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Jul 07

Ankle & Foot of Edmonds

A Guide to High Arch Complications

by Ankle & Foot of Edmonds

A Guide to High Arch Complications

Learn about the problems that can arise when you have a high foot arch.

The arch of the foot runs from the toes to the heel on the bottom of the foot. If you have a foot with a very high arch, you have a condition known as pes cavus. A high foot arch is less common than flat feet, a condition known as pes planus. A high foot arch usually occurs in both feet at a young age. If a high foot arch appears suddenly or it only appears in one foot, it may be caused by a neuromuscular disease or trauma.

A high foot arch is typically caused by a nerve or bone condition. Initially, a high foot arch may not cause any symptoms, but it can become symptomatic with age. You may experience pain or stiffness anywhere along the mid-portion of the foot. A high foot arch can be painful because it places stress on the metatarsals, which are the bones in the foot between the ankle and toes.

A high-arched foot cannot absorb the shock of heel strike when you walk or run, which creates stress on the soft tissue of the foot and lower leg. The shock is transmitted to the ankles, knees, hips, and lower back, so you may also feel some pain and discomfort in these areas. In addition, you may feel pain in the heel or ball of the foot. Painful plantar calluses may also develop. Other complications of a high foot arch include the following:

  • Stress fractures of the metatarsals and other bones in the foot
  • Morton’s neuroma, a condition that affects the nerves between the toes and causes pain in the ball of the foot
  • Difficulty finding shoes that fit properly
  • Haglund’s deformity (pump bumps) on the back of the heel
  • Tight Achilles tendons
  • Ankle instability and frequent ankle sprains
  • Early degenerative joint disease of lower extremity joints
  • Shortened foot length
  • Chronic ulcers on the ball and heel of the foot, especially among diabetics and others with circulatory problems

Prior to seeking treatment for a high foot arch, it’s important to rule out any neurological conditions that could be causing it. If you have a flexible high arch and take care of your feet, you may not require any treatment at all. 

Treatment for High Arches

You may be able to eliminate the symptoms of high foot arches by wearing shoes with good arch support and cushioning. Adding an arch insert or support insole may also help relieve pain and improve walking. Foot orthotic devices can be used to support the joints and soft tissues. Foot orthotic devices are usually custom-made. They increase shock absorption and help redistribute weight.

If you are a female with high arches, you may want to consider wearing high heels or pumps. Although wearing heels is generally not a good idea, it can be easier on your feet if you have high arches.

Keeping your weight under control can help decrease the load on your feet. If you have any corns and calluses associated with high arches, treat them to get rid of the thickened skin. If your high arches are severe, surgery to flatten the feet may be the only solution.

Relieve High Arch Symptoms with the Help of an Edmonds Podiatrist

If you suspect that you are experiencing foot pain related to a high-arched foot, don’t hesitate to contact a podiatrist in Edmonds, Washington. At Ankle & Foot of Edmonds, we serve patients throughout the greater Seattle area. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our podiatrists.


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