How to Fix High Arches – Your Guide to Pain Relief
High-arched foot, otherwise known as cavus foot, is the bending of the arch of your foot, so that the high position is fixed and permanently affects your stature, walking, and, ultimately, running and athletic lifestyle (for some, maybe the least important area, but to me, the most important one).
It is not that rare as some people may think, although it does occur less often than flatfoot (or a fallen arch) - the opposite condition, when the arch is low.
However, it can be equally painful and difficult to deal with, as your mid-feet does not carry enough weight, and the other parts (heel and ball) of your feet are overloaded with pressure. Your ankles are not spared from the pain too, because additional pressure is put on them.
For that reason, you may experience agonizing pain, or even instability and difficulty walking, and high arches can result in some other conditions, such as muscular dystrophy (because of the imbalance), metatarsalgia, calluses, plantar fasciitis, or ankle sprain.
If this is the case with you, don’t despair, as I’m here to help to answer your burning question: how to fix high arches and alleviate your pain?
Rest assured that you’ll find your solution in the next few paragraphs.
Before that, we’ll briefly go through the symptoms and things you should know before you decide which method to go for.
High Arches - Symptoms and Common Misconceptions
Although some people may not be aware of this, high arches can be observed even when a person is standing, especially if you take a view from the side.
Other symptoms may not be felt immediately, but can develop as the condition progresses over the course of the years:
As many of you probably know, this condition is inheritable. But if you were not born with it, it does not mean you’re saved from its sudden development at any age.
Finally, higher arches can be connected to an underlying neurological condition, such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, spina bifida, or cerebral palsy.
Therefore, if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms, it is crucial to go to your podiatric physician, who will diagnose high arches and decide on the severity of your symptoms.
This is the first step to solving the problem.
In most cases, you will be given painkillers and some advice to follow to ease the pain. Here is where my article may help you significantly.
High Arch Treatment
After your doctor examines your symptoms and identifies the severity of your condition, there are two main paths that your recovery and treatment can go: surgical and non-surgical solutions.
As your surgeon is a specialist for the former path, you can consider me a sort of a professional for the other path, but I’ll first present you with therapies that you may require if your condition belongs to the most severe group.
Now, I am not an expert at this, so take my advice concerning surgery with caution, and always consult your doctor before an important decision or during recovery.
However, based on my considerable experience, I know what the most common procedures are, what you can expect, and are some tips that can ease your recovery process afterward.
Most people with high arches, however, will not need surgery, and it will be fixed with alternative methods.
The surgery will be needed if you experience extreme instability when walking, running, or even just standing, and if the pain is unbearable and does not subdue after other therapies and methods that you’ve tried.
Your doctor will determine the right procedure after he or she determines the type of your condition, and here are the usual ones:
Again, do not hesitate to consult your doctor and surgeon for more about these options, and above all, don’t worry - the process of recovery will usually take no more than 6 weeks.
If you’re dedicated to athletics, running, and fitness as I am, I know this may seem like an eternity for you, but it will pass quickly, and your well-being is more important than anything!
Most probably, you will be fine implementing the options that will be described in this section, and you will be relieved permanently without any complicated procedures.
I’m sure you’re not surprised to learn that you can benefit from physical therapy if you have high arches.
Here are the top seven physical toe exercises I recommend you do at home that ease side-effects caused by cavus foot:
By the way, you should always warm up properly before doing the exercises - you don’t want them to have the opposite effect.
Another way in which you can fix high arches is by inserting orthotic devices into your shoe.
They are custom-made for your foot and will work as an efficient stabilizer of the imbalance caused by the high arch.
If you’re not familiar with orthotic devices, the logical question is: How is the beneficial effect achieved?
Namely, these devices provide support for the part of your foot that is raised, i.e., they extend the surface of the contact area while you’re walking, standing, and running.
In this way, the pressure that you exert to your feet is moved away from the ball and sole of your feet and evenly spread to all areas, as it should be.
Moreover, as now you will touch the ground with your whole foot, your stability and balance will be improved.
There are two main kinds of orthotics:
Therefore, you can opt for a type that focuses on a particularly painful spot or buy a triple-support device that will improve your overall condition.
For instance, as too much weight is forced onto the ball of your feet, you will want to check out the best insoles for ball of foot pain.
Finally, I can advise you to buy shoes that are comfortable and modified for high arches.
For women specifically, although high-heeled shoes are usually not beneficial for feet, here they can actually feel more comfortable since the heel fills in the space beneath the arch.
However, if the heel is too high, this can have a harmful effect and even worsen the condition.
Therefore, it is always best to buy ergonomically designed high-topped shoes that support the ankle and high arches. There are even running shoes that are designed for this purpose.