High Arch Feet: Potential Complications and Treatment Options

by | Oct 31, 2023

Studies show that approximately 20% of the population suffers from Cavus Foot, better known as high arches or high arch feet.  Most people who suffer from high arches are born with this condition, but neurological disorders and other disorders can result in the development of an abnormally high arch between the ball of the foot and the heel. Unfortunately, without podiatric intervention and treatment, high arches can cause various painful conditions. Here’s what to know about potential complications of high arches and how your podiatrist may treat high arch feet.

High Arch Feet

Complications of High Arches in the Feet

Having high arches in the feet puts additional stress on the feet, leading to symptoms such as foot pain, difficulty finding comfortable footwear, inward-tilting heels, toes that bend when standing, and corn or callus development on the ball, heel, or side of the feet. Over time, if left untreated, the added stress on the feet can lead to conditions including:

  • Ankle & Foot Instability
    High arches put additional stress and strain on the ankles and feet, destabilizing them and putting you at greater risk for a sprain or strain.
  • Claw Toes
    Claw toes curl downward, which can then dig into the soles of shoes and make walking difficult.
  • Hammertoes
    Hammer toes result from imbalances in the muscles and ligaments in the toe, causing the middle joint to bend becoming stuck in a bent position.
  • Foot Fractures (Metatarsal Fractures)
    High arches can increase the risk of developing fractures in the bones of the feet.
  • Metatarsalgia
    Metatarsalgia is an inflammation of the ball of the foot, which can make standing or walking painful.
  • Plantar Fasciitis (Heel Pain)
    High arch feet may be prone to developing plantar fasciitis, a condition that can cause severe pain in the heel due to an inflamed ligament (plantar fascia) that runs along the bottom of the foot from the heel to the toes.

Podiatric Treatment for High Arch Feet

If you have high arch feet, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Podiatrists can usually help you manage your symptoms successfully with non-invasive treatments. Conservative treatments for high arches your podiatrist may prescribe include:

  • Custom Orthotics
    These shoe inserts are customized to your condition to provide extra support and cushioning to take stress off the feet.
  • R.I.C.E
    Resting, icing, compressing, and elevating your feet can help reduce inflammation and minimize discomfort.
  • New Footwear
    Switching to shoes that provide adequate padding and prevent the feet from pushing outward can help manage symptoms of high arches.
  • Physical Therapy/Stretching
    Controlled stretching exercises to keep the muscles in the feet flexible can help reduce pain from high arch feet.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Medications
    When high arches cause swelling, your podiatrist may recommend Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) to calm inflamed and swollen tissues.
  • Stabilizing Splints
    If high arches cause foot or ankle instability, your podiatrist may recommend the use of a stabilization splint to prevent injury and restore balance.
  • Surgery
    Surgery for high arches is not common. However, if all conservative treatments have been exhausted, and you haven’t gotten relief from painful symptoms, you may need surgery to realign bones, ligaments, tendons, or joints.


High Arch Feet

Get Help for Pain from High Arches in the Feet

At Eugene Foot & Ankle Podiatric Physicians & Surgeons, Dr. Michael McCourt is Board-Certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery. Dr. McCourt and Dr. Brooks have earned top reviews on Google for their expertise in providing conservative, effective podiatric treatments. Surgery is only recommended when all other options have failed to alleviate your foot and ankle pain. To book an appointment, call 541-683-3351 or send us a message.

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