High Arch Feet

Since we are all unique, there are a variety of foot shapes. Perhaps you have been told that you have high arches; however, you do not know all that that entails. We can help you!

Our team at Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center in Greater Columbus specializes in podiatry and has many years of experience. If you are experiencing pain, we can help diagnose if a high arch is the source and provide conservative or surgical treatment to provide the relief you need. Schedule an appointment with us today!

Do I Need Surgery?

Visiting an orthopedic surgeon doesn’t mean that surgery is necessary. Our orthopedic doctors always prefer to use non-surgical procedures to treat injuries.

What Our Patients Say

“You were prepared regarding my foot issues before you stepped in the room! I appreciated your knowledge, explanations and graphics to show me what we can do. You gave me hope today!! Thank you!” — Heidi C.

What Are High Arch Feet?

High arch feet (also referred to as Pes Cavus or cavus foot) are a common foot structure condition in which your arch (plantar arch) is excessively high. If left untreated, it could cause several complications. High arches are a less common foot arch type than flat feet.

The arch of your foot is located between your heel bone and the ball of your foot. If you have a high arch, you will have much more space between the floor and your arch than those without high arches.

When it comes to normal arches, the weight-bearing stress is evenly distributed throughout the entire foot. If you have a cavus foot, you may notice that you bear your weight on your heel, the ball of your foot, and the side of your foot, and your foot rolls through a step.

If you are unsure if you have high-arched feet, scheduling an appointment with a specialist can help.

A woman in pain from high arches in her feet.

What Causes High Arch Feet?

A foot doctor in Columbus, Ohio explaining the treatment for high arches.

Many people are naturally born with high arch feet/cavus feet, so your foot shape may be inherited (hereditary). Foot deformities can also be caused by several underlying conditions, including:

Symptoms of High Arch Feet

If you have high arches, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Pain when standing or walking
  • Toe deformities, such as hammertoes and claw toes
  • Calluses on your feet
  • Bent toes

If an underlying neurologic problem exists, your specialist will be able to identify it and provide the proper treatment.  

Can High Arch Feet Lead to Further Complications?

Yes, having feet with high arches can lead to further complications. You may also develop the following conditions:

How Are High-Arched Feet Diagnosed?

To determine whether you have high arches, your specialists will:

  • Perform a physical exam
  • Review your medical history
  • Test for any weakness, deformity, and your level of strength

The following diagnostic tests may also be ordered:

How Can a High-Arched Foot Be Treated?

There are a variety of treatments available to treat this common condition. Your specialist will guide you in determining which treatment option or combination of treatments would be best for you.

Treatment for cavus foot includes:

  • Orthotics: Many have found that placing inserts in their shoes provides the additional cushioning needed to help them absorb shock and place their foot in a more comfortable position. If your doctor believes this is the best course of action for you, they may recommend custom orthotics. Orthotics provide arch support for high arches by evenly distributing pressure on the bottom of your foot. You can also purchase over-the-counter orthotics.
  • Bracing: It may be recommended to provide foot and ankle support to ease your symptoms.
  • Physical therapy: The exercises used during therapy can help strengthen your foot and ankle.
  • Night splints: Can be used to help stretch your arches and calf muscles while you are sleeping.
  • Foot surgery: If your high arch foot pain does not improve with conservative treatment, your doctor may recommend cavus foot surgery. This surgical procedure involves foot and ankle surgeons altering soft tissue or removing bone from certain areas of the foot.

Managing Cavus Foot

Having high arch pain is not something that you have to endure forever. Simple measures can be taken to help manage your pain, including:

  • Icing your feet—If you experience occasional pain due to your high arch, icing your feet can reduce inflammation and discomfort.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers—Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be used to help reduce pain and swelling.
  • Wearing shoes that provide enough support for your feet and have good shock absorption—There are also shoes for high arch feet that have a wider toe box designed for additional comfort and support. 

If you have any concerns regarding high arches or questions related to
podiatry, call or schedule an appointment online for a consultation with one of our experts at Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center in Greater Columbus today! We look forward to helping you with your discomfort. 

Medically reviewed by Sarah Abshier, DPM, CWS

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