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Pain in Arch of Foot: Causes, Treatments & Stretches

Pain in Arch of Foot: Causes, Treatments & Stretches

Experiencing pain in the arch of your foot can be a debilitating and uncomfortable sensation. Whether it's a sharp, stabbing pain or a dull ache, foot arch pain can disrupt your daily life and limit your mobility. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the various causes of arch pain, effective treatments, the benefits of wearing insoles, and some helpful stretches to alleviate discomfort. By understanding the root causes and implementing the right strategies, you can take steps towards a pain-free life and keep your feet healthy and happy.

Causes of Arch Pain:

  1. Plantar Fasciitis: One of the most common culprits behind arch pain is plantar fasciitis. This condition occurs when the thick band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that connects the heel to the toes becomes inflamed (WebMD).  This inflammation can result from overuse, improper footwear, or biomechanical issues.
  2. Flat Feet: Individuals with flat feet lack the natural arch support that others have. This lack of arch can lead to strain on the plantar fascia and result in arch pain. It's often hereditary but can also be caused or exacerbated by factors like obesity and pregnancy.
  3. High Arches: Conversely, people with high arches may also experience arch pain. High arches can lead to excess pressure on the ball and heel of the foot, causing discomfort and pain over time.
  4. Overuse or Strain: Engaging in activities that put excessive strain on the arch, such as long-distance running, can cause overuse injuries. Additionally, wearing unsupportive shoes can exacerbate arch strain (Healthline).
  5. Injury: Trauma to the arch of the foot, like a sprain or fracture, can result in pain and discomfort. These injuries often require immediate medical attention.

Treatments for Arch Pain:

  1. Rest and Ice: If your arch pain is due to overuse or a minor injury, resting your foot and applying ice can help reduce inflammation and provide relief (Cedars Sinai).
  2. Orthotic Insoles: Custom or over-the-counter orthotic insoles can provide crucial arch support and help distribute your weight evenly. These insoles can alleviate pain and improve your foot's biomechanics.
  3. Proper Footwear: Invest in shoes that provide adequate arch support and cushioning. Look for brands that specialize in comfort and support, and avoid high heels and unsupportive flats.
  4. Physical Therapy: Physical therapy can be highly effective in treating arch pain. A therapist can recommend exercises and stretches to strengthen the arch and improve flexibility.
  5. Anti-Inflammatory Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help manage pain and reduce inflammation. Consult a healthcare professional before using any medication.

Wearing Insoles for Arch Pain: Insoles, or orthotic inserts, are an excellent solution for managing and preventing arch pain. Here's why they're worth considering:

  1. Arch Support: Insoles are designed to provide targeted arch support. They help maintain the natural curvature of the foot, relieving strain on the plantar fascia.
  2. Customization: You can choose between custom-made orthotics prescribed by a podiatrist or over-the-counter options. Both offer varying levels of support to suit your needs.
  3. Improved Biomechanics: Insoles can correct alignment issues and improve your foot's biomechanics, reducing the risk of future arch pain.
  4. Versatility: Insoles can be used in a wide range of shoes, from athletic sneakers to dress shoes. This means you can enjoy the benefits of arch support in all aspects of your life.
  5. Pain Relief: Many individuals find immediate relief from arch pain when they start using insoles. The added cushioning and support can significantly reduce discomfort.


Effective Stretches for Arch Pain: Incorporating stretches into your daily routine can help alleviate arch pain and prevent its recurrence. Here are some effective stretches to try:

  1. Calf Stretch: Stand facing a wall, place your hands against it, and step one foot back. Keep the back leg straight, bend the front knee, and press your heel into the floor. You should feel a stretch in your calf and Achilles tendon.
  2. Towel Curl: Sit on a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Place a towel under your feet and use your toes to scrunch it up toward you. This exercise helps strengthen the muscles in your arch.
  3. Toe Stretch: Sit on the floor with your legs extended. Use your hands to gently pull your toes back towards you. Hold for 20-30 seconds to stretch the plantar fascia.
  4. Ankle Circles: While seated or lying down, make circles with your ankles in both directions. This simple exercise promotes flexibility and reduces stiffness.
  5. Marble Pick-Up: Place a few marbles on the floor and use your toes to pick them up and place them in a bowl. This strengthens the muscles in your arch.

Arch pain can be a real hindrance, but with the right knowledge and proactive measures, you can manage and even prevent it. Whether it's through rest, proper footwear, insoles, or regular stretching, taking care of your feet is essential for your overall well-being. If your arch pain persists despite these efforts, consult a healthcare professional for a more comprehensive evaluation and treatment plan. By addressing the root causes and incorporating these strategies, you can look forward to a future with fewer arch-related discomforts and more comfortable, pain-free steps. 

Consider Wearing SelectFlex Adjustable Orthotics to Help Relieve your Arch Pain. 



Therapies & Remedies to Treat (and ALLEVIATE !) Plantar Fasciitis Pain

Plantar fasciitis is a very common foot ailment that occurs when an inflammation of a thick band of tissue forms and connects the heel bone to the toes (Footwear News). It is usually self-diagnosable & self-treatable. The inflamed tissue runs across the bottom of the foot with the primary symptom being a stabbing pain near the heel. Plantar fasciitis happens a lot with runners and people who have flat feet, high arches, are overweight, or who are on their feet a lot. You're more likely to develop the condition if you're female or have a job that requires a lot of walking or standing on hard surfaces. You're also at risk if you have tight calf muscles that limit how far you can flex your ankles. People with very flat feet or very high arches also are more prone to plantar fasciitis (Footcare MD).

help your foot healWith attentive care, the sufferer can often do these 7 things in their daily life to alleviate the pain caused by Plantar Fasciitis and help your foot heal faster (Podiatry Today).

1) Rest: Sure this one seems most obvious and easiest to implement, but as we know life often gets in the way of taking care of one’s self. General rest is critical; it may not offer quick relief from Plantar Fasciitis, but it is very important to keep weight off your foot until the inflammation goes down.

2) Ice: 
The old standby of ice to treat inflammation still works great , and there are multiple ways that you can implement this.
    • A store bought ice pack always works great. They are relatively inexpensive and most efficient to use. One piece of advice would be to get one of minimal size as you want to focus on icing the heel area and not the entire bottom of the foot. General recommendation is to put it on your heel 3 to 4 times a day for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.
    • Next option would be to make a homemade pack. First wrap a towel around a plastic bag filled with crushed ice or even around a package of frozen corn or peas. As with the store bought ice pack, put the homemade ice pack on your heel 3 to 4 times a day for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.
    • Another option for quick relief from Plantar Fasciitis is to fill a shallow pan with water and ice and soak your heel in it for in it for 10 to 15 minutes a few times a day. Remember to keep your toes out of the water as we want to focus primarily on the heel area.
3) Pain relievers: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can make your foot feel better and help with inflammation. The most prominent NSAIDs are aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, all available over the counter.

4) Stretching and exerciseStretch your calvesAchilles tendon, and the bottom of your foot. Do exercises that make your lower leg and foot muscles stronger. This can help stabilize your ankle, ease pain, and keep plantar fasciitis from coming back. A few simple stretches can reduce tension in the foot and calf, offering both rapid pain relief and a steady improvement of symptoms over time (Medical News Today).

5) Night splints: 
Most of us sleep with our feet pointed down, which shortens the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon. Night splints, which you wear while you sleep, keep your feet at a 90-degree angle. So instead of shortening your plantar fascia, you get a good, constant stretch while you sleep. Although night splints tend to be bulky, they work well and can help relieve pain while you sleep. Once the pain is gone, you can stop wearing them. 

6) Shoe inserts: For the daytime and your daily activities, quality shoe inserts are crucial to use. Most shoes are not factory produced with quality support for your feet. Also called insoles, arch supports, or orthotics, shoe inserts can give you extra cushion and added support that your shoes do not provide. You can get them over-the-counter (OTC) or have them custom made. Typically, your results will be just as good, and less expensive with OTC inserts, but quality is still important when considering. When you choose one, adjustability is key and it is important to make sure that you can achieve a level of firmness that is right for you -- and make sure it has good arch support. Also you should choose a pair of insoles with a good heel cup that provides extra cushion.

(7) Adjustable Insoles: SelectFlex Adjustable Arch Technology
SelectFlex’s PowerLiftArch™ relieves heel and foot pain by LIFTING your arch with each and every step, alleviating strain on your plantar fascia reducing pain with [ 3 ] adjustable arch comfort settings.

help your foot heal

Can You Prevent Plantar Fasciitis?

Once your foot feels better, you can make a few lifestyle changes to help keep plantar fasciitis from coming back. These include:

  • Losing weight. Obviously there are numerous advantages to losing weight, but as it relates to plantar fasciitis, if you're overweight or obese, you may put more pressure on the bottom of your feet. That pressure can lead to plantar fasciitis.

  • Make sure all of your footwear has good support. As important as it is to replace your athletic shoes often, it is equally important to make sure you replace your inserts when needed. Most inserts will last between 6-12 months, around the same lifetime of your athletic shoes. Ones you find the insert that works best for you, it is often helpful to buy additional pairs and have them in all of your shoes so you don’t have to move them from your works shoes, to your sneakers to your boots, etc.

  • Stay away from high heels. Wearing them can cause your plantar fasciitis to come back

  • Don’t go barefoot on hard surfaces. This includes your first few steps when you get up in the morning. It's common to feel plantar fasciitis then. So you'll want to keep some supportive footwear by your bed.

  • Do low-impact exercise. Activities like swimming or cycling won't cause plantar fasciitis or make it worse. After you're done, stretch out your calves and feet. For instance, curl and relax your toes and make circles with your feet and ankles.

  • Avoid high-impact activities. These include running and jumping, which put a lot of stress on your feet and can make your calf muscles tighter if you don't stretch them out.

  • Keep doing your leg and foot stretches.  Regular daily calf stretching performed over a 6 to 8-week period will alleviate plantar fasciitis in almost 90% of patients (Foot Education). The stretching should be performed for a total of 3 minutes per day. Two of these include:
    1) Stretch your calves. Stand facing a wall. Put your hands on the wall. Step one foot behind the other, keeping both feet parallel to each other. Gently lean toward the wall, keeping your back heel on the ground. Hold for 10 seconds, and then switch feet. Repeat several times on each side.
    2) Stretch the bottom of your foot. Sit down and cross one foot over your other leg. Hold your toes and gently bend them backward.
  • Untuck your bedsheets. If your sheets are tucked too tightly and you sleep on your back, your feet will be in a pointed position while you sleep

    help your foot heal