The body contains many different structures that play important roles in how we move, including the foot arches. We may take our arches for granted (when things are going well), but they are instrumental in allowing the feet to support bodyweight while standing, and distributing the tremendous force loads that come from running, jumping, and even simply walking. There is a moderate range of heights that allow for optimal arch performance, which means that arches that are too high can lead to problems.
As we look at high foot arch problems, it can be helpful to understand the arch’s role in pronation, which is a biomechanical process the feet use with every step. Pronation is basically an inwards rolling motion used to ensure that forces are as evenly distributed as possible throughout the foot. A normal range is about a fifteen percent roll.
Elevated foot arches (also known as cavus foot) do not roll in as much as they should. This is known as supination and it causes problems by placing excessive pressure on the outer edge of the foot. You can identify if you have this pronation style by looking at the bottom of your footwear. If there is excessive wear along the outer edge, you likely supinate.
Supination can lead to plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, and iliotibial band syndrome in the knee, but there are other problems related to high arches as well. These include claw toes, hammertoes, foot instability, calluses, and even difficulty fitting into shoes.
Some individuals who have cavus foot also have weakened foot and ankle muscles that lead to a condition known as foot drop. This condition, you have trouble lifting the front of your foot while taking a step and it drags along the ground. Typically, this is a sign that an underlying neurologic condition is present.
When you are experiencing painful symptoms that stem from high foot arch problems, you may need professional foot care. Richardson Podiatry Associates has the expertise to deal with any foot or ankle problem, including those related to arch height, so contact our office to find out how we can help. Either give us a call at (972) 690-5374 or schedule your appointment with our Richardson, TX podiatrist office online today.