8 Home Remedies For Foot Arch Pain
Foot arch pain or foot pain in general is a fairly common complaint among people worldwide negatively affecting their physical functionality and quality of life. Several studies have documented a significant relationship between foot pain and various factors like;
- Female gender
- Advancing age
- High body mass index (BMI)
- Foot deformities or other pathologies
- Poor footwear
- Musculoskeletal conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis
- Mental health conditions like depression, anxiety
- Cardiovascular conditions
- Neurological conditions
This article will help you know more about the causes and symptoms of foot arch pain along with home remedies for foot arch pain and when to see a doctor for the foot arch pain.
What Is Foot Arch Pain?
The human foot is formed by a total number of 26 small bones and 33 joints held together by tendons and ligaments.
The feet have three arches each. Foot arches work like a spring which bears the entire body weight and also works to absorb shock which is produced by walking, jumping, or running.
People with a low foot arch or flat feet walk or stand with feet turned inwards. This makes the person highly prone to heel pain, foot arch pain, and plantar fasciitis.
A high foot arch on the other hand, provides a lesser surface area for absorbing impact during activities. This causes excessive pressure on the forefoot and hindfoot resulting in heel pain and plantar fasciitis.
Symptoms Of Foot Arch Pain
The commonest symptom of foot arch pain is pain or tenderness along the arch of the foot. Other symptoms which may point towards the possible underlying cause are;
- Change in shape of the foot either due to an unusually high arch, low foot arch or flat feet.
- Spasmodic foot arch pain can occur due to sudden stretching of ligaments and tendons
- Pain may be variable. It may occur either insole or at heels also
- Patients may also complain of “first-step pain” or pain when the patient first gets out of bed and attempts to walk
- Morning stiffness at the arch or around the heel may suggest arthritis, gout, or plantar fasciitis. The stiffness usually eases after walking but may also last longer.
- Tenderness may be present at the heel or arch of the foot.
What Causes Foot Arch Pain?
Some of the common causes of foot arch pain are;
- Overuse – Due to activities like running, jumping, trekking, or excessive walking.
- Over-stretching – Excess stretching of ligaments due to forceful activities like sprinting or jumping can cause foot arch pain
- Overweight – Foot pain or foot arch pain is commonly reported among women in 50-60 years age group, particularly those who are overweight. The foot arch begins to collapse due to excess weight.
Some pathological conditions of the feet that can also result in arch pain are explained in the table below;
|1.||Plantar Fasciitis||This condition is inflammation or repetitive strain of the plantar tissues (tough fibrous tissue at the base of feet) or at the site where this tissue attaches under the heel.|
|2.||Flat feet||It is a type of deformity where the arches of feet are completely collapsed and turned inwards. In this condition, the entire sole of the foot comes in contact with the floor.|
|3.||Osteoarthritis||It is a degenerative joint disease in which the protective joint cartilage gradually wears down. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint of the body including the feet.|
|4.||Rheumatoid arthritis||This is a chronic auto-immune disorder involving smaller joints of the body. Rheumatoid arthritis presents with joint pain, swelling, and stiffness.|
|5.||Heel spurs||Heel spurs are bony overgrowths of the heel bone. Foot arch pain due to heel spurs are often associated with plantar fasciitis.|
|6.||Fracture||Fractures of the foot are often caused due to twisting, spraining, falls, or direct trauma to the foot. Fractures can be one of the causes of the collapse of the arch of the foot resulting in pain.|
Home Remedies For Foot Arch Pain
Management of foot pain aims at treating the cause. Bad footwear is the prime cause for most cases of foot pain or foot arch pain. Change in the type of footwear along with the use of padded insoles can help in reducing the pain.
In cases of arthritis or plantar fasciitis, over the counter medicines or prescription medicines to manage pain and inflammation from your doctor or physiotherapist can be taken as per advised dosages to ease foot arch pain. Anti-inflammatory ointments can also be rubbed locally for pain relief.
Apart from medicines, home remedies for foot arch pain majorly include;
As soon as you experience foot arch pain, you need to immediately stop any kind of activities that may promote or aggravate the pain further. Adequate rest is mandatory for as long as the pain persists.
2. Ice Packs
You can apply ice packs to the painful area of the foot for about 20-30 minutes. Ice packs can be used for 2-3 days or until the pain subsides.
3. Tennis Ball Rolls
Place a tennis ball beneath your foot and lightly roll it with your feet focusing on the arch. You can perform tennis ball rolls for both feet for about 2-3 minutes, once or twice a day.
4. Arch Lift Exercise
Stand with your feet apart, while rolling your body weight on the outer edges of the feet raise the feet arches as much as possible. This exercise helps to stretch the arches.
5. Arch Raises
Arch raises are one of the best stretching exercises for the feet. Place one foot completely on a step and place the other foot only by resting the toes. Lift and stretch the heels as much as you can. Reverse the steps and repeat the same for about 10-15 minutes.
6. Toe Extension
Sit on a chair and gradually pull your toes in the direction of your ankle using your fingers. Stretch only till you feel a strain at the arch of your foot. This exercise helps to reduce foot arch pain especially caused by plantar fasciitis.
7. Essential Oils
Essential oils may also play an important role in the non-medical management of foot arch pain. It is crucial to know exactly how to use the essential oils in order to avoid any unwanted effects. Essential oils can also be used for massaging the affected foot for better pain relief.
Some essential oil with documented benefits for pain relief include;
- Eugenia essential oil
- Juniper oil
- Cananga odorata oil
- Rosemary oil
- Lavender oil
Although reflexology is not a home remedy, it is one of the non-medical ways for relaxation and relief from foot arch pain. Reflexology aims at stimulating specific areas of the foot.
In addition to the exercises mentioned above, it is also important to walk barefoot for some time daily. This helps your feet to relax as they don’t need to fit into any shoe.
Home remedies for foot arch pain are not meant to completely replace conventional medical management. They are meant to be potential adjuncts to medical management. Some home remedies must be used with caution among high-risk group individuals such as;
- Pregnant women
- Elderly people with co-morbidities like hypertension, diabetes or cardiovascular illnesses
- Infants and children
- Immune-compromised persons
- Patients with auto-immune disorders
- Persons with a history of allergies or recent trauma or injury to the feet
When To See A Doctor?
Persons suffering from frequent or recurrent foot arch pain must visit the doctor under the following conditions;
- Persistent pain not responding to medications even after a month
- Foot pain along with fever not responding to medicines
- Unusual swelling of the foot
- Unusual tenderness and redness of the feet
- Pus formation at any site on the feet may suggest an ongoing infection
- Numbness or tingling of fingers or feet