Arch pain can be the result of one or a combination of conditions that develop in the sole of the foot. Patients will often describe a tightness, pulling, strain, burning or ripping sensation through the mid arch of the foot, in front of the heel but behind the ball of the foot.
The pain in the arch can come on suddenly as in a one off day of increased walking or a sporting event, or progressively over a period of time as in walking in inappropriate shoes. Arch pain can be present every day and can be consistently present, in that it interferes with day to day activity. It will often feel worse in bare feet or thongs or flat and flimsy shoes such as ballet flats.
In extreme cases the pain can be excruciating and can cause burning and throbbing in bed at night. The soft tissue in the arch can be torn and this can be detected via ultra sound or MRI.
It is important to assess and diagnose which part of the foot is affected and causing the pain. Physical examination is usually sufficient but in complex cases the patient can be referred for ultra sound imaging. An MRI is not usually necessary.
It is also important to determine whether or not the ligament, fascia or tendon has been torn as this will determine which treatment path to take. If the tissue is not torn, then it is important to determine what has caused the condition so that these contributing factors can be resolved. Factors such as footwear, exercise or even stretching techniques are common contributing factors.
If there are bio mechanical issues affecting the patients foot then these need to be addressed also. Orthotics can be arranged and shoes can be changed. Strapping can be applied to the foot and in extreme cases an immobilisation boot can be used.
Shock wave therapy can applied to the foot which can stimulate blood flow and accelerate healing in addition to relieving pain. Correct stretching techniques must be instructed and followed.
For more information, click here: Plantar Fasciitis