7 conditions that may lead to pain in the arch of the foot

by | Jun 1, 2024 | Foot and Ankle

While there are several arches in your foot, the main arch usually refers to the inner longitudinal arch. It’s the curve on the inside of your foot that stretches between the heel and ball, making up the sole. It works as a shock absorber during movement while also helping to assist with posture and bearing your weight.

When you have pain in the arch of your foot, it can make you wince with every step you take, sometimes leading to reduced mobility. The ache can interfere with your overall quality of life because it can make it harder to do everyday activities, such as taking a walk in the park or exercising. By learning about the potential condition behind the pain, you can figure out the safest and most effective treatment options to alleviate it.

7 conditions that could be behind pain in the arch of the foot

There are many different reasons that could explain pain in the arch of your foot. If the pain is persistent or worsening, it’s important to talk to your doctor or podiatrist. They can give you a formal diagnosis and set you on the right path for treating the pain. 

Here are seven conditions that they may diagnose you with:

  • Plantar fasciitis — A common cause of pain in the arch is plantar fasciitis, which is the inflammation of the plantar fascia. This band of tissue is located along the bottom of the foot and creates tension to maintain the arch, almost like a rubber band. The most common symptom is pain near the heel, but it can also be felt on the bottom of the foot in the arch. This pain is commonly worst first thing in the morning or rising from a seated position. 
  • Flat feet — Also known as pes planus, flat feet is a condition characterized by little to no arch. The foot flattens to the ground during each movement, putting pressure on the sole while the foot turns inward. It can result in pain in the arch of the foot, as well as outside of the ankle.
  • Peroneal tendinitis — Tendinitis essentially means inflammation of a tendon, and it can occur in multiple places throughout the foot. Peroneal tendinitis refers to inflammation of the tendons that are located on the outside of the ankle and foot. It can cause pain along the arch of the foot, as well as the outside edge. This condition commonly affects those with very high arches or occurs after an ankle sprain. 
  • Posterior tibial tendinitis — Another type of tendinitis in the foot refers to damage that affects a tendon on the inside of the ankle. Posterior tibial tendinitis is a repetitive stress injury from a sudden increase in activity, impacting the tendon. The posterior tibial tendon connects the posterior tibial muscle (in the back of the shinbone) to the bones in your foot. The pain can be felt in the arch of the foot as well as around the ankle. 
  • Sprain — It’s possible to overstretch or tear the ligaments that hold together the bones in the arch of your foot. It can cause pain and tenderness in the arch, along with potential bruising, swelling and difficulty bearing your weight. You can strain these ligaments from overuse, excessive stress or stepping on a sharp object.
  • Bursitis — There are fluid-filled sacs known as bursae that work as cushions for your joints. While there is only one naturally occurring bursa in the foot, located between the heel bone and the Achilles tendon, others can form due to “micro injuries” from movements. If a bursa in the foot becomes inflamed, it can cause pain in the arch, heel and ball of the foot.
  • Arthritis Midfoot arthritis can cause pain and tenderness in the middle of the arch, along with a bony bump on the top of the foot. It can also cause tenderness and swelling that makes it difficult to stand or walk. While this type of arthritis tends to develop gradually over time, it can also stem from a midfoot injury.

Forever Fit can help you pinpoint the likely condition causing pain in the arch of your foot

While it can be frustrating to experience pain in your foot arch, you don’t have to just grin and bear it. At Forever Fit, we can help determine the likely cause of your pain through a comprehensive examination. We can use that insight and our expertise to create a personalized treatment program designed to reduce your pain and improve the overall quality of the affected area. For foot pain, treatment plans often include targeted exercises and manual therapy.

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.

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