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Can high-arched feet have any complications?

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Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT

People with high-arches typically have less give in their foot as compared to those with flat arches. It can affect different body parts. With a more rigid support at the arch there tends to be greater forces dispersed at the heel and ball of the foot. Whether it be callouses, neuromas, or spurs many times they are formed due to excessive forces on that area. People with high-arches also tend to walk on their outside of their foot This makes them have more weight-bearing forces to along the outside of their legs. Commonly you see associated problems with ankle sprains, lateral knee pain such as iliotibial band syndrome (ITB), or lateral hip pain. There is also a tendency for people with high-arches to be generally stiff in their joints and muscles. This is due to a greater amount of ground reaction forces not being absorbed in the foot and sent higher into the legs, back and trunk as weight-bearing occurs.

Physical Therapy typically focuses on improving the soft tissue and joint restrictions that are associated with the rigid / high-arched foot mechanics. Use of proper shoe wear and possible orthotics can help reduce the stresses on people’s feet as well.

 

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