Inner Arch Pain from Running
Runners, athletes and those who spend a lot of time walking or standing can have inner arch pain when they are involved in those specific activities. While it’s expected that occasionally your feet will hurt when running, if the ache is constant or involves the arch, it could signal a problem with your stride. Discomfort that is focused on the interior arch might also indicate an issue with shoes that don’t fit your foot properly. It could be the result of flat feet or a trauma to the feet while running. Insoles, especially ones that can be molded with sole heat, can help.
Arch Issues and Symptoms
Ache and Discomfort
While some people have flat feet or fallen arches and never notice a problem, runners are constantly stressing their feet, which can bring about an issue that will require treatment. That treatment varies depending on the severity of the ache. It could be a shooting one in the arch, a problem with the heel or an overall ache in one foot or both feet.
The interior bottom part of your feet can swell making it difficult to run or walk without agony. The swelling could spread from the arch to other parts of the feet as well. The inflamed part of your feet might not have much discomfort at all, but the swelling could make it hard to run, walk, or stand. It can have an impact on the heels, the balls of the feet and bones on top of the feet.
While you might not have discomfort while actively participating in a run, the swelling and ache might develop overnight. You could wake with inflamed inner arches that make it difficult to walk when you get out of bed. It could develop later in the day after sitting for a long time too. The stiffness can make it difficult to walk when first getting up, but it will lessen after walking for a few minutes. Even though the discomfort and stiffness will lessen, as the day progresses, the ache and stiffness will return.
The discomfort you feel from your arch might not present as a soreness at all, but a burning sensation that you might mistake for athlete’s foot at first. A burning that occurs only in your arch cannot be the fungus since it’s more likely to happen between the toes, and that can occur when the feet are constantly wet, or you don’t wear shoes in the shower room at the gym. The burning discomfort can be the tendons surrounding the arch, which are strained or torn.
Causes of Arch Pain
Flat feet is also known as over-pronation or pes planus. While you might not have developed an arch that curves correctly as you were growing, the arches can also fall over time from stress occurring to the arch or bottom of the feet. The stress occurs from running and standing for long periods of time. You can tell if you have flat feet by wetting the feet and standing on something that will make a mark like cardboard or cement. You should be able to see whether there’s an arch in your feet or not.
There’s a ligament that runs from the back of the feet to the toes. It supports the arch and can be strained when you’re running. If it’s strained repeatedly, tiny tears can occur in the ligament. That leads to soreness and swelling, which will make it hard to walk or run. It’s most noticeable after waking in the morning.
Twisting one of your feet in a fall can cause trauma that will impact the arch. Limping can cause you to walk with a rotation in your feet that causes issues. Often, you’ll injure your feet while running and without realizing that you’ve been injured, you’ll keep running. This will cause a stress fracture. A stress fracture will need to be looked at by a doctor. You’ll need to stay off your feet while the fracture is healing, or you could create serious problems with your feet that will take a long time to heal.
Relieving the Ache in Your Arches
Icing the Arch
Immediately after you notice the discomfort in your arch, you should stop your activities and elevate the foot and apply ice packs. This will bring down any swelling and reduce the soreness. You should ice the arches of your feet a few times a day until the tenderness and swelling stops. Along with the ice, you should take some anti-inflammatories to reduce the swelling and reduce the ache.
While it might be difficult to stop running for a few days, you should concentrate on other activities that have a low impact on your feet. You could try swimming or cycling until the ache is gone in your arches. You could concentrate on weight lifting and strength training as long as it doesn’t involve standing, walking or running. There are many exercises that can help you stay fit while you’re recovering from ache and tenderness in your arches.
Stretches and Physical Therapy
Any prolonged ache and soreness might mean you need to see a doctor to refer you to a physical therapist. The therapist can give you approved stretches and exercises that will help relieve the tightness in the tendons surrounding the arch. Tight, inflexible tendons can be a cause of arch discomfort. You could also do some stretches on your own to help loosen the calf and tendons.
Preventing Arch Pain
Even if you’ve never had a problem with your arches before, you should always change your footwear every few months to ensure they’re providing the right amount of support. You should choose a good running shoe that has a solid amount of support. It’s flexible at the ball of your feet while being stable in the middle. The heel should have shock absorption and cushioning.
If you have an ache and discomfort even with supportive shoes, you can use insoles to provide extra support for your arches. A molded orthotic using the process of sole heat can be customized to fit your particular arches. The soles are put in the oven at a low temperature then in conjunction with the pressure and body heat of your foot, they are molded to the arches of your feet, which gives you a custom fit.
While stretches can be a big help when you’re already experiencing discomfort, it can prevent aches and strains as well. The tendons and muscles in the heels and calves can lead to arch problems if they are tight. You can warm these muscles and tendons before your run to ensure that you won’t cause the tendons around the arch to tear. It also reduces injury to the feet, ankles and legs when you stretch before running.
When you’ve injured your arches, you should ice it immediately and rest for a day or two. If it’s a recurring problem, you might need to consult with an orthopedist, visit a physical therapist, buy new shoes with better support and use an insole that is made to custom fit your arches.
Fallen arches, flat feet or tight tendons can cause serious damage when running. At the very least, you should stretch before you start your run, and make sure you have good shoes with insoles that support your arches.