Heel Pain – The high arched foot

I’m sure we have all heard of flat feet or a foot that has no arch.  The opposite of this, or a high arched foot, is much less common.  Both no arch and a high arch can cause foot pain.  Too often foot pain can resign us from continuing with health activities, like running, that we all enjoy.  Ok, so what can your Austin podiatrist do to help?


There are a number of options available depending on the cause behind your high arch. Historically the classic cavus foot (pictured here) was a result of polio which would damage the nerves of the legs and lead to muscle imbalances. While this disease has effectively been vaccinated against in the western hemisphere, there are a number of other problems affecting your nerves that can have a similar effect.  A more thorough diagnosis by a neurologist is necessary with any physical exam that reveals neurological issues.  Nerve tissue can be slow to heal and bracing is often necessary.  


Another cause of the cavus foot type is pure Mother Nature.  No two feet are exactly alike and you may have been born with a higher arched foot than the next person. The increase in arch height causes pressures from walking or running to focus on the heel and the ball of the foot.  This can also allow for aggravation of the plantar fascia and the Achilles tendon.


If your cavus foot is flexible, or looks more normal when standing, stretching and arch support can do a lot to keep you comfortable.  Physical therapy is a great modality to help keep your muscles and tendons stretched and flexible to prevent your cavus foot from causing problems.   A rigid cavus foot is apparent when the arch height doesn’t change whether or not you are standing.  Because movement is limited in these feet, stretching and physical therapy are less useful.  Support and cushioning are the best non-surgical treatments for these cases.  The best way to cushion these feet is with a custom orthosis.  These inserts are custom designed for your specific foot and allow proper distribution of weight throughout your foot.  If you suspect you have a cavus foot type, schedule your visit with Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists today!




Dr. Craig H. Thomajan, DPM, FACFAS, FAENS
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Founder and Managing Partner of Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists
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