High Arches Can Mean Big Problems


The arch or instep is the raised area along the inner edge of your foot between the ball and the heel.  Most people have an average-height arch. Some have arches of lower than average height, known as flatfoot or pes planus, and they often have related foot and ankle issues. Others have an atypically high arch, referred to medically as pes cavus, and they experience a set of attendant symptoms and issues all their own.

The instep is a complex structure of tendons and small bones that allows the body to bear its own weight while standing and walking upright. When the arch is unusually high, it transfers the weight and shock of each step to the ball of the foot and the heel, potentially creating pain and instability that can lead to foot and ankle injuries.

Pes cavus typically occurs in both feet and can affect men and women of any age. Most people with high arches are born that way. Others develop the condition as a result of trauma, injury, or neuromuscular disease.

Because of the abnormal stress that they place on the soft tissues of the foot and lower leg, high arches can lead to a variety of symptoms, including:

  • pain in the ankles, hips, and/or low back
  • difficulty and discomfort wearing shoes
  • abnormal “clawing” action in the toes
  • corns on top of the toes
  • plantar calluses under the ball of the foot

Fortunately, your podiatrist can help alleviate the symptoms of pes cavus with a variety of treatment options including debridement of corns and calluses and custom orthotics to make shoes easier to wear and make your everyday and athletic shoes more comfortable.

If you suspect that you have high arches, or if you have any other concern about the health and wellbeing of your feet, ankles, or lower legs, a visit the podiatrist is in order. Call Podiatry Group of Annapolis, P.A. at 410-224-4448 or click here to schedule a convenient appointment in our comfortable office in Annapolis, MD on Solomons Island Road. Dr. James M. McKee will provide you with a thorough examination and accurate diagnosis, then create an individualized plan for your treatment and follow up.