Do you have constant foot pain? Can’t wear your favorite pair of shoes? Generally speaking, there are three types of arches: low, high and medium. Among the general population, 60% has a medium arch, 20% has a high arch and 20% has a low arch. People who have either high or low arches face a slightly elevated risk of foot pain. Fortunately, there are many ways to effectively combat that increased risk.
The easiest way to reduce the risk of foot pain is to wear the right kind of shoes. Because most of the population has medium arches, most shoes on the market are designed for them. If you experience foot pain when putting on a shoe try to avoid wearing that shoe unless you are able to purchase a good set on insoles.
A podiatrist or physical therapist can help you with orthotics to help support your arches appropriately and disperse the shock as you walk, so you achieve proper body alignment, prevent injuries and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. And while it may not as easy or fun as buying shoes, keeping in shape is an effective way to minimize foot pain.
If you are experiencing pain in your arches, OSR is able to determine the cause and plan a course of treatment. We will examine your gait, joint mobility, flexibility, strength and balance to determine whether you have plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the foot muscles, or something more significant, such as a broken bone, sprain or heel spur.
If it does happen to be plantar fasciitis, it can be treated through physical therapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (if your physician approves), muscle relaxants, and muscle strengthening and stretching. The other conditions will require more extensive treatment. Physical therapy for high or low arches may include:
- manual therapy for the foot
- deep tissue massage
- stretches to the plantar fascia and surrounding muscles
- strengthening exercise to decrease the strain
- instruction on proper shoe fitting and selection
People with medium arches should not think that a slightly reduced risk of foot issues will somehow protect them. Most foot injuries are not caused by the shape of a person’s arch but by the stresses they put on their feet. These recommendations are just as appropriate for those with medium arches as those without them. Regardless of the size, shape, height or length of a person’s arch, it is important that you treat your feet well. Avoid shoes that are too small or have no arch support. If you’re still having trouble come visit Oahu Spine and Rehab and we can create your treatment plan together.
Contact Us if you have any further questions or would like to book an appointment or call 488-5555.