The natural curve in the middle of our feet helps us in walking, and it is known as the arch in our feet. There are three types of arches in the feet, and those are high arched feet, low arched feet and neutral.
All of these types have their respective pros and cons, but high arched feet are prone to problems and injuries more than other types.
However, not everyone knows about these problems or what causes these problems.
Moreover, it is important to know about the treatment or remedies of these problems. You will get information about the important problems related to high arched feet as well as causes and solution of these problems.
All these options mentioned below are feasible and can work in your favor but the most important factor in treatment of high arched feet is finding the right running shoes.
Try to find the shoes with extra cushioning and support so your feet are better protected from the problems of high arches.
What are High Arches?
These are the extreme, fixed flexion of the curve in the foot. People who have feet with normal arches have their weight distributed on the complete foot while people with high arches carry their weight on the heel and ball of the foot.
The uneven distribution of weight causes strain on the ankles and toes which eventually causes pain and instability and problem walking.
These types of feet are less able to absorb shock and tend to roll outward. These are more vulnerable for ankle sprain or fracture in the foot.
Causes of High Arches
High arches are also known as pes cavus and these occur most commonly due to the inheritance and these are known as structural deformity.
However, a few neurological conditions like Charcot Marie Tooth Disease (CMT) can also cause these high arches as a secondary problem. The reason behind it is the fact that all of the foot is drawn closer to the heel with neuromuscular contractions.
High arches do not cause much damage if these are inherited but if these occur as a result of a neurological condition then they spread faster and need medical attention as soon as possible.
There are not many symptoms to distinguish high arches, but if high arches are developed, it can cause following visible symptoms.
- Calluses found on the heel, ball or side of your foot.
- Pain and cramps in the ball of your foot which is known as metatarsalgia.
- Clenched toes are also known as claw toes and Hammertoes or bent toes.
- Lower back pain or pain in hips and knees
- Ankle instability causing sprains and twisting
- Swelling in tendons present in the heel and toes
These symptoms, if not treated early can cause many other problems like Achilles tendonitis, ankle arthritis and many more. Diabetic patients are needed to be treated with extra care if faced by these problems.
High arches are easier to detect because of the visible symptoms and you can self-diagnose yourself for high arches.
The method to self-diagnosis is easy; just follow these steps and diagnose yourself for high arched feet.
- First of all takes a piece of paper which can easily be kept under your feet completely.
- Now wet your feet with water.
- Now stand on that piece of paper leaving the complete footprint.
- Now diagnose the print for results.
- If your foot leaves a narrow point between heel and ball of the foot then you have high arched feet.
- Neutral arched feet will leave a flat and wider print in the arch area.
Visit a Podiatrist
If you are facing problems or symptoms mentioned above then you should go and see a doctor. A doctor can look for the structure of your feet and tell you about the exact structure of your feet. The specialists are known as podiatrists who can look at your feet as well as your gait to find out the actual problems.
The podiatrist may also want you to go through X-rays for better understanding of your feet’s structure. You will also be required to provide your family history of the disease if any. If the problem is found you may be recommended to see a neurologist for differential diagnosis and pinpoint the real cause of problem.
There is no one treatment option available for high arched feet. You can find a number of different options depending on the severity of the problem and the cause of your condition. Some of the people with severe problem have to go through surgery while other can be dealt with non-surgical treatment option.
Surgical Treatment of High Arches
Some of the most famous surgical treatment options for high arches are given below.
- The important option in surgical treatment is Osteotomy, and it is adopted by cutting the bone to make, so the alignment is maintained. The recovery time from this treatment is almost 6 weeks.
- Plantar Fascia Release is also a surgical procedure which cut short the tendon between the heel and ball of the foot, so the tension in the foot is released. It is an open operation and supported by plaster afterward and has a recovery time of 6 six weeks.
- Some other surgical treatment procedures include Arthrodesis which requires bones to transfer and fused together, so the stability is increased. Tendon transfer surgery is also used to shift the tendons to correct the high arch problem.
Non-surgical Treatment of High Arches
It is preferred that high arched feet should be treated with non-surgical treatment methods. These treatments options are generally known as conservative therapy. Some of these options are given below.
- Physical therapy is used to correct the damage caused by high arches and the problems caused in your gait.
- There are some devices which can be either inserted in your shoes or can be worn on your feet to correct the problem. These devices include ankle braces (to wear on feet), custom orthotic devices (to be kept in shoes).