Our feet serve as our foundation in daily life. No matter how active you are, it’s important to understand your foot structure to keep that foundation as healthy as possible. Athletes in particular can benefit from this understanding because it directly impacts performance.
A common structure concern many of us have is high arches. But what exactly does that mean, and is there a way to fix it? Keep reading to learn the answers.
What Are High Arches & Do I Have Them?
Abnormally high arches – also called cavus feet – puts excessive weight on the ball and heel of the foot. This creates a rigid and locked base that can be quite painful when walking long distances or standing for long periods of time.
High arches are commonly inherited, but they can develop at any age. It’s important to note that cavus feet can also be caused by neurological disorders or other medical conditions, which makes proper diagnosis critical as it could worsen over time. However, the severity of genetic-based high arches will likely stay the same.
Most people with high arches can tell just by looking at their feet since they are visible when standing flat on the ground. If you’re unsure, you can do a simple at-home test: stand on a dry towel or large piece of paper with wet feet and allow the moisture to sink in to make a footprint. If you have a high arch, the print will show only the front and heel of your foot with nothing in between. A moderately high arch will leave only a thin line connecting them.
As we’ll talk about, a high arch can be dealt with, but the earlier you get it identified the better. A professional consultation may be helpful since a doctor can delve into your family history, test your foot strength, and even take an x-ray to check for unseen damage.
What Problems Can High Arches Cause?
Some people manage this condition without issue, but those with particularly high arches feel the effects on a daily basis. High arches make it difficult to absorb shock well, putting strain on muscles and joints. Other problems include:
- Ankle instability: a lack of arch support can cause heels to tilt inward, creating instability that increases the risk of ankle sprains and foot pain
- Plantar fasciitis: inflammation in the ligament that connects your heel to your toes
- Claw toes: a condition in which the joints of the four smaller toes buckle, causing them to curl in
- Hammer toe: a deformity that causes the toe to bend at the middle, creating a hammer shape
- Metatarsalgia: pain in the ball of the foot that worsens with flexing, standing, or exercising
How Can I Treat It?
If high arch pain has you feeling low, you’ll be relieved to know there are several treatment options.
The most common solution is an orthopedic insert for your shoes, which spreads weight over the whole foot to provide extra stability and cushioning. Depending on the severity of your condition, you can pick these up at your local pharmacy or have them custom made. Specialized walking shoes designed to accommodate high arches are another option to make daily life more comfortable.
For pain relief, icing your foot can reduce inflammation, as can over-the-counter pain medication. Those who suffer from plantar fasciitis, especially runners, can also try night splints that stretch your calf and arch while sleeping to relieve symptoms. In more severe cases, a doctor may recommend physical therapy or even surgery to correct structural issues.
Treat Your Feet to Feetures
Wearing the proper gear can also go a long way in relieving high arch pain. Feetures has your feet covered with a complete line of support socks that deliver cushion and stability. Our line of Plantar Faciitis Relief Socks are designed to provide targeted compression that eases arch pain, while the popular Therapeutic Cushion Sock has added support in the arch for those with special foot care needs.
Feetures proudly stands behind every sock we make, and our lifetime guarantee allows for a replacement at any time with no questions asked. Try a pair for yourself today and say hello to comforting foot relief!