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Is foot arch pain caused by injury or poor support? Here's how to tell

arch pain
3 minutes, 23 seconds

Do you have pain in the bottom of your foot, in between your heels and your toes? Do you find it hard to walk without experiencing a sharp or throbbing sensation in your foot? You might be dealing with arch pain. It’s a common problem, especially among athletes and older adults. If you’re struggling to find the source of your pain, you can learn how to tell what the cause is by reading here.

What are the top causes of arch pain in your foot?

Did you know that the pain in your foot can be rooted in a few different causes? Read through some of the causes of arch pain to determine which you’re most likely dealing with. It could be unrelated to just an injury or poor footwear support.

  • Stress fracture — Stress fractures are a type of bone fracture. They’re characterized by small cracks in the bone. Stress fractures are typically the result of overuse, like running for repeated, frequent periods of time. However, they can also occur from diseases that cause decreased bone mass and density, like osteoporosis. Stress fractures have the potential to occur in the legs, ankle, spine, ribs, arms and feet. When they occur in the foot, they can cause pain in the arches of the foot.
  • Tendinitis — Tendinitis is a condition in which the tendons become inflamed and irritated. It’s most often caused by chronic stress, overuse or a traumatic injury. If you’re a frequent runner or you’ve injured your foot in the past, this could be the reason for the tendinitis in the arch of your foot.
  • Plantar fasciitis — Another common cause of this type of pain is plantar fasciitis, a condition involving inflammation of the plantar fascia band. This band connects the heel to the toes, and it can become inflamed from overuse, chronic stress and poor footwear, to name a few causes. Plantar fasciitis is known for the sharp pain it causes in the bottom of the foot near the arch. Many causes of plantar fasciitis stem from years of wearing shoes with poor support.
  • Traumatic or repetitive strain injuries — Injuries to the foot can cause arch pain, whether a sudden and traumatic impact causes them or results from micro-trauma over time. Bone breaks and muscle tears are traumatic injuries that can cause arch pain. Stress fractures, plantar fasciitis and arthritis are common injuries that result from repetitive stress over time.
  • Poor support shoes — Poor support shoes are another cause of arch pain. Wearing flat, unsupportive footwear for years can lead to adult-acquired flatfoot and cause significant pain. Foot pain caused by poor footwear can be treated with physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications and proper foot support.
  • Underlying medical conditions — Certain medical conditions, like diabetes and neurological disorders, can lead to the development of pain in the arches of the feet.

How can you tell what the cause of your arch pain is?

Considering the many potential causes of arch pain, including injury and poor footwear, it can be tricky to determine the cause of your arch pain in your foot by yourself. Physical therapists are a great resource for diagnosing and treating foot pain. Experienced physical therapists know to ask where your pain is, what your lifestyle looks like, and other types of questions to determine the most likely cause of your pain. They can also perform diagnostic testing on your foot to determine what your current levels of strength, flexibility and range of motion are. From there, they’ll devise a strategically designed treatment plan to address the pain in your feet. They’ll work with you over multiple sessions to improve the condition of your feet and alleviate bothersome symptoms. Fortunately, you don’t need to determine the source of your pain on your own. A licensed physical therapist can effectively identify and treat it for you.

Find effective and affordable care for your arch pain from an Alliance PTP partner

Physical therapy can be an effective and affordable way to care for the pain in your feet. You just need the right partner to provide it. Don’t let unidentified foot pain bother you any longer. Take the steps you need toward relief today.

Alliance Physical Therapy Partners has you covered. We can help you find a PT clinic near you that’s staffed with experienced and caring physical therapists. 

Prefer to meet with a physical therapist virtually? We’ve got you covered there, too. 

Reach out to us today so we can help you find the physical therapy that works best for your needs.

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