Have you ever felt a burning or stabbing sensation along the arch of your foot each time you apply pressure to it, like when you’re walking, for instance? Foot arch pain may be attributed to different causes, but the most common is an imbalanced structure in your foot. This imbalance leads to pain and swelling which can make activities like walking or standing for long periods difficult.
The arch of your foot is the area between the ball of the foot and the heel bone, and it is formed by a complex web of tendons, muscles, bones, fascia, and ligaments. It is responsible for supporting your body weight and facilitating your movements and balance when you walk.
Pregnancy is a delicate time for every woman, with a lot of physical and emotional changes going on inside the body. Hormonal changes can lead to physical changes such as joint laxity and weight gain which can contribute to foot arch pain in pregnant mothers.
Read More: 8 Home Remedies For Swollen Feet During Pregnancy
Although sore feet are common, they should not be taken for granted. Even the slightest pain should be looked into. The prevalence of foot-related injuries is surprisingly high. In fact, about 6% of the United States’ population suffers from foot injuries including foot arch pain. In addition, 46% of cases that podiatrists treat are foot arch-related.
Your susceptibility to foot arch pain usually depends on what type of arch you have. There are three classifications of the foot arch – normal, high, and low – and knowing what type you have is important if you want to avoid problems associated with the foot arch.
What Causes Foot Arch Pain?
Every time you are on your feet, your arches absorb your body weight and the shock of impact with the ground. The arches of your feet can become overworked during pregnancy, with the additional weight of the growing baby and the hormone-related physical changes in the musculoskeletal system. Other causes of foot arch pain include:
Blunt force or trauma
Faulty biomechanical alignment
Different Types of Foot Arch Pain
Different foot injuries or deformities can lead to arch pain, including:
Plantar fasciitis: This is the most common cause of foot arch pain characterized by the inflammation of the plantar fascia.
Fallen arches (flat feet): This is when the arches of your feet are not raised (or arched) when you’re standing. This condition causes foot pain but may be treated with shoe inserts or physical therapy. In worse cases, surgery may be required.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome: This is similar in principle to carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) but mostly refers to pinched nerves that make your feet hurt. The pain usually radiates from the inside to different parts of your feet, including the arches.
Treatment for Foot Arch Pain
Connecting with your doctor is important if you are experiencing intense pain in the arches of your feet. Treatment options for foot arch pain may include:
Foot orthotics, which distribute your weight evenly with each step you take, thereby adjusting the biomechanical malalignment that intensifies the pain you’re feeling.
Arch supports that have built-in angles to incline your foot toward a better position.
Orthotic insoles, which is recommended for those with low foot arch and work by cushioning the heel and acting as a shock absorber.
Your doctor may also recommend certain stretching exercises, as well as the use of heel cups, heel cradles, proper footwear, and night splints (usually recommended for foot arch pain caused by plantar fasciitis). If symptoms of foot arch pain are not severe, off-the-shelf arch supports can help manage the pain before it gets worse.
Foot arch pain is often at its most intense in the mornings, and usually, the pain is nothing that some painkillers can’t handle. Of course, if you’re the type who looks at medication as a last resort for pain, you’ll be happy to know that you can manage foot arch pain naturally.
Soak your sore feet in a tub of warm water for 15 to 20 minutes.
When you start feeling pain, sit down and rest your feet.
Get a massage and ask the masseuse to focus in part on massaging each foot.
Pregnant mothers usually focus on the health of their growing baby but personal health should not be forgotten as well. When it comes to pregnancy, to speak of one is to speak of the other. It doesn’t hurt to start taking care of your feet. It’s probably the most overworked part of your lower extremity and deserves all the care you can give it.
Medical Problems During Pregnancy: A Comprehensive Clinical Guide edited by Carolyn Bernstein, Tamara C. Takoudes