Effective Tips to Avoid Foot Pain in Arch in Daily Life
If you’re suffering from foot arch pain, you know how it can really ruin your day. Nothing puts a damper on a morning walk or an afternoon commute like searing or stabbing pain in the arch of your foot.
If your job requires you to be on your feet most of the time, an 8-hour shift can feel like you’re running a marathon on a bed of nails.
Today, we’re going to look at some simple life hacks that can help you relieve this pain and get back to enjoying your life from day to day.
We’ll begin by explaining a little bit about why foot arch pain happens in the first place, and we’ll also talk about when you might want to get a doctor involved.
In between, we’ll present some pain relief solutions that can help you out.
Understanding the Causes of Foot Arch Pain
The human foot is a complex arrangement of bones, muscles, ligaments (soft tissue that connects the bones), and a dense, fibrous support tissue called Plantar Fascia. There’s also padding tissue on the bottom of your foot, to help reduce impact.
The arch of your foot is an arrangement of 26 small bones that form not just one, but two arches: the longitudinal arch, which runs the length of your foot, and the transverse arch, which spans its width.
These bones are all supported by connective and protective tissues, and any damage to those tissues or the bones themselves can cause arch pain.
Damage can come in the form of cracked bones, but typically results from inflammation in the ligaments or Plantar Fascia.
This inflammation can be caused by stiffness, repeated stress, sprains and strains, or a chronic disease called Plantar Fasciitis. All of these causes of arch pain require a different approach.
Stretch and Exercise
The most basic approach is to work on your overall physical fitness. If you’re not in very good shape, this can cause extra stress on your feet, leading to damage and pain over time.
By adopting an exercise routine and adjusting your calorie intake, you can lose weight and take some stress off of those arches. If you already exercise, it’s possible that your routine itself is causing your problems.
So whether you’re a long-time exerciser or you’re just starting out, make sure to stretch your feet thoroughly before a run or other workout.
This keeps your foot’s all-important soft tissues loose, so they’re not as likely to get inflamed from everyday use.
New Shoes or Insoles
One of the easiest solutions to relieving arch pain is to upgrade your footwear. Shoes with poor arch support can put a lot of strain on your feet.
Ditto for ill-fitted shoes, which can cause you to walk at awkward angles, potentially causing damage to your arches with every step. Even quality shoes aren’t as useful when they get older, since material can stretch out and lose support over time.
The easiest solution to this problem is to buy yourself a new pair of sneakers, preferably a pair with better arch support. Here’s a review of 10 sneakers with excellent arch support. We’d recommend any of them.
Alternatively, if you’re already happy with your shoes, a pair of orthotic insoles can give you a custom fit that’s ideal for your foot.
Over the Counter Pain Medication
Another simple option is over the counter pain medication. Now, this isn’t a long-term solution. After all, pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong.
Continually masking the pain with medication is only going to lead to more damage and pain in the long run.
That said, medicines like ibuprofen and acetaminophen are what’s called NSAIDs, or Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs.
Essentially, they reduce pain by reducing inflammation. And since inflammation is a major cause of foot arch pain, these painkillers may actually solve the problem simply by relieving the inflammation long enough for healing to take place.
Avoid High-Impact Exercise
We’ve already touched on exercise, but one thing we didn’t talk about is the type of exercise that you’re doing.
High-impact exercises like jogging can cause stress injuries to your arches over time, irritating your muscles and connective tissues to the point that you’re in chronic pain.
Now, this shouldn’t happen if you’re wearing good shoes and using proper technique, but our bodies are biological machines, and sometimes machines fail.
If this has happened to you, consider switching to an elliptical bike, or even to swimming.
These exercises don’t put a lot of stress on your feet, so changing up your routine for a few weeks, or even permanently, can allow your arches time to heal.
When to Talk to Your Doctor
We’ve talked a lot about ordinary causes of arch pain, primarily repeated stress and ill-fitted shoes.
That said, there are a couple of situations where a doctor is going to be far more helpful than any life hacks. We’re talking about broken bones and Plantar Fasciitis.
If you think you have a broken bone in your foot, please, go get an X-ray. A badly-healed bone can leave you in chronic pain for life.
Why take that risk when a trip to your doctor could have you fixed up and back to your everyday life?
In the case of Plantar Fasciitis, you’ll know you need to see your doctor because it’s a chronic pain. Some of these life hacks may help, but if you’ve tried everything and your arches still hurt, see your doctor.
As you can see, there’s a lot you can do to reduce foot arch pain. We hope our tips and tricks have helped relieve your pain and get you back on your feet.
If you liked what you just read and you need somewhere to store your new sneakers, check out these cool shoe storage DIY projects. And if you’re curious about life hacks our ancestors used, these brilliant lifehacks from 100 years ago will put a smile on your face.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sophie Elise is a passionate cyclist, author, and blogger. She is very passionate about writing on different types of women’s bikes, accessories, health, fitness and more. She regularly writes on sportsly.net