Treat your feet like to have them for a lifetime. Arch strain is a name given to the pain and inflammation experienced in the arch of the foot, which is the raised area that runs from the ball of the big toe to the heel. This pain may be debilitating causing an individual to decrease activity to alleviate the pain. This is due to excessive pulling and stretching of the fibrous bands that support the arch of the foot. Usually it is the result of over pronation. Pain can be both sharp and acute or described as a burning sensation.
There are many different factors that can cause arch pain. A structural imbalance or an injury to the foot can often be the direct cause. If the arch pain is related to over pronation (flat feet) then an orthotic (corrective insole) may be the best solution. The plantar fascia is a broad band of fibrous tissue located along the bottom surface of the foot that runs from the heel to the forefoot. Excessive stretching of the plantar fascia, usually due to over-pronation (flat feet), causes plantar fasciitis. The other common factor for cause of arch pain is tarsal tunnel syndrome which is a pinch nerve at the ankle that refers pain to the arch. Other possible causes of arch pain include nerve damage to the surrounding tissues or because of the presence of arthritis in the foot joints. There can be osteoarthritis of the joints in the mid foot that can cause arch pain.
This is a common foot condition that can be easily treated. The orthotic should have good arch support and medial heel posting. Immediate treatment should include the use of cooling items such as ice packs or gels, which can help to soothe the area and reduce any swelling that may occur. Try to choose footwear with a reasonable heel, soft leather uppers, shock absorbing soles and removable foot insoles. This type of orthotic will control over-pronation, support the arch and provide the necessary relief. If the condition recurs frequently or is due to anything other than injury, it may be worthwhile modifying activities and behavior by allowing for periods of more rest during the day. Feet should be elevated when possible to allow for excess fluids to drain away therefore preventing swelling.
Early in the treatment of arch pain, consideration needs to be given to the cause and strategies put in place to prevent it happening again. Advice should be sought on the adequacy of footwear. Protecting the foot from further injury and pain is extremely important in the management of this condition. Foot orthoses should be used if structural imbalances are present. The pain exists to tell us something is wrong and should not be ignored, in order to seek professional advice and treatment of alternative conditions. Feet swell about 5% over the course of a day and are largest at the end of the day, so go shopping for footwear near the end of the day to prevent your arch pain.
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