What are they?
A high arched foot is the opposite of a ‘flat foot’, where the foot does not roll in very much at all. A distinct highly curved arch is apparent along the inside of the foot. Often the toes are also in a clawed position.
A high arched foot tends to be very rigid in nature and lacks shock absorbing properties. This is due to the foot failing to roll in adequately just after the heel strikes the ground while walking.
When the foot does not absorb shock effectively symptoms such as shin, knee, heel and spinal pain are commonly seen as these structures are forced to take more force than they are normally supposed to.
What causes them?
The structural alignment of the bones within the foot is hereditary. Therefore high arched feet are generally inherited from parents or grandparents. However, some neuromuscular diseases such as Charcot Marie Tooth Syndrome can also cause high arched feet.
How are they treated?
A combination of approaches are usually taken when treating high arched feet which usually includes:
- Specialised inserts in the shoes called orthoses. These inserts are placed inside the shoes to control the mechanics of the foot while walking. This places the feet in a better functional position, allows the foot to more easily absorb shock, and enables the foot to more readily adapt to uneven terrain.
- Footwear modification is also recommended to give the foot greater cushioning.
- Stretching of tight muscle groups must also be addressed to effectively relieve symptoms.