Arch pain is a term used to describe symptoms that occur under the arch of the foot. When a patient has pain in the arch of the foot, soft tissue inflammation usually occurs in the midfoot. The arch of the foot is made up of a dense strip of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes, called the plantar fascia.
This strip of fabric is essential for the correct mechanics of the foot and the transfer of weight from the heel to the toes. When the arch tissue of the foot becomes irritated and inflamed, even simple movements can be quite painful.
The most common cause of arch pain is plantar fasciitis . Plantar fasciitis is a name that describes the inflammation of the fibrous tissue that connects the heel and toes.
Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include pain in the early morning and pain when walking or standing for a long time. Pain in the arch of the foot early in the morning is due to the plantar fascia contracting and tightening while you sleep at night.
Upon waking up and walking in the morning, the fascia is still tight and prone to irritation when stretched. When walking or standing for a long time, the plantar fascia becomes inflamed and painful.
The midfoot bones (including the scaphoid, cuboid, and sphenoid bones) and metatarsal bones can be damaged by overuse. When this happens, a stress fracture is a possible injury to the bone.
Stress fractures do not occur as a result of a single injury, but rather as a result of repeated overuse, ultimately leading to the formation of cracks in the bone .
Stress fractures often cause pain that worsens with increased activity. Unlike plantar fasciitis, which can go away with some activity, the pain associated with a stress fracture often worsens as activity level increases.
With a stress fracture, the bone needs rest. In some situations, walking shoes can provide effective relief, while in other situations it is necessary to take all the weight off the bone requiring crutches.
Each foot is made up of 26 bones connected by a complex ligament. These ligaments can be damaged due to improper turning or landing while walking or running.
Ligament injuries usually occur after unusual foot movement and cause immediate pain. Swelling can also occur.
Most sprains resolve with rest. Sometimes immobilizing the foot can help with treatment. In some rare cases, surgery may be required for treatment. One such ligament injury is called a Lisfranc midfoot sprain .
These tendons start in the leg, behind the ankle, and then on the sole of the foot. Both tendons are important for controlling movement of the foot and ankle.
When to contact a healthcare provider
Most of the time, arch pain is not a serious medical problem, but sometimes a medical exam is required. Some of the signs that you should see a doctor include:
- Inability to bear the load on the limb.
- Worsening of symptoms that cannot be easily treated
- Signs of infection (fever, chills, redness around the arch)
Pain in the arch of the foot is usually diagnosed with a careful examination of the foot. Evaluation of the alignment, structure, and support of the ligaments of the foot can be done with a physical exam.
If there is any doubt about the structure or stability of the foot, special tests may be performed for further evaluation. X-rays can provide a useful assessment of the alignment of the bones of the foot. Tests, including computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), may be required for further evaluation.
Treatment and prevention
Treatment for arch pain usually consists of relieving pressure on the irritated area of the sole of the foot and in an effort to control swelling and inflammation. Here are some of the simple steps you can take to get started:
- Rest : Rest of the affected limb is essential to reduce inflammation in the arch of the foot. This may require a change in activity or even the use of crutches.
- Ice application – Applying ice to the affected area can be a helpful way to control inflammation and reduce pain. Many people consider ice massage to be an effective treatment for cold in this area.
- Anti- inflammatory Medications – Nonsteroidal anti- inflammatory medications are effective medications for relieving discomfort associated with inflammation. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any new medicine.
- Shoe Modifications : Changes to the shoe with more arch support, better cushioning, or other changes can often be helpful. For pain in the arch of the foot, it is necessary to wear supportive shoes.
Once arch pain symptoms have been effectively treated, it is also important to ensure that they do not return once treatment is complete. Providing appropriate footwear with good support can be a helpful step.
In addition, a gradual resumption of activity should be carried out in the early stages after the appearance of pain in the arch.
Get the word of drug information
Arch pain is a common complaint and is usually caused by one of the few common conditions. Fortunately, most people with arch pain can effectively treat their symptoms by following a few simple steps.
If they don't work, see your doctor to make sure you don't have a more serious problem. If people have pain in the arch of the foot, they should take steps to prevent the problem from happening again.