop numbness or even the pins and needles in the foot area. Sharp pain in arch of foot and the swelling are also other common symptoms that are associated with trench foot.
7. Foot Cramps
You can also have muscle spasms in foot that can lead to pain in arch of foot. They usually disappear in a few seconds but might even last longer in specific cases. Some possible causes of foot cramps are the reduced circulation, dehydration and muscle weakness.
Pain in Arch of Foot and Ankle
Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is the most common pain in arch of foot and ankle. It happens when the posterior tibial tendon is inflamed or torn. Thus, the tendon might not be able to provide stability for the arch of foot, leading to flatfoot.
Pain in Arch of Foot not Plantar Fasciitis
It is possible to have pain in arch of foot which is not plantar Fasciitis. Probably, the cause of the pain is soft tissue sprains and strains. There are several major muscles, tendons and ligaments which span from the heel and the ankle to toes. Besides the plantar fascia, there are many flexor tendons that course their way into the foot. Any number of these tissues can become strained under the load of road and trail running.
Home Remedies for Pain in Arch of Foot
There are various home remedies that may be used to relieve or treat pain on arch of foot. Some of the common effective home remedies include:
1. Hot and Cold Water
Hot-and cold-water therapy is very much effective in treatment of the pain in arch of foot. The hot treatment is able to promote blood flow, and the cold one is able to reduce inflammation.
- Fill one bucket using cold water and another one with bearable hot water. Sit in a comfortable chair, dip the feet in hot water for about four minutes and then do the same with the cold water for at least 20 seconds or even up to 1 minute. Repeat the whole process four times and end with cold foot bath.
- Another option is to apply some heat and an ice pack alternately for 15 minutes so as to reduce pain.
Vinegar is used in several treatments and can assist with pain in arch of foot because of sprains as it reduces inflammation.
- Fill a tub with hot water. Add about three tablespoons of vinegar. You can as well mix Epsom salt in it. If you do not have any of these, then just use the table salt. Soak the feet in it for about 30 minutes.
- Alternatively, put a mixture of the equal amounts of vinegar and water in separate containers. Use cold water in one and then hot water in the other containers. Soak a towel in hot mixture, squeeze out any excess liquid and then wrap it around the foot. Leave it wrapped for about 10 minutes. Do the same by use of cold mixture. Repeat the process at least four times daily.
3. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt might as well assist to soothe the feet, giving you an instant relief from pain in arch of foot. Combining heat and Epsom salt, which is basically magnesium, works well so as to relax the feet and ease pain.
- Put three tablespoons of Epsom salt in a tub that is full of warm water.
- Soak your feet in the tub for 15 minutes.
- The salt can make the feet dry, so use some amount of moisturizer after soaking them.
Ice therapy is a perfect method that is used to reduce pain in arch of foot and swelling on feet. Put a small amount of the crushed ice in a small plastic bag and then use it to massage the affected foot area in a circular motion. You can as well use a bag of frozen vegetables that are wrapped in a thin towel.
The cold temperature will numb the nerve endings in painful area and give you some relief. Swelling can as well be reduced. Do not use an ice pack for more than 15 minutes at a time; longer use may damage the skin and the nerves.
5. Clove Oil
Clove oil is very much effective in the treatment of the headaches, athlete’s foot, nail fungus and pain in arch of foot as it boosts circulation.
- For a quick relief, gently massage the aching feet using the oil. This can stimulate blood flow and relax the muscles. You can then massage the heels using clove oil several times a day.
- If you have very sensitive skin or even a cut, dilute three drops of clove oil with two teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil and then massage the feet with it.
6. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is a good source of capsaicin, which is indicated to relieve muscle aches and the pain in arch of foot, muscle strain, lower back pain, and the aching feet.
- If the feet ache when they are cold, sprinkle some amount of cayenne pepper in the socks before putting them on. This can assist to keep the feet warm.
- Another treatment of pain in arch of foot is to add about one-half teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder to half a bucket of hot water and then soak the feet in it for about 15 minutes. This will have a soothing effect and provide some relief from pain.
Treatment for Pain in Arch of Foot
Once the severity and the cause of pain in arch of foot is properly determined by a specialist, a course of corrective and rehabilitative actions is able to be started. Some of the procedures that can be used to treat pain in arch of foot include.
- Therapists might use machines such as shock wave therapy for pain in arch of foot so as to reduce pain and increase circulation to an area in order to promote healing.
- Therapists might also use manual therapies such as massage to alleviate pain and increase circulation to an area for faster healing.
- Maintenance of fitness levels through modification of activity might be prescribed.
- Substitute activities that can aggravate pain and soreness with other activities; for example, running makes the body have several impacts with the ground, but the use of bicycling, step machines or ski machines gets rid of the impact and allows a person to continue to improve your fitness levels.
- Use corrective prophylactic measures which may include:
- Purchase or replace the insoles of the current shoes.
- Athletic shoes lose the elastic properties of soles through usage. A good way is to replace the shoes after every six months, more often only if there is more usage.
- Custom fabricated orthotics or even the off-the-shelf orthotics can as well improve the biomechanics of foot.
- Focus on the muscle strengthening as well as the flexibility.
- You can be given exercises so as to increase the strength and stability of affected area and to correct muscles that might not be balanced.
- Exercises that can be used to increase flexibility will maintain or even improve the length of a muscle. Flexibility assists to make a stronger muscle which is less likely to be injured.
- Take medications to assist in reduction of the pain and inflammation.
Our Sources and References
- Arch Pain (Foot Pain): http://www.emedicinehealth.com/arch_pain/article_em.htm
- Foot pain: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/foot-pain/pages/introduction.aspx
- Foot Pain Symptoms: http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/leg-pain/foot-pain-symptoms
- Causes of Foot Arch Pain While Running: http://www.livestrong.com/article/270465-foot-arch-pain-while-running/
- What Causes That Sharp Pain in Arch of Foot?: http://www.newhealthadvisor.com/Sharp-Pain-in-Arch-of-Foot.html
- Home Remedies for Foot Pain: http://www.top10homeremedies.com/home-remedies/home-remedies-for-foot-pain.html
- Arch Pain Treatment: http://www.emedicinehealth.com/arch_pain/page7_em.htm
- Foot Pain: Differential Diagnosis: http://www.irunfar.com/2012/10/is-your-plantar-fasciitis-plantar-fasciitis-and-what-to-do-about-it.html