Pain in the Arch of the Foot

When you have pain in the arch of your foot, it can make even the simplest tasks seem monumental. The arch of your foot takes a great deal of the stress and pounding from the body. When your weight is up or you engage in athletic activities that pound on your feet, your arch is the most likely to suffer the consequences. The foot is made up of 24 separate bones that form the plantar surfaces and the arch. Two main arches are responsible for holding your foot together: the longitudinal arch, which runs the length of the foot, and the transverse arch, which spans the width of the foot. Any trouble with the bones, tendons, and ligaments that support these arches can lead to agonizing pain.

Plantar Fasciitis
The most common cause of pain in the arch of your foot is a condition known as plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a thick, broad band of connective tissue that runs from your heel bone down to the base of the toes. This ligament is responsible to absorbing the downward force of your weight on the arch. It stretches with walking to keep the foot intact, then springs back on push off to snap the foot’s arch back to its resting position.

Plantar fasciitis occurs when this ligament develops tiny tears along its length. These tears are caused by the constant pressure of excess weight or overuse in activities such as marathon running. These tears are seen as an injury by your body, and the body delivers specialized chemicals to the site to heal the problem. This is called inflammation because the rush of blood often causes redness, swelling, and heat. The other unwanted side effect is pain.

Stress Fractures Stress fractures are the small breaks in the bones of your foot. You could get a stress fracture from constantly pounding your feet, as in a sport, or from foot trauma. These fractures are often difficult to diagnose because they are so small that they do not cause the common symptoms of a fracture. For instance, a large fracture of the foot would include redness, swelling, deformity, and pain to your foot. With a stress fracture of the foot, you might only experience pain in the arch of the foot and nothing more. One particular kind of micro-fracture of the foot is a heel spur. This is commonly caused by protracted plantar fasciitis, but it can be from overuse and trauma causes, too.

This type of fracture causes a great deal of pain, but you won’t know you’ve had a fracture without an x-ray. If someone steps on your foot or your twist the arch of your foot falling down the stairs, you are at risk for this type of condition. However, if you repetitively stress your foot with weight or overuse, you can also develop a stress fracture of the foot. Treating this type of fracture is often difficult because it requires complete foot rest for the bone to heal.

Sprains, Strains, and Bruises
Aside from fractures to the bones of the foot, any of the myriad of muscles, tendons, and ligaments can become inflamed and cause pain. A sprain is caused when the ligaments that connect bone to bone stretch too far and become torn. Plantar fasciitis is a type of sprain of the main ligament of the foot, but other ligaments can be involved with a sprain to cause pain in the arch of the foot.

A strain is a muscle pull in any of the muscles that control how the foot functions. The muscles that govern the contact and push off phases of your gait can become overused and cause pain. The muscles can also be cut by trauma. A bruise is a collection of blood from a trauma that can occur over the arch of the foot. This can cause pain because of the trauma itself, but also from the accumulation of blood in the relatively small area.

Arthritis is another type of inflammation of the foot that can cause pain in the arch. This condition is the breakdown of the cushioning fluids around the joints that keep bone from scraping on bone. The breakdown of this cushion is seen as an injury by the body, and the chemicals and blood products rush to the area to try to heal the problem. This only ends up causing more pain in the area. Since the foot is made up of so many small bones, you can get this breakdown of joint fluid where any of them meet, including over the arch.

Arthritis comes in two types. The most common type is osteoarthritis, and this is often caused by repetitive stress and obesity. This is the breakdown of the joint from overuse, and this causes pain when walking. The other type of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis. This type is caused by the body’s immune system attacking the joint spaces and breaking them down. It can cause excruciating pain because it occurs in all the joints of the foot and usually in both feet. Osteoarthritis can occur on one side, but both sides can be affected.

When you first notice pain in the arch of your foot, the best advice is to try a course of rest, ice, compression, and elevation. These are the techniques that will help relieve inflammation and cause the pain to decrease. Rest means that you stay off your feet or cut down on the amount of activity you participate in so that your foot can heal itself. Ice is helpful because it discourages the rush of blood to your foot and can help reduce pain. Compression can be obtained by way of ACE bandages or other elastic wraps. This helps to keep the muscles together, provides support, and decreases the amount of blood rushing to the site by forcing the fluid out of your feet. Elevation helps encourage the blood to run back out of the foot and keeps pain to a minimum.

Other treatments you can employ at home include using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, to decrease the blood flow to the site of injury via the medication. You should only rest your foot for about a week before seeing a doctor to determine the actual cause of your pain. If you have pain in the arch of your foot that resolves with these simple measures, then you likely have a mild form of plantar fasciitis or a sprain. If the pain continues despite these measures, you need to see your doctor for more comprehensive diagnosis and treatment.

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There are many factors the cause heel pain and plantar fasciitis. It is important to identify what are the factors (like body weight, shoes, muscle tightness ect..) that can cause your heel pain. Unfortunately no 2 people are the same so what has worked for some will not work for others. Fortunately we have put together an ebook that can assess your risk factors and guide you through your plantar heel pain and plantar fasciitis treatment today.

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