High arched feet tend to have a small foot print surface. Observing thefootprint left in the soil or the wet footprint on a cement floor shows the area of the foot on the ground. The force exerted on this small footprint is likely to be higher than average arched feet. This canresult in corns and callouses under the ball of each metatarsal bone in the front of the foot, crooked toes, with corns and callouses on the tips of toesand tops of the toe knuckles.
People with diabetes need to learn to ‘look and feel’ their feet, and care for their feet every day.
What is it?
Describes the shape of the foot, as having a high longitudinal arch on the medial [inside] border of the foot.
Where is it found?
Can affect one or both feet.
What causes the condition?
1.Pes Cavus – tends to describe a structural position of the foot where the foot is highly arched no matter if nonweight bearing or weight bearing
2.Supinated Feet – describes the movement of the foot into a highly arched foot position. This is witnessed when the foot is weight bearing, in a standing position or during the walking cycle. The same foot might be “normally” arched when nonweight bearing or when the leg muscles are relaxed.
The structural position of Pes Cavus can be inherited and be present from birth. However, it can be acquired and is related to muscle function and/or medical conditions [Diabetes, Charcot Marie Tooth Disease, Arthritis].
High arched feet can be very debilitating and impede mobility and stability. The movement of supination is normal however excessive supination can cause foot and lower limb problems. When in doubt have highly arched feet assessed.
How to look after the condition?
1.Wear supportive and well fitting footwear
2.Choose shoes that offer cushioning and shock absorption
3.Learn how to improve the flexibility of the calf muscles, the lateral leg muscles and the intrinsic foot muscles
4.See a podiatrist or physiotherapist for advice particularly if muscle weakness develops or ankle instability develops or a change in foot shape is noticed
What can happen if the condition is not looked after?
Highly arched feet sometimes cause no problems. However, often they can cause a range of muscle, joint and functional problems for the foot, ankle, knee, hip and lower back.
This can make it difficult to walk around!
Seek an assessment as these conditions can be helped with the right advice and care.
For people with diabetes, there is a specific diabetes complication that can develop into a highly arched foot. This is related to a change in nerve that stimulates the muscles. This complication can cause a change in the way the person walks, a lack of endurance and general strength. This can lead to the clawing of the lesser toes, and a more pronounced arch.
Seek a referral if in doubt.