High arches is an uncommon foot abnormality where the arch of the foot is unusually high. Viewed from the inside of the foot, the foot looks hollow even when full weight is placed upon it. This foot deformity is also called pes cavus.
It’s really the opposite of flat feet, where the foot’s arch is flattened or collapsed. The foot has tendons that attached to the foot and heel bones and form the foot’s arch. With a normal arch, the tendons work together and make a balanced arch. A balanced arch can help the foot absorb weight-bearing stress and transfer the weight from the front of the foot to the heel.
Causes and Symptoms of High Arches
A high arch can be an inherited trait, or may be caused by a neurologic or bone disorder. Sometimes those with high arches have other serious medical conditions or diseases such as muscular dystrophy, polio, cerebral palsy, a stroke or spina bifida.
Patients with high arches often experience pain in the front of the foot when walking or standing. This is because there are only 2 points along the sole of the foot that must bear significant stress.
Sometimes individuals with high arches have no pain symptoms. But, even in the absence of pain, the foot may cause the patient to lose balance because the feet are out of alignment. Patients with high arches often have other foot deformities like claw toes, hammertoes, calluses and frequent ankle sprains due to foot instability. They may also suffer from foot drop, where the foot muscles are weak and won’t allow a normal gait.
The Discomfort of High Arches Can Be Successfully Treated
At Your Next Step, we have the right experience to diagnose and treat high arches. We treat each patient as an individual and review all treatments with you.
We will give your feet a thorough examination and discuss your own medical history and that of your family. Our exam may reveal other foot abnormalities like unusual calluses, hammertoes or claw toes. We’ll observe your gait and test for coordination and balance.
Conservative treatments may help relieve the discomfort of high arches:
- Switch to shoes with more ankle support and a wider heel base for stability.
- Prescribed, custom-fitted orthotics for extra cushioning and stability.
- Foot braces can help stabilize the foot and ankle in the case of foot drop.
Surgery may be necessary if you suffer from serious balance problems.
Get Relief from the Discomfort and Instability of High Arches
Please reach out for Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen, board certified or qualified podiatrists for assistance with any foot or ankle problem. You can reach us using the information at the website for our Ardmore, Paoli and Downingtown offices. Don’t suffer any longer from the pain of high arches.