What is causing that pain in the arch of your foot & what you can do about it

Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the band of thick tissue that runs through the length of the bottom of your foot (Plantar fascia). This band connects the heel and the toes of your foot. Those who run a lot, or those who have footwear that do not have sufficient arch support can fall prey to this painful problem. It is caused by the strain that this band takes with unsupported weight or body-weight force coming down hard on that band repeatedly. This inflammation causes pain for the bottom of the foot.

What caused it?!?

Usually this condition will come to your attention when you first get onto your feet in the morning and the pain will usually be close to the heel. It can be felt in more areas on the bottom of your foot though. For me, it has always been proven to be from poor or no arch support. Normally I get tennis shoes that are built Cross-fit style. These typically have arch support that is built in so well that you can visually see that it is present. I found them to be most comfortable, versatile, and free from this problem. Then one summer I took to wearing flip flops far more than I had in the past. It took some time, but I built up this painful arch inflammation. Going back to more structured shoes saved me.

Stretches and exercises

There are many types of exercises and stretches that you can do to make your foot feel better. Stretches that pull the ball of the foot and toes upward will help. You can do this with a calf stretch. Put the leg back behind you so that you are pressing your foot in an upward angle on the floor with your hands on a wall and angled toward it. Additionally, you can also take your other leg and cross it a little past that foot and touch the heel to the floor and toes up on the wall. This provides angles for the heel and foot that can alleviate the motion that causes additional trouble from pronation of the heel.

The calf stretch also helps the foot arch
calf and foot arch stretch
Calf stretch plus help for heel pronation effects
Modified calf stretch

The stretch described above loosens both the calf area and the arch area. These are both at play in this problem. Do this stretch for a few minutes each day. If you find that you have more problem on one foot… this shows that you have an imbalance in your muscle strength. If your foot inflammation is not from an arch support issue, look at other causes. Do you have bad posture? Is your core alignment off? Do exercises to improve the condition.

Imbalance in muscle strength

If you have stronger muscles on one side, you may be rotating in your motion more and causing more pronation and force upon the heel of one foot. Additionally, this causes a harsh flex through the structure of the foot as well. That foot is taking more of the stress. Strengthen the muscles for the other leg with additional exercise.

Arch support options

You can always get shoes that have good arch support. Arch support inserts can be added to your shoes. Make sure that you get a design that will stay in the proper place. If they are floating around in your shoe this is not helping, and may even add new problems. There are bands that wrap around the middle of the foot that can provide compression support or gel arch support. You can get a full length pad with extra material for the arch area. These stay in place easier, but you must have enough room in your shoe for them to be comfortable as a solution. If you use a partial insert that adheres in place, the activity of your foot in motion will probably move it over time.

shoe inserts

Dr. Scholl’s Comfort and Energy Work Insoles for Men, 1 Pair, Size 8-14

Dr. Scholl’s Pain Relief Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis for Women, 1 Pair, Size 6-10

Powerstep Original Full Length Orthotic Shoe Insoles. These can be ordered in whatever men’s or women’s size needed.

Plantar Fasciitis Feet Insoles Arch Supports Orthotics Inserts Relieve Flat Feet, High Arch, Foot Pain. Able to be ordered in whatever men’s or women’s size that is needed.

compression socks

I love compression padded socks. They are more comfortable for me even when I am not dealing with plantar fasciitis. They may provide help for you or maybe, like me, you will prefer them over standard socks.
Firm support compression sock that is breathable and moisture wicking fabric with no toe coverage.

This is a light support compression sock that has no toe coverage. They are for both men and women. You can wear them under your socks. If you are not completely satisfied with your compression socks, return them for a full refund or replacement, No questions asked.

These unisex compression socks are short ankle cuff, come in many colors and sizes. You are sure to find the right one for you. They are padded and give compression through the arch area with material that is wicking.

Men’s compression short ankle cuff socks that are cushioned on the heel and toe and compression through the arch. They are breathable material. 6-pack US Men’s shoe size 7-12 (Black*2, Deep-grey*2 and Grey*2 pairs).

Women’s low cut compression socks that are padded with compression through the arch and breathable, wicking material. 6-pack US women’s shoes sizes 5-11 all are black with varying color details.

Women’s compression sock with short cuff, padded in the heel and toe and compression through the arch. US Womens shoe size 6-12, 6-pack that you can get in different color assortments. The material is breathable and wicking.

compression support bands

COMPRESSION
This gives you guidance to get the proper size and you can order any of those 4 sizes. It has moisture wicking fabric.

Copper compression band that comes in 3 sizes that you can order here. These are lightweight and breathable material.

PAD
This band has a thick cushion for your arch support with extra shock absorbing core. These are non slip and breathable.

This is soft silicone pad and also clear so that the appearance is subtle! It is easily washed. SIZE: Women 7 to 14/Men 5 to 13

One size fits most sizes. The elastic bandage has a built in soft silicone pad.

shoes that have built in arch support

Make sure that the support has a mound shape for the inner part of your foot between the heel and the ball of the foot. The ball of the foot is the area before your toes. Your foot’s outer edge area is not part of this arch and will not need support. Support should be graduated from a peak at the innermost part. The amount of arch support needed depends on the shape of your foot. In the course of your life this can change. With wear and tear, the arch can become smaller.

Flip flop options

Easy footwear solutions are the ones that have built in arch support. Flip flops are not out of the question here. Just get flip flops that have built in arch support. These can be expensive, but the situation has improved a lot and you can find reasonably priced ones now. It is well worth getting ones that are full, one piece mold design. They hold up well and don’t come apart. There are multi-layer ones that are built well too. Some will have gel sole material built into them.
Footminders BALTRA Unisex Orthotic Arch Support Sandals (Pair) – Walking Comfort with Orthopedic Support

I have these one & love them! Okabashi Women’s Maui Flip Flops – Sandals. They come in many color choices.

Spenco Men’s Yumi Canvas Sandal

New Balance Women’s Renew Thong Sandal. These have a black base and many choices in the strap colors.