High Arched Feet... how to care for them.

What are high arched feet?

High arched feet are the opposite of ‘flat feet’. A high arched pes cavus foot type appears to have a very high instep and this appearance is often due to excessive supination, (roll outwards), of the heel.

A distinct highly curved arch is observed along the inside of the foot. Sometimes the toes may be in a clawed position.

A high arched pes cavus foot type tends to be very rigid in nature and lacks shock absorbing properties. This is due to the foot failing to roll in adequately just after the heel strikes the ground while walking.

When the foot does not absorb shock effectively symptoms such as shin, knee, heel and spinal pain are commonly seen, as these structures are forced to take more force than they are normally subjected to.

Other symptoms such associated with high arched feet include clawing or hammering of the toes along with calluses and corns either on top of the toes or beneath the ball of the foot.

What causes high arches in feet?

The structural alignment of the bones within the foot is hereditary. Therefore, high arched feet are generally inherited from parents or grandparents. However, some neuromuscular diseases such as Charcot Marie Tooth Syndrome can also cause high arched feet.

How are high arches in feet treated?

A combination of approaches are usually taken when treating high arched feet which usually includes:

Specialised inserts in the shoes called orthoses or foot orthotics.
These inserts are placed inside the shoes to control the mechanics of the foot while walking. This places the feet in a better functional position, allows the foot to absorb shock more easily, and enables the foot to adapt to uneven terrain more readily.

Footwear modification
This is also recommended to give the foot greater cushioning.

Stretching of tight muscle groups
This must also be addressed to effectively relieve symptoms.

Treatment of other associated lesions and symptoms may also be required when they exist. eg. corns, calluses, heel pain, back pain, etc.

WARNING : This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional podiatric advice. Treatment will vary between individuals depending upon your diagnosis and presenting complaint. An accurate diagnosis can only be made following personal consultation with a Podiatrist, your Doctor or your foot specialist.

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