Tight foot arch
The arches in your feet and are supported by muscles and a tight band of tissue called the plantar fascia. This sinewy tissue links the heel bone to the toes and is crucial to proper foot movement, transfer of weight from the heel to toe, as well as the absorption and transfer of force to and from the body. Any condition that alters the function of the complex structure of the foot can cause pain.
Arch pain symptoms are typically described as tightness under the foot. Many factors can cause arch pain, such as direct trauma, ligament strains, stress fractures, or poor alignment. However, the most common cause of foot arch pain is inflammation of the planar fascia, referred to as plantar fasciitis. Pain associated with plantar fasciitis is usually felt on the bottom of the foot and can increase or decrease as a result of stretching. Mild cases of the condition typically cause heel and arch pain in the morning, as the tissue has become constricted and tight during sleep. The tissue can also become inflamed after prolonged walking or standing. In more severe cases, pain may increase when the arch is stressed and even slight movements can be quite painful.
Plantar fasciitis is sometimes associated with rapid weight gain, causing stress on the foot tissues. It is also commonly seen in recreational athletes, such as runners. Treatment of plantar fasciitis may require physical therapy in combination with steps taken at home. Resting and reducing any repetitive activity is the first step to help ease inflammation and irritation. Icing the arch and heel area also helps to provide immediate relief of plantar fascia pain. Your physical therapist may recommend shoe inserts to support the arch and relieve additional stress along with over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medications. However, reduction of foot arch tightness associated with plantar fasciitis is best maintained by performing stretching exercises designed to relax the tissue and prevent future inflammation. A majority of people suffering from plantar fasciitis are able to greatly reduce, or eliminate pain in a few weeks after physical therapy treatment.
More specific pain in the foot, as opposed to general tenderness and aching, can mean the presence of a more serious medical condition. If you have severe pain or your condition worsens, it is important for you to seek medical care. Other causes of foot pain can include stress fractures, arthritis or joint problems, ligament strains, and other muscle injury. If you are suffering from foot arch tightness or pain, come in and visit us to discuss how we can help you.
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