Exercise & Foot Arch Pain

By Rona Aquino

Foot arch pain can be a debilitating injury to athletes, senior citizens or to anyone with a foot structural imbalance. It can have many causes such as excessive exercising, standing for too long and over-pronation.

Foot Arch Pain

The sensation of sore, aching feet or arch pain refers to an inflammation and burning sensation at the arch of the foot. This inflammation is due to the excessive stretching of the fibrous tissue located along the bottom surface of the foot, called plantar fascia.

Plantar fascitis is the term named after this condition and described as inflammation of the fascia, muscles and ligaments on the bottom of the foot, causing pain in the heel and arch of the foot.

Exercises

Arch pain occurs when the plantar fascia becomes worn down due to constant strain or excessive exercising. This may be caused by increasing your running or hiking mileage too fast, wearing inadequate footwear, lack of stretching, running on steep hills, standing on your feet for too long and abnormal anatomy such as flat foot.

Stretching is an important exercise that should not be overlooked because the tightness or lack of tightness of the joints in the foot can also cause pain in the arch.

Treatment

Rest and icing the swollen area are a good way to practice in-home treatment for mild foot arch pains. Anti inflammatory medications can also be applied to the area. It is important to reduce your activity to avoid worsening the arch pain.

Wearing shoes that fit properly is important as well. Make sure to use shoes that are designed with adequate arch support to prevent over pronating.

When running, avoid uneven surfaces, as this may contribute to your foot arch pain. Also, orthopedic pads or other padded heel cups and devices can be inserted into shoes to provide support and prevent more strain to the foot.

Rehabilitation

Flexibility is important in preventing injuries. With a simple stretching exercise, you can rehabilitate the muscles of your foot to relieve arch pain and prevent future injuries. This simple exercise by Tammy White and Phyllis Clapis for Relay Health is a good way to strengthen your foot muscles and stretch your plantar fascia.

Sit in a chair and cross one foot over your other knee. Grab the base of your toes and pull them back toward your leg until you feel a comfortable stretch. Hold 15 seconds and repeat three times. When you can stand comfortably on your injured foot, you can begin standing to stretch the plantar fascia at the bottom of your foot.

Medical Help

Consider seeking medical help when the pain begins to worsen and interferes with your job or daily activities. If the pain is reoccurring and the area starts to become too tender to the touch, seek the attention of a medical professional to get proper treatment.

References

About the Author

Rona Aquino began writing professionally in 2008. As an avid marathon runner and outdoor enthusiast, she writes on topics of running, fitness and outdoor recreation for various publications. Aquino holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and English from the University of Maryland College Park.

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