With summer being in full swing now, more people in Long Island are lacing up their running shoes and starting to log the miles. Medical professionals love to know runners are taking steps (pun fully intended) for better overall health and wellbeing. Of course, we also know that there are certain aches and pains that come from running as well. If your foot arches hurt when running, however, that is not a normal soreness from this activity. Instead, it’s an indication something is wrong and needs to be addressed!
There are several potential factors at play when we look for an explanation of your foot arch pain. Some of the possible causes of arch pain while running include:
- Weakened arch-related ligaments, tendons, or bones. This tends to be the case more frequently when the various tissues that form and support the arch are subjected to overuse. Connective tissues can become strained or the applicable bones develop stress fractures.
- Abnormal foot structure. More specifically, arch pain while running may be caused by foot arches that are either too high (cavus foot) or too low (flatfoot). In these cases, we may need to prescribe custom orthotic devices to correct the structural abnormality (which will then lead to the pain relief you are seeking).
- Plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia runs underneath the foot and helps to support the arch. When the fascia sustains excessive force or stretching, it becomes inflamed and can lead to plantar fasciitis. With this condition, symptoms of heel and arch pain are most commonly experienced with the first steps following rest (and tend to improve as you move around thereafter).
Another factor that plays a role in numerous cases of arches hurting when running is over- and under-pronation. Pronation is the natural inward rolling motion everyone’s foot goes through during the ground portion of a step. This biomechanical process helps feet evenly absorb the tremendous forces they experience when landing back on the ground. A normal, neutral pronation constitutes an approximately 15-percent inwards roll. When the foot rolls more than that, it is known as overpronation. If it rolls less, it’s under-pronation.
Abnormal pronation patterns are not necessarily painful in and of themselves, but this doesn’t mean there aren’t any associated issues. In fact, these biomechanical abnormalities can lead to misalignment and conditions like plantar fasciitis, bunions, Achilles tendinitis, shin splints, and knee, hip, and lower back pain
If you’re suffering from foot arch pain when running, come see one of our doctors here at Foot Specialists of Long Island. You will not only receive treatment to address the existing pain, you will also find out how to prevent it from returning. Contact us online right now if you would like more information or call (516) 804-9038 to request an appointment with our Nassau County podiatrist office.