Striking you from the moment you step out of bed in the morning, foot pain can be a real drag.
If you're suffering from an aching foot arch, then we're certain you're looking to get to the bottom of it as soon as possible.
The good news is that once you've identified the cause, there are treatment options out there that can help you endure and even cure these issues.
Read on for 7 reasons you might have an aching foot arch and what you can do about it.
1. Flat Shoes
Flats are a safe bet, right?
They're comfortable, don't strain your feet like high heels--overall, they're the sensible choice for our health.
Well, that can be the case, but not all flats are created equal when it comes to foot pain. In fact, super-flat, super-fashionable ballet slipper-style shoes can be one of the biggest culprits when it comes to foot arch pain.
Because they are so flat, the rest of your foot has to compensate to keep you balanced. This puts lots of pressure on the tendons and muscles in the foot. You could develop a painful condition called plantar fasciitis from this.
2. Stress Fracture
Unlike a regular fracture which results from sudden trauma to a bone, stress fractures are small cracks that build up over time from overuse of a bone.
The stressed-out bone doesn't have time to make repairs as it normally would, and these small fractures in foot bones can cause sharp pain in the arch of the foot.
While exercise is generally good for us, certain exercises that put a lot of stress on the heel can lead to pain in the middle of the foot.
A common problem resulting from this is plantar fasciitis, which can occur when the plantar fascia ligament is repeatedly stretched and torn.
Exercises that commonly cause this type of condition include long-distance running, aerobics and ballet dancing.
Also, more "explosive" forms of cardio or circuit training, which involve jumping and landing heavily on the feet, can cause trauma and lead to ongoing foot arch pain.
4. Sprains and Strains
That sinking feeling when you turn or sprain your ankle might not just have an impact on the joint itself.
Because of the way the muscles and structures of the lower leg and foot interconnect, a sprain further up could also be a cause of instep pain.
Make sure that you consult a doctor if you do get a sprain or strain. Getting the right treatment earlier enough, and giving it needed rest can help to reduce the risk of developing foot arch pain at a later time.
We all try to look where we're going when we're out and about but sometimes we miss the uneven ground, stones, and other obstacles.
If you stand on these under the arch of your foot, you can develop bruising, and also strain the plantar fascia and muscles that make up the foot.
6. Wearing the Wrong Sized Shoes
Just as flat shoes and high heels force the muscles and ligaments in your feet into unnatural positions, so will ill-fitting shoes.
Whether too small or too large, they will force your toes to have to grip strangely, putting pressure on the heel and arch, leading to pain in the middle of the foot.
7. Plantar Fasciitis
Mentioned before, as it can result from some of the above, plantar fasciitis can sometimes come on suddenly, with no apparent trigger.
The plantar fascia is a thick band of ligament that runs from the heel to the metatarsals--right along the arch of the foot. This is why the inflammation of it causes burning pain in the arch of the foot.
The pain is typically more intense first thing in the morning. The burning pain towards the back of the foot arch can make the first few steps in the morning excruciating.
Jobs that require standing on your feet for long periods, such as teachers and nurses can also find this is an issue. A period of prolonged pain can also be brought on by a long session on your feet.
How to Treat an Aching Foot Arch
Whatever the cause, an aching foot arch won't be cured overnight. However, there are several steps that you can take to deal with a painful arch.
One of the most crucial things to do is get an accurate diagnosis first. Seek professional advice, before embarking on a course of treatment that may do more harm than good.
Speak to a professional about the right type of footwear that will help your particular condition. Sometimes, a custom insole will suffice, and alleviate the pressure causing your arch pain.
However, sometimes more specialist footwear is needed, with special built-in support that helps to reduce your symptoms.
You may also have developed ways of walking to compensate for the issues you are experiencing. It is good to have this reviewed and see if changing your manner of walking could also bring you some relief.
Wrapping Up on Reasons for an Aching Foot Arch
Knowing the reason for your aching foot arch is the first step (pardon the pun) in getting the issue resolved.
Plantar fasciitis is common, caused by many of the reasons given above, but can be treated. It shouldn't be ignored, because it could develop into long-term heel and arch pain if it is not treated.