High arched or the pes cavus foot type is characterized by an abnormally high medial arch (also called instep) and can be found in both kids and adults. There are a lot of different causes for high arched feet, ranging from structural/ developmental problems, stroke, neuromuscular disease, congenital lymphedema or poor footwear.
People who have this foot type
are prone to walk or stand on the outside of their feet leading to instability and more pronounced stress on the outside of their skeletal system. Due to the instability, it is not uncommon
for people with high arches to suffer from constant ankle sprains or to develop chronic knee and lower back pain.
What are the signs and symptoms?
• Presence of abnormally high medial arch
• Pain in the arch or the heel due to the contracture of plantar fascia
• Ankle sprains and shin splints are very common
• Toes are often contracted and deformed (hallux valgus, claw toes, hammertoes, etc.)
• Calluses on the sole of the feet
• Pain in the ball of the foot, knees and lower back
• Presence of calcification on the back of the heel (Haglund’s deformity)
Before starting treatment,
a proper assessment by a chiropodist/podiatrist or family physician is required. Treatments, if necessary, must be carefully managed to prevent substituting one deformity for another.
In all cases, a possibility of neuromuscular disease must be
considered, followed by appropriate referral if
necessary. Treatments might include activity modification, proper shoe recommendation, modification of the shoes, custom made orthotics or the use of ankle braces. It’s important to address
the presence of high arches as early as possible to prevent any future complications.
To minimize problems associated with high arches, wear proper shoes, don’t go barefoot and have your feet checked regularly.