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Arch Pain | Bottom Of Foot Hurts

Arch pain is felt on the underside of your foot between the heel and ball. The purpose of the arch is to transfer your body weight from heel to toe, and pain is the result when the arch doesn't function properly.

arch pain on bottom of foot

Your foot actually contains two arches: the longitudinal arch which runs the length of your foot, and the transverse arch (also known as the metatarsal arch) which spans the width of your foot. There are 24 bones which create the arches and these bones are held together through their unique interlocking shapes and ligaments. The muscles and the plantar fascia (a broad band of fibrous tissue which runs from the heel to the toes) provide secondary support, and fat pads help to absorb impact and bear your weight. If any of these structures or their interaction are damaged or faulty, arch pain may occur.

The most common cause of arch pain is plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the plantar fascia. You may also suffer arch pain if you have a structural imbalance in your foot or suffer from arthritis.

 

See our page on plantar fasciitis, the most common cause of heel pain and arch pain.

 

But arch pain may also result from stepping on a rock or when someone steps on your foot. This force may cause an injury such as a bone fracture or damage to the supporting muscles, ligaments, or tendons underneath your foot.

What causes arch pain

  • Direct force trauma
  • Flat feet
  • Pronated foot (rolls inward when walking)
  • Ligament sprains
  • Muscle strains
  • Biomechanical problems
  • Stress fractures
  • Overuse (plantar fasciitis)
  • Too tight or too loose joints in the foot
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Arthritis

Symptoms of Arch Pain

  • Pain and tenderness on the bottom of the foot
  • Pain may be increased or decreased by stretching of the arch
  • Pain may decrease or subside as the foot "warms up" with activity
  • Pain may increase with activity
  • Pain when foot is fully extended, flexed, or turned in and out
  • Burning sensation at the center of the arch

Treatment for arch pain
Your podiatrist at PA Foot and Ankle Associates may recommend one or more of these treatments to manage your arch pain:

  • Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation
  • Over the counter pain medications
  • Custom in-shoe orthotics to relieve pressure and balance the foot
  • Shoe modifications
  • Change in footwear (no high heels)
  • Stretching exercises
  • Surgery for severe cases

Arch pain may have a variety of causes and proper evaluation and diagnosis by a podiatrist is essential in planning an effective treatment.